My WA Beer Week kicked off on Saturday with the Perth Royal Beer Show 2014 in the Wattle Room at Claremont Showgrounds. It’s the third time I’ve attended this event and it’s always a very social afternoon.
The Mission Statement of the Perth Royal Beer Show is “To showcase the quality, craftsmanship, flavour and diversity of Australian Brewed beer”. With industry experts like Brendan Varis (Feral Brewing), John Stallwood (Nail Brewing and Jan Bruckner (The Last Drop Brewery) involved this statement is being very well supported.
Each year over twenty trophies are given to commercial and amateur brewers throughout a range of beer styles and for packaging.
This year Mash Brewing collected a number of trophy’s including Best Commercial Brewery, Best Western Australian Brewery and Best Draught Ale for ‘Copycat’ AIPA.
The Monk Brewery & Kitchen in Fremantle won Best Western Australian Beer of Show for ‘The Bounty’, a rich coconut Stout. Tasting The Bounty on the day caused memories of opening a similarly named chocolate bar as a kid and a lot of positive conversation.
On top of the commercial beers, attendees are able to try all of the submitted amateur entries. The hive of activity around the tasting tables continued all afternoon. There was jovial conversation about merits and success of Lagers, Russian Imperial Stouts, Pale Ales and Saisons as more bottles were opened.
Across town the Mane Liquor Beer Spectacular was being held in their Belmont car park. On top of twenty breweries offering tastings there were food trucks, hot sauces, toasted sandwiches, beer cheese and a barber station!
Events like this bring out wild experimentation like the Gage Roads Brewing x Whipper Snapper Distillery collab ‘Atomic Moonshine’ that was available for tasting on the day only.
Needless to say the car park and store were jam packed. The growler station was also full with punters, including Goodtimes, collecting the one-off Bootleg Brewing x Mane Liquor ‘Ryezilla’ IPA.
The following day at Cellarbrations Carlisle the GrainCru Car Park Brew Day returned for the third year with a large number of breweries and beer related products being represented. Jos from New Zealand’s Garage Project and Josh from Melbourne’s Moon Dog were also on hand to create special one-off beer to celebrate the day.
The WA Beer Week program for this event asked “Who else will be involved?”. The answer was of course was Goodtimes!
I was happy to have contributed to this one-off brew by supplying the pretzels seen below in a moment of beery inspiration.
The Salt & Pepper Manuka Pretzel Porter will be available soon. Early indications show that it’s a very active brew. Fermentation is being overseen by Joel Beresford (GrainCru) at the store and Steggles from Bickley Valley Brewing. The results will be available to taste in just over a months’ time.
Back in the car park Homestead Brewing was delivering Black IPA’s to punters through a special beer back pack. It tasted fresh and very similar to its Midnight IPA pedigree. Delicious!
Little Creatures had their new Single Batch available for tasting. The Saison was an enjoyable quaffer but I feel it could have more character. Interestingly news arrived later the following week that this will be a draft only release as the bottling line is struggling with the Saison’s personality. Maybe the lack of character is just my opinion.
Mitch from Beersine was on hand sampling ‘Beer Cheese’ made from Feral Brewing ‘Hop Hog’, Hop Honey and a Brettanomyces fermented chilli sauce.
Steggles from Bickley Valley Brewing was happy to share authentic European beers from the Perth hills and tales of underground clubs that only stock Bickley Valley beers. Shhhhh. Don’t tell anyone!
Sarah from UK brewery Camden Town showcased a great range of approachable beers. Their flagship ‘Hells’ Lager is crisp, sessionable and Goodtimes has been an advocate for some time now. The unfilitered version was equally enjoyable.
A Goodtimes review of the Camden ‘Gentleman’s Wit’ can be found here.
A busy week left only a short trip to WA Beer Week Headquarters at Bob’s Bar, Print Hall on Saturday to revel in the last event. Over the final four days Bob’s Bar pushed through 60 kegs of one-off’s and hard to get beer. The quality and scope of this range of draft beer has never been in the one place in Perth before.
I tried Doctor’s Orders ‘Prescription 12’ American Strong Ale and two from Garage Project. Firstly the ‘Mecha Hop’ which was over 10% ABV of delicious hoppiness and secondly the ‘Texas Tea’, a chilli Brown Ale. I love chilli but I’m not normally a fan of chilli beers. The subtle heat burn against the malty base of Texas Tea was very good and I will be trying to track some down for a revisit.
The bar itself is a provided somewhere new for beer fans to meet and will be welcomed with open arms next year.
This brought WA Beer Week to an end for me. There were many events that I missed this year but what I went to was warm, funny and social. In short the best part of this year’s program was the people. At every event I met someone new and talked lovingly about beer. That is something wonderful.
Cheers WA Beer Week!
NB: Don’t forget to follow Goodtimes Craft Beverages on Facebook for regular reviews and beery news.