Goodtimes Craft Beverages

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Month: October 2014

MINDARIE BOARDWALK BEERFEST

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Locals north of Perth were treated to a mini Beer Festival last weekend at the Mindarie Boardwalk Beerfest.
Located about 40 minutes from Perth, the Mindarie Marina boardwalk provided a lovely stroll through craft beers, cider and wine between the Indian Ocean Brewing Company and local pub The Boat.
It’s great exposure for the Indian Ocean Brewing company who have been brewing at the coastal location for years but have, at least for me, always been a little far from home.
The Beerfest listed over ten local breweries sampling a range of Hefewiezen’s to Stouts. It was a great opportunity to talk directly with some of the brewers and get some inside information about products and what’s coming up.

Indian Ocean Brewer Mal Secourable has been tweaking their Pale Ale recipe with the little used Mosaic hop variety. The aim being to move from an Australian Pale Ale to an American Pale Ale but not to slide into a pine-like area.
Sampling the new recipe I can vouch for the Stone-fruit characters from the Mosaic. The 5.4% ABV Pale Ale was a favourite of the beers I tried and I’m looking forward to see where Mal takes this beer.

 

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Little Creatures ‘Beer Bike’

The guys from Little Creatures were busy riding the boardwalk with a ‘beer bike’, handing out sample of their IPA to people between tastings. I talked with Jacob from Little Creatures about the next Single Batch that will be released the 2nd of November, a Saison.
Jacob said that the release was part of a trans-Tasman challenge between Little Creatures and Emerson Brewing in New Zealand. The Little Creatures team had challenged Emerson’s to brew a beer with plenty of hops. In return brewery owner Richard Emerson had challenged Little Creatures to brew something a “little weird and funky”.
The recipe includes Pale and Wheat malts with Saaz and East Golding Kent hops being used. Comments about the yeast were kept a secret at least for the next couple of weeks.
Given Saison’s are one of my favourite beer styles I’m very happy about this coming release.

 

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Last Drop Brewery’s Jan Bruckner hard at work with very crisp Pilsner

Czech born and trained brewer Jan Bruckner from the Last Drop Brewery was on hand to share his award winning Hefeweizen and very crisp Pilsner. He talked about the Last Drop’s respect for the traditional approach to brewing including adhering to the Reinheitsgebot , German Beer Purity Law of 1516. In line with this level of craftsmanship the Last Drop Pilsner undergoes twelve weeks of maturation before being released. The crisp finish and slight herbal characters are a delicious result of this care.

 

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Nail Brewing Wombat Wheat

Nail Brewing had three beers to sample including the clear favourite, Nail Red Ale. Daniel Love from Nail commented on the increasing demand for Nail Red and the level of effort that still goes into making hand-made beers on a commercial scale.
Besides the classic Nail Australian Pale Ale, the other Nail beer on offer was a Wombat Wheat Hefeweizen. Daniel discussed that the locally sourced yeast strain was an expensive outlay for a about a pint of yeast. That said the pint contained about 44 million yeast cells which soon got to work on the 5000 litres of the Nail Wombat Wheat Hefeweizen. Given its bespoke origin this is one beer to get while you can!

 

Plenty of action at the Mash Brewing tent

There was plenty of interest around the Mash Brewing stall with head brewer Charlie Hodgson handing out samples of his 2014 Australian Champion Beer, Copycat IPA and fielding questions. The most question was “Where can I get these beers?” to which Charlie replied that some of the Mash beers are likely to be in Dan Murphy’s stores nationally soon.

 

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Indian Ocean Brewing Company’s Toasted Lamb Wrap with The Drake Pale Ale

 

Of the food options available Goodtimes settled on a very good toasted Lamb wrap at the Indian Ocean Brewing Company complimented by a Drakes Pale Ale.

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While the weather looked to overshadow the afternoon the boardwalk filled with happy punters. The Mindarie Boardwalk Beerfest was a wonderfully casual way to learn more about some of Australia’s best breweries.
Bring on next year!

 

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OKTOBERFEST: Noble biers seek crafty innovation

Oktoberfest - Weihenstephaner Festbier

The worlds largest funfair, Oktoberfest, runs annually in a meadow near the centre of Munich, Germany. While this celebration has continued since 1810 times are changing.

A recent article from the Bloomburg financial news outlet highlighted the decline of beer volume for Oktoberfest. This year 6.4 million litres of beer was served down from 7.7 million litres last year with relatively the same attendance.
Also notable, the article mentions the changing attitude of Germans to beer flavour and styles.
Traditional Oktoberfest beers must come from one of local six breweries, all brewing a similar style of beer, which must be brewed with the Munich city limits.
To be an Oktoberfest beer these breweries must also adhere to the Reinheitsgebot, the German Beer Purity Law, of 1516.
The Reinheitsgebot states that only Water, Barley (Malt) and Hops can be used in the production of beer. Yeast were originally omitted as back in 1516 the brewers microscopic friends were not yet known.
The major reasons for its introduction was to maintain a health standard for beer in 1500’s Bavaria. Interestingly the Reinheitsgebot is the worlds oldest, continuous food standard.
The other major reason was to ensure there was enough Wheat and Rye available for bakers to produce bread. Ensuring bakers had raw materials kept the price of bread affordable for the German public.
While this is no longer part of German Law it’s history looms large. Ironically what was once a mark of esteemed purity has become an anchor to the past leaving little chance for innovation.
In contrast international brewers, unbound by this convention, have used rice, corn and even pumpkin as the base for beer. Additions of common and exotic ingredients (Kopi Lewak – ‘Monkey Poo’ coffee anyone?) have created some of the most sought after beers on the planet.
German Flag
So what does it all mean?
With international beer volume in decline the customer focus is shifting to drinking less but consuming better quality products. No surprises here for a craft beer drinker.
In the Bloomburg article German brewery owner Oliver Lemke comments that “We Germans thought we were making the worlds best beer meanwhile diversity suffered”. Furthermore he says “Craft brewing is an interesting and lucrative niche and it was a mistake not to do it earlier”
Closer to home, the latest Brew Pub release from Swan Valley brewery Feral, ‘Hopfen Pahrt’, is a German IPA. This uses three new German hop varieties to create a very tasty craft beer than could appeal to Bavarians looking beyond what is familiar.
While things haven’t changed dramatically at Oktoberfest it is clear consumers are more savvy than ever before. Oktoberfest is still a fantastic opportunity celebrate with friends, eat too much, drink too much and make pithy comments like ‘Sausage jokes are the wurst’.
That alone is worth raising a glass for.
 Prost!

http://www.feralbrewing.com.au/feral-beer/brewpub-series-release/

Feral Brewing - Hopfen Fahrt

 

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