A quick look at my calendar and I can plainly see that it’s August. Those who know me are aware of my recent decision to venture back into the world of higher education. Being as I want to do it right this time around, I’ve let my focus on the blog slip (‘drop completely’ is probably a better term) and May through to July’s monthly top 5’s have suffered. I’ve also not been able to attend a good chunk of the amazing beer events we’ve been blessed with here in Brisbane, so intake of new beers have stalled as well. Lack of time as well as funds due to payment of said education has sapped my resources.
But not all is lost! I’ve still be able to keep my little portion of the fridge stocked with a few delicious beverages (all thanks to the good folks at Craft Red Hill and Brewski Bar). I’ve also learned something called ‘time management’, a foreign concept to me until recently, that magically allows me to achieve more in a given week. With this new found superpower, I should be able to pump out a few more semi-regular posts now and then.
So with that said, on to the Top 5!
The personal set rules of the Top 5 are this:
1. It has to be a beer that is new to me for that month.
2. Well, that’s it really.. just needs to be a new beer.
The Top 5
This months unique beer count totals 23, with the top 5 being:
- 5) Clare Valley Brewing Co – King Kong Stout – Stout – 6% ABV – 4
- I had purchased a large number of dark beers and most floated around in my fridge for a while, but this one made it’s way to my lips a bit sooner than the others. Deciding I wanted a stout for dessert, I cracked this one open and was treated to a wonderfully dark beige head and a smooth, velvety chocolate taste. Went down so well, I had a hard time sharing this one with Mrs. Brews and Bacon.
- 4) Newstead Brewing Co – Whiskey Au Go Go – Barleywine – 9% ABV – 4
- I love me a good barleywine, and this one was up there. Very smooth and well balanced, this 9% big boy was a bit too smashable. A dangerous third beer among many during the brew day for team ‘Blood, Sweat, and Craft Beers’, this one is worth revisiting again and again. Just not while I’m “working”.
- 3) Brewcult – Thanks Captain Obvious – – 5.8% ABV – 4
- Nick of ‘Chasing Ale’ fame had is birthday in the month of May with the party starting at Tomahawk bar down in Southbank. The wife and I had just finished a night out at the orchestra and made our way over. I decided to whet my whistle first up, I’d have the newest Brewcult beer to hit Brissy taps. As usualy, Sir Hendo does not disappoint, with this beer being a hoppy punch-to-the-face, but in a way that doesn’t turn you off of it.
- 2) Mountain Goat – Rare Breed: Fancy Pants – Amber/Red Ale – 5.2% – 4.5
- Another beer for the above mentioned birthday party, but this time at HooHa Bar. Slightly after this one, the night gets fuzzy and check-ins didn’t happen, but I did remember this malty treat. Strong sweet flavour to start out, finished off with a Galaxy/Cascade hop finish that cleanses the palate and preps it for the next onslaught of sweetness. Lovely.
- 1) Feral Brewing –Watermelon Warhead – Berliner Weisse – 2.9% – 4.5
- Sours are a great category of beer, and they don’t get enough recognition, from myself included. The Watermelon Warhead made it’s way to Brisbane for a Feral tap takeover at Brewski, and for many, it was the highlight of the group. A big whiff of this light ABV beer gave you a blast of what reminded me of Jolly Ranchers. The taste was either a bit more subtle when it came to the fruit, or was simply subdued to the big puckering sourness when you drink it, I couldn’t really tell. Either way, it was bloody brilliant. A definite treat.
There were a lot of great beers had, and not all could make the list, but I want to give honourable mentions to Red Ducks Bengal IPA and Bacchus Scotch Ale. The Bengal was a bit of a surprise, as I found the 1851 not really to my liking, but this one had a rich mango and citrus smell that was a nice contrast to the bitter, hop forward taste. The Scotch Ale from Bacchus was a smokey rich beer, that was a perfect little sipper.
This Months Let Downs
It can’t all be smiles and rainbows in the beer world. There were a few beers that didn’t quite live up to the expectations I had of them. These don’t necessarily need to be beers I didn’t enjoy (though, they will make there way on as well), but ones that I had high hopes for and fell well short of them.
As mentioned above, I had the Red Duck 1851, a golden ale that really didn’t wow me at all. In fact, I found it a bit dull and watery for my liking. Luckily it was offset by the Bengal IPA and redeemed Red Duck in my eyes.
One that was a true definition of ‘let down’ for me was Holgate’s 2014 version of the Millennium Falcon. This beer absolutely blew me away last year, and made the list as one of my favourites from 2013. This years iteration was, well, a bit lack luster. Maybe I have built it up too much in my head, maybe my tastes have changed, maybe it was just a funny batch. Anyway you split it, I wasn’t floored. I still enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong, but I think I was expecting just a bit more.
I’m not sure if the last beer can be classified as a ‘let down’, as I was going in expecting it to be god-awful. During a week up in Townsville, I noticed a funny little red and yellow can in the back of my in-laws fridge. Pulling it out, I discovered a very ratty, almost beaten up, can of XXXX Bitter. Flipping it upside down revealed the best by date to be well past: 5 years past to be exact. After questioning the in-laws on their fridge clearing practices, I decided that in the name of “science”, I would see how this went down. As you can imagine, it didn’t go well. Any bittering agent in this fossil of a beer was dead and dusted and probably reincarnated by the time the metal tab was popped on the can. The whole thing was akin to drinking grain water.
April was an “event-free” month, so I made sure to attend an event as soon as I could in May. I didn’t have to wait long at all, as the first event was on the 1st! Brewski hosted the Feral Offcuts, which featured 4 Feral beers including the Watermelon Warhead (mentioned above), a barrel fermented Hop Hog, the Hopfen Fahrt, and the Barrique Okarma. The Warhead was the highlight, but the Hopfen Fahrt had it’s merits. Using ‘new world’ hops grown in the ‘old world’, it had it’s own unique flavour that I quite enjoyed. The night was capped with a new Brewski pizza, the Will Feral, which was a BBQ pulled pork pizza.
The 4th was a nerdy day of Star Wars. After completed all 6 movies over 2 days, we went down to Kerbside for a couple themed beverages. After a Holgate Millennium Falcon and a Bacchus Death Star IPA, we were feeling a bit spacey and made our way home.
My 600th unique check-in on Untappd came at Nick, (Chasing Ale’s) 30th birthday party. The Thanks Captain Obvious started out a night of debauchery that wound from Tomahawk to Hoo Ha Bar, finishing at Kerbside. I had a lot more, but it’s not reflected in my check-ins. I was apparently in no good shape to rate them anyway.
Finally, May saw the brewing of the official beer for team ‘Blood Sweat and Craft Beers’ known as the City2Stout. With brewers, bloggers and other beery folks taking on 14 kms for charity, we all ventured down to Newstead for a brew day. The Oatmeal Stout, choked full of electrolytes (not really), was milled, stirred, and PH tested by the team under the watchful eye of the Newstead crew. Aside from getting into the process, many beers were sampled and it was an all around great day.
May was the month where I started focusing on important life stuffs (aka being a slack ass) and the blog took a hiatus.