Goodtimes Craft Beverages

Drink better. Be good.

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Craft-Beer-Rising-2015-Crafty-headerEach year at the end of February an event takes place to spread the word of craft beer. It is Craft Beer Rising.
Originally started as part of UK movement, this was quickly picked up last year by respected Australian beer writer the Crafty Pint.

In essence, it’s about sharing the craft beer love as the manifesto from the Craft Beer Rising website explains:

• Head to your nearest brewery and share a beer with the brewer.
• Go to your nearest participating venue pouring all Aussie beer for the day and join in the fun.
• Take a trip down Memory Lane with the first Australian craft beer you ever enjoyed.
• Gift a bottle or glass of your favourite Aussie craft beer to a mate who claims they don’t like beer.
• If all your local venues sell crap beer, gift the landlord a bottle of your favourite Aussie craft beer and suggest they get with the program.

With this in mind Goodtimes took up the challenge a little early to “gift the landlord” of the local Lawn Bowls Club with some craft beer. Given Goodtimes lawn bowling most Wednesday nights over summer, this seemed to be in everyone’s best interests.


Craft Beer Rising delivery for the Yokine Bowling Club.

There was a little skepticism at first but once the concept had been explained they were all for it. The win for the club was that while the beers had been ‘donated’ they were also been bought back. Pure profit for the local club and enjoyment for the drinker: win-win!

For the warm summer evenings Goodtimes decided Mountain Goat ‘Summer Ale’ would be a good starting point. The bright packaging and approachability caused quite a bit of interest with the bar staff and managers all trying and enjoying the ‘Goat beer’.


The Yokine Bowling Club staff were soon on board with Craft Beer Rising.

The whole experience was fun and informative which is really what craft beer is all about. There was even talk about the Galaxy hop that is used amongst other things!


Everyone’s a winner with Craft Beer Rising #CBR2015

This coming weekend is Craft Beer Rising with events all around Australia. For those who can’t get an event, check the Craft Beer Rising Facebook page or Instagram hashtag.



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HOMESTEAD BREWERY: Ron Feruglio Interview


There are many reasons for why I haven’t visited the new Homestead Brewing in the Swan Valley until now but one thing is clear: I will not be leaving it long for a revisit.
Only 25 minutes from Perth, the grounds are home to the modern, pavilion style buildings of the award winning Mandoon Winery and its fine dining restaurant. The new brewery, bar area and ample landscaped open space, with a new children’s playground, make this make this a real multipurpose venue.
This venture has been well thought out and no expense has been spared. In the brewery alone, the state-of-the-art Kaspar Schulz brewery is considered to be one of the best in the world.


The modern pavilion style buildings of Homestead Brewing and Mandoon Estate.

Just before Christmas I caught up with Head Brewer Ron Feruglio for a very good natured chat about what’s brewing at Homestead. Previous to Homestead, Ron had founded and co-owned Temple Brewing in Carlton, Melbourne. Ron was gentlemanly, articulate and very generous with his time.
He took me through the current range of Homestead beers and the brand new Krush Apple Cider. While each was true to style it’s the slight edge of interest in each product that I found most appealing.
Well attenuated beers are a running theme in of all of Ron’s creations. Attenuation is the degree to which the yeast has consumed the fermentable sugars in the brewing process that creates alcohol and carbon dioxide. In simple terms, high attenuation means the yeast have consumed as much as they can, creating a dry finish. It’s this dry finish is makes the drinker want another sip.
Even after the initial sweetness of caramel and vanilla in the current seasonal ‘Cuvee’, the signature dry finish keeps the drinker intrigued. Interestingly this beer is a blend of three beers that spent time on Mandoon Shiraz barrels, old and new toasted French oak. It’s quite a treat!
Given the variety of beers Ron is creating, and has planned, I wanted to understand how he creates a recipe and what is on the horizon at Homestead Brewing.

Homestead Head Brewer Ron Feruglio

Homestead Head Brewer Ron Feruglio

“The process is always the same in the end but the starting point is often quite different. Sometimes it can be an inspiration from something that’s totally unrelated to beer. It could be something I’m eating, a hare-brained conversation like ‘wouldn’t it be great if’ or ‘I wonder’ if you know what I mean. Just brainstorming ideas which often happen the best when you’re not trying to make anything happen. Like when your having a beer with friends, conversation turns and there’s a spark there.”
“Or it might be ‘I need to make a Pale Ale’, we need a staple, so how is it going to be? Can it be different? What is everyone else doing? Do I like that? Ultimately I always end up with a brief.”
“My background is in Industrial Design so I approach beer very much in that way. I design beer is how I look at it. It’s also like writing music. I have also previously worked as a music composer for ten years making a living writing commissioned music. In a way it is very much writing a song. That’s why I like naming the beers because it’s a bit like naming a song, to evoke something about it.”
So you’re a Bauhaus fan?
“Yeah. Brauhaus” (laughing)
“That one refers to the brewery. It’s the Brewery Lager” (laughing)
“So whichever the way the inspiration comes from whether it’s to meet a requirement, something that has to happen, or whether it’s an idea or whether it’s an experiment like ‘I wonder what would happen if we?…’ like the Cuvee, I wonder what would happen if we treated all of this in different ways, which options that would work.”

“Ultimately once all that is in place then there is a brief. Once there’s a brief then there definition of what the beer is going to be like. What alcohol, what kind of colour, what it should represent and then I start tasting in my head, tasting with my mind. Then the process after that is if it’s going to be a large scale commercial beer I’ll always do small batches to test things.”
Scale up?
“Yeah, test out yeast strains. I’ve got to be really diligent about it. I do a triangulated test to sort of change things. I have three variables with five options and then I ditch one and keep running. So I might start with four different yeasts that could be good. The signature hop could be anyone of these and then start broad and the just keep narrowing and then go ‘OK that yeast doesn’t work, these two do and I’ll keep running with those” and then I keep tightening it up and then maybe at the end modifying hop charges and modifying the grain bill.”
“So in the end if you draw it all out you might do something like seventy two or a hundred and twenty separate trials but they’re not all individual brews. They are one brew on a fifty litre system that’s split into eight for example where you it change it, dry-hop one, don’t dry-hop another, use one or two different yeasts. You know what I mean. It’s quite scientific.”
“But something like the Cuvee so something more aesthetic. A bit more touchy-feely. We brewed three different small batches and blended them together for that one. You’ve got an impression of what each of the components are trying to put together but was tweaked as we went along. ‘I think it needs a little bit more of that, a bit more of this’. So you start massaging it towards the goal but you always have to have the goal in mind.”
Which is that moment of inspiration back from wherever in the beginning?
“Yeah, yeah. I think if you don’t have that and you just start that’s when you could have some happy accidents but it’s endless and you don’t actually know when it’s done because your beer doesn’t have a definition, because you haven’t defined it early. You define it before you even brew it.”
You have commented before that this type of brewing is the perfect blend of art and science.
“Yeah. I feel you succeed or fail in the details. That’s where it is but there’s a lot of beauty in imperfection you know what I mean?”
“If things are sterile and ‘by the numbers’ it will be fine, accurate and everything else but it may be lacking personality. There always has to be something in there that sparks. That could be the idea, it could be the name and it could be all of those individual concepts.”


Beautifully landscaped grounds and new children’s playground.

You’re doing lots of small batches. Is there anything that you are working on at the moment that you can share?
“Yes, absolutely. I’ve got a beer in the tank at the moment that’s made out of two separate batches and it’s a Chocolate Cherry Sour. It’s going to weigh in at about 9-9.5% ABV.”
“So it’s two separate batches. One is fermented with sour cherries. The other is like a really, really sour, like a triple sour mash that was boiled for seven days to concentrate it down.” (laughing)
“It has got the most amazing flavours. There’s depth to it that I can’t actually describe what it tastes like. It’s thick and viscous. It was done with a sour mash technique. There is a lot of Lacto (Lactobacillus yeast) early on in the piece so there’s a lot of sourness to it.”
“One’s already filtered up and is ready to go. The chocolate sour part will ready in the next week or two. Then the two will be blended to make the final product.”
“It’s got sour cherries, Belgian chocolate; it’s a really hardcore adult Cherry Ripe. (laughing)
“So that’s going to be quite an interesting one. When it’s going to be ready I’m really not quite sure because with  beer like that it’s readiness is dictated by itself. When it’s ready, it’s ready you know what I mean?”
“I had this fantastic idea to have it ready by Christmas but it’s just not. It would have been a nice bottled Christmas beer but then again it could be a really awesome Easter beer too or it could just be a beer for whenever. So it’s just something I had an opportunity to do.
Would you consider putting some of that on oak?
“Well yeah, that’s the other idea to put some of that away too. Depending on how it comes out when it’s all together it may all go into barrels and just stay until Easter and the pull it out and maybe even bottle it in 750ml Champagne bottles and bottle condition it.”
“So it won’t be out for Christmas but it’s that I’ve been working on a lot actually, for a good couple of months now. It’s shaping up really interesting.”
“The components are very interesting, very distinct. It’s going to be quite an amazing beer. It’s a sipping beer. It’s one to have in a goblet and sit back and contemplate its complexity.”


Homestead Brewing bar.

Are you planning to release anything from Homestead full time in bottles or cans at all?
“Look eventually. Everyone who comes here, especially the tourists, come to the cellar door and do a wine tasting and buy some bottles of wine. They come here (the brewery) and do a beer tasting and want to take some away.”
“Realistically there’s no plan for the next twelve months to put a bottling line in. It’s a complex piece of equipment. This is a very up market, expensive brewery the bottling will need to be of the same standard. It’s a big capital investment that needs a lot of space and a lot of labour. It’s early days for us and I think we’ve gone pretty quickly.”
“I’ve brewed more beers than I had been asked to. Not more than planned because I wrote a portfolio of beers for 18 months, so there’s a whole range of beers that will be coming up as we head into autumn, into winter and so on but I probably wasn’t asked to anymore than three or four beers for now so I’ve got more excited with my new toys. (laughing)
I’m not complaining! (laughing)
“So that’s been really nice. So at the moment we’re just going to focus on getting the place running smoothly. We’ve got a big, busy time heading up to Christmas and I think January is going to be very, very busy with families and people coming out to the (Swan) valley.”
“I think the layout is great. It’s a bit of a corny cliché but it’s got something for everybody. It’s got people come here looking for fine dining or to lie on the grass on a blanket or just sit at a high table inside and overindulge or do it all.” (laughing)
“The project is excellent. There’s a lot of scope for me anyway. I’ve been given total creative freedom to do what I want to do. That why I’m here. I’ve got no issue producing good quality drinkable beers but I also like to push the envelope a little bit with some things that are a bit more interesting.”
I’ve read of a Berliner Weiss coming on soon.
“Yes, there’s two coming on. They’ll be the other side of Christmas, still in summer.”


Homestead ‘Black Swan’ Black IPA.

I’m very familiar with the distant relative of Homestead’s Black Swan Black IPA. It’s great to see it in this portfolio.
“Once again, it’s 7% ABV and you wouldn’t pick it. It’s dry and easy to drink. All the trademarks.” (laughing)
“I really like the hops in this beer. Black IPA’s are a really interesting style in that most people now have either had a go at it or got them as staples in their portfolio or as seasonal beers.”
“My whole idea with this one was make it all about pine and resin with lots and lots of really old school American hops in this. So there’s no Cascade or Galaxy hop type flavours of tropical fruits. It’s all Columbus, Chinook, Simcoe, Centennial, all those kind of big robust, earthy, resinous hops. I think that works in unison with the dark roast flavour.”
“The whole idea with a Black IPA is to make it look black but not taste black so you are trying to disguise the roasted elements. My approach with it was to make it to make the roast and the resins get into bed with each other and then they become something a little bit different.”(laughter)
“I like this because it’s really clean. It’s a really good seller but it’s not for everybody obviously but having said that there is people who come out here just to have pints of this.”


The eclectic range at Homestead Brewing.

Looking at today’s taps, Homestead has a very interesting line up.
“Yeah, it’s pretty eclectic isn’t it? (laughter) And there’s a Cider!”
I really enjoyed the Cider.
“Thank you. Yeah, look I’m proud of everything I’ve done since I’ve been here but I’m uber proud of the Cider because it’s the first Cider I’ve ever made, at all. I’ve got 600 litres of it so I’m glad it turned out well.” (laughter)
“Seriously, it was a real journey into the unknown with that because making Cider has a lot more in common with wine making than with brewing even though a lot of breweries make a cider.”
You’ve kind of got nowhere to hide?
“No. I kind of took a Lager approach to it if you know what I mean; cold fermentation. We handled it carefully. I kept all the oxygen away. Really treated it with gloves you know and I think it really paid off.”
“I have to say I really relied on Ryan Sudano, the Chief Winemaker and his palate. I would give him a taste and said ‘what do you think of this, the structure of this from a wine maker’s point of view?’ The acid balance and so on. That was really cool to because I got to hang out in his lab and test with things that I don’t normally test with in beer like salt levels and stuff like that. So it was a real learning curve.”
A lot you can bring back to beer in that space?
“Yeah, definitely. I think also he’s getting really excited about beer since I’ve been here too. We kick around quite a few ideas about some new things for next year incorporating what’s going on in the winery as well as what’s going on here. It won’t just extend to barrels.”
“We’ve been using their barrels but there a couple ideas we’ve got that I can’t talk about yet because they may not happen. It should be quite good. I think we’ve both decided it would be good to play together.” (laughter)
There are a few American breweries like Dogfish Head and Cascade Brewing are doing some things in that space.
“No one is doing it here that I’m aware of and the whole philosophy of this place is all about the things we do. It would be nice to get a perfect triangle of beer, wine and food happening together you know.”


Mandoon Estate Verdhelo grape vines in front of Homestead Brewing.

“From the food point of view, the guys that take all of our spent brewing grain raise pigs and cows. They sell almost exclusively to the kitchen for the fine dining restaurant. They just set up a slaughterhouse there so they can butcher the animals there themselves. So the stuff that we get on the spit is coming from grain feed from our own beer. All we need to do is incorporate by-products from the harvest as well into an agricultural kind of twist and we’ve got everything.”
Are any collaboration beers planned at all?
“Ah, not at this point but I’m definitely open once I’ve found my feet, I’ve bedded in to Perth and this place and everything is running as I want it. That’s the kind of stuff that gets me really excited and makes you want to get out of bed in the morning and have ideas of things that you can do. There is lots of magic stuff around here (the Swan Valley) to work with.”
I’m looking forward to the Homestead Saison. When do you think it will be ready?
“I’m ready to brew that. It would been out by now if I hadn’t gone off and done other things. (laughter). It’s really a spring beer but that’s not strictly the case. That’s one that could certainly go into autumn.”


The Homestead Brewing deck ready for guests.

From your Temple days and now here at Homestead it seems that you understand your customers will trust your judgment and the beers that you are making, rather than trying to pander to a style or have a particular customer in mind.
“I think that’s very true. A lot of people ‘get it’ with how I do things and they like what I do. That’s very much so. It’s a very astute observation actually.”
Finally, what advice would you give to your former self in 2005 when you decided to go into full time brewing?
Strap yourself in!
“Look if I had my time over would I do it all over again? Yeah, absolutely. I think the thing that I’ve learnt is that it requires a lot of patience. Things don’t happen as quickly as you would like them to and it’s definitely worth it. That’s the advice I’d give myself if I was having a drink with me. (laughter)
“I’d say ‘hang in there, stick with it and go hard!” (laughter)


Homestead Brewery is located about 25 minutes east of Perth city in the Swan Valley, WA.


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Stuck for an office Secret Santa present? Want to surprise someone but don’t know where to start? Want to share your passion with neighbours and friends?
The answer to all of these Christmas questions is of course Beer!
In the lead up to Christmas workplaces, neighbours, friends and family will be in the Christmas spirit by sharing gifts with each other. I thought about my own practice of sharing interesting but approachable beers with family, friends and colleagues whenever there is reason to celebrate.
With this in mind I thought I’d ask some of Perth’s best Beer retailers what they would put in a $30 Kris-Kringle (Secret Santa) beer box present.
The only suggestion was that the beers had to be approachable enough to share in a random Christmas draw. With a $30 limit it’s probably going to rule out any 15% ABV Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stouts anyway!
Over the past few weeks this became an insider’s guide to approachable beer gift giving and Goodtimes has also included a few suggestions as a seasonal bonus!
There are plenty options for a beery yuletide gift. Whether you want to buy a pre-made beer box or get one of the experienced retailers to help you, this really couldn’t be easier. Most of these suggestions are freely available from big-box liquor retailers like Dan Murphy’s to the independent operators featured below. You may even find yourself a Christmas treat!


With over a thousand beers in store and the title of the Ratebeer Best Beer Store in Australia you could easily get lost looking for a gift at Mane Liquor. Luckily the owners of the Ascot store, Elliot Moore and Josh Daly, both agreed on the Feral Brewing Boar Pack as the perfect gift. At $24 a box this is excellent value and comes with a Feral glass.

Mane Liquor’s Elliot Moore with the Feral Brewing ‘Boar Pack’

The team at Mane Liquor are always happy to help more adventurous shoppers buy individual beers for a very interesting beer box.
Mane Liquor also stock a large range of local and imported hot sauces. Goodtimes is happy to recommend anything by local chilli fiend Dr Paul’s Hot Sauces, in particular the ‘Devil’s BBQ’.

Dr Paul’s ‘Devil’s BBQ’ Hot Sauce is available at Mane Liquor.

Joel Beresford and the Cellarbrations at Carlisle team have been building an impressive range of over a thousand different beers in the Belmont / Carlisle area.
Joel suggests the bespoke approach in gift selection. His picks for an approachable mixed pack include:
• Two Birds Brewing – Bantam IPA
• Mash Brewing – Grasscutter
• Nail Brewing – Wombat Hefeweizen
• Victory Brewing – Prima Pils


Joel Beresford with Victory Brewing’s Prima Pils.

He recommends talking through what the receiver would normally drink with staff. If you are not sure, help from staff will ensure the recipient finds something they enjoy.
Cellarbrations at Carlisle has a range of glassware that compliments the recent Belgian beer shipment. A classic beer with matching glass is a very stylish yet affordable gift.

Matching glassware is a simple gifting idea.

Another suggestion is for a refillable Squealer or Growler, a refillable bottle used for draught beer, that the receiver can use all year long.

Squealers (1 litre) and Growlers (1.89 litres) are refillable bottles for draught beer. The gift that keeps giving!

Aside from beer, the ReStore Leederville is a den of delicacies for gift giving. Be warned, you may end up with many more presents for yourself than anyone else!

True to the ReStore’s eclectic mix of goods, beverage guru Nick Odell recommends:
• Bootleg Brewing – Speakeasy IPA
• Stillwater Artisinaal – Classique Saision
• Rodenbach – Rosso Fruit Beer
• Six String Brewing – Golden Ale
• Trappistes Rochefort – 10
• Moo Brew – Pilsner


Nick Odell’s Christmas Beer box

For those who want to splurge there is a bottle three litre of 14% ABV Austrian ‘Samichclaus’ beer for sale. This beer is brewed on the 6th of December each year and then conditioned for ten months before release. At over $200 this bottle will find a very special home this year!


The ReStore Leederville’s beverage guru Nick Odell.

The team at DeVine Cellars has just won the WA Liquor Retailer of the Year award again this year. As such they are well placed to help with a beer based present.
Manager Steve Colangelo recommends the Duval 750ml and Glass gift pack or the Innis & Gunn gift pack of oak aged beers as a point of difference for festive gift giving.
Also available is Rogue’s Santa’s Private Reserve Ale 650ml and a range of over 300 beers to choose from.
Goodtimes recently tried the Holgate ‘Double Trouble’ Dubbel Ale from DeVine and would recommend this for gifting.
Also for sale at DeVine Cellars are sets of vintage beer glassware. This would be perfect for the beer expert who has everything.


Vintage glassware available at Devine Cellars, Inglewood.

Gary Fletcher at Aubin Grove Liquor south of Perth also suggests the Feral Christmas gift pack for about $25. Gary is also more than happy to help select a tailored beer pack for a novice or seasoned beer connoisseur.
For the more adventurous Gary is passionate about hoppy beers including those from New Zealand brewery Garage Project.


Further South, Big Brews in Warnbro has a range of gift packs and 300 individual beers to select from.
A great Christmas offer from the Big Brews team is two for $20 offer on the La Trappe range of authentic Trappist beers. These come in a beautifully presented 750ml bottle and are made in the Netherlands by Trappist monks.
Big Brews also recommends the Trappist monks at Chimay. The Chimay monastic beer box includes three Trappist beers and a glass chalice for around $25.


These suggestions are based around the $30 present limit. Each bottle is about $5 and most retailers will apply a 10% discount for purchasing six individual beers.
Goodtimes has suggested a few themed beer boxes but really the combinations are endless. The key with these selections is that each of the beers is approachable enough to be enjoyed by someone new to the world of beer.


WA Beer Box
• Eagle Bay – Pale Ale
• Bootleg – One-off’s ‘The Coconut One’
• Feral Brewing – Hop Hog
• Nail Brewing – Red Ale
• Mash – Grasscutter Lawnmower Ale

Australian Beer Box
• Mountain Goat – Summer Ale
• Stone & Wood – Pacific Ale
• La Sirene – Saison
• Bridge Road – Bling IPA
• Knappstien – Reserve Lager
• Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale 2014

Scottish brewery BrewDog’s seasonal beers.

International Beer Box
• BrewDog – Hoppy Christmas Festive Pale Ale
• BrewDog – Santa Paws – Scotch Ale
• Camden Brewing– Gentleman’s Wit
• Brooklyn Brewing – Pre-prohibition Lager
• Rodenbach – Classic
• Sierra Nevada – Pale Ale


European sharing beer bottles

European presentation beer bottles for sharing.

Some of the great international beers come in wonderfully presented 750ml bottles that are perfect for gift giving. Most of these options are under $20 and the key is to check with staff the style of beer that’s in them.
In simple terms these beers could be separated into the following categories:
Rich or Dark
• Chimay – Blue
• St Bernardus Abt 12
• La Chouffe
• Duvel
• Saison DuPont
• Estrella- Inedit
• Brasserie de Saint-Sylvestre – 3 Monts

Brasserie de Saint Sylvestre – 3 Monts


With so many options there should be some very satisfied recipients this Christmas. They may even find a new favourite.


Hoppy Christmas!


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Another sunny weekend in Perth delivered the Fremantle BeerFest, WA’s largest beer festival. This years event hosted over two hundred beers over two days in the pine tree dotted park between Little Creatures Brewing Fremantle and the Esplanade Hotel.

Goodtimes arrived Sunday lunchtime with a pre-purchased ticket to a very relaxed and well organised event. Punters I talked to that attended Saturday noted that the second day was far more comfortable.

Over a thousand beer loving people attended the event which highlights the growth in craft beer and beer appreciation in general. It’s so large that the Esplanade Hotel ran ‘BeerFest’ hotel packages for the weekend that included two days admission and necessary supplies.


The Esplanade Hotel’s support pack for BeerFest guests. Picture by Palo Marron

Bands played all afternoon on the main stage and there were laughs a plenty in the Comedy Tent. The inclusion of a kids play area really made this a family friendly festival.

The free master classes from like the Seafood & Beer Matching session by Mitch from Beersine were well informative and well attended. I dropped into a session on Yeast run by the Little Creatures crew. It’s amazing how much these ‘little creatures’ contribute to the overall characters of beer.


Little Creatures ‘Yeast’ Masterclass in action.

The ‘Backyard to Bottleshop’ amateur brewing competition was supported by Gage Roads Brewing. It gives amateur brewers a chance to have their homebrew beer produced on a commercial scale.

Last years winner Jeremy Sambrooks found his ‘Rapid Fire’ American IPA in bars and bottleshops around Australia. He was also part of the judging panel for this years event. It will be interesting to see who wins this years competition.


Regular festival breweries like Feral Brewing, Little Creatures and Nail Brewing were all busy stands but it was the smaller guys that I wanted to catch up with.

The Northbridge Brewing Company presumably caught the Fremantle line train to the event with their new Mango Wheat Beer. The 100% Mango extract is being sought from a supplier in Bibra Lake and if the queues to get are any indicator it will part of the core range soon.


The Northbridge Brewing Company by Beerland’s new Mango Wheat Beer was a popular choice.

I was keen for experiences and beers it hadn’t had before like Cocktail Gastronomy Satellite Bar. This teepee tent was filled with all kinds of experimentation in crafted beer cocktails. Lab coats and Bunsen burners aside this was something really interesting and delicious.


Shaken not stirred: Beer cocktails at the Cocktail Gastronomy Satellite Bar.

As I approached the stand I wondered why the Old Brewery hasn’t been on my radar before. It has an amazing location and provenance but somehow I’ve missed its charms. That oversight was righted with a chat with Head Brewer Mark Reilly and some of his wonderful beers. The double punch of Tommahawk Dopplebock and Tommahawk IPA, both 7.2% ABV, show the high brewing level that is happening under Perth’s nose.

Interestingly the theme amongst my favourites was well crafted mid-range ABV beers. The Old Brewery’s Pale Ale was in my picks of the day. Resinous, balanced and yet clean, this is a beer I need to have more of.



The Old Brewery’s Mark Reilly with his Tommahawk Doppelbock.

I was lucky enough to meet fellow beer blogger the Beer Pilgrim.  It was great to chat with Tim about his experience traveling and writing about beer. He was also impressed by the layout and quality of the event. Hopefully we’ll bump into each other again soon.



The Beer Pilgrim and Goodtimes hard at work.

The South-West of WA was well represented. Beers from Colonial Brewing , Eagle Bay Brewing, Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co, Cowaramup and the Margaret River Ale Co were all flowing. It really shows the boom of craft beer in the South-West.



All smiles from Eagle Bay Brewing and Elliot from Mane Liquor.

The Margaret River Ale Company is a new brewery for me. Based in the iconic Settlers Tavern they produce a Pilsner, a White Ale, an IPA and the Pale Ale pictured below. The Rockin’ Pale Ale uses Pride of Ringwood and Cascade hops to create balanced, approachable beer. I could see a few of these being drunk in the Settlers Tavern courtyard!


Margaret River Ale Co’s Rockin’ Pale Ale

My beer of the day came from the Last Drop Brewery. Their Sour Cherry Saison was the perfect refresher for the warm afternoon. Little did I know it was 6.6% ABV.

Head Brewer Jan Brucker noted that they use unfermented sour cherries in a vacuum sealed process which are then added to Last Drops’ farmhouse Saison.


The Last Drop Brewery’s Sour Cherry Saison.

The Fremantle BeerFest rates as the best beer festival WA has to offer and it is already marked on the Goodtimes calendar for next year!


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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.


Plenty of action in the Wattle Room at the WA Royal Beer Show.

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.



Mane Liquor Beer Spectacular

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.


Gage Roads x Whipper Snapper “Atomic Moonshine”

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.


Fresh 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!


This is where the “Pretzel” element started.

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.


Josh (Moon Dog) and Jos (Garage Project) with Goodtimes supplied pretzels.

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!


The Homestead Beer Backpack in action.

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.


Little Creatures Single Batch Saison.

Mitch from Beersine was on hand sampling ‘Beer Cheese’ made from Feral Brewing ‘Hop Hog’, Hop Honey and a Brettanomyces fermented chilli sauce.



Mitch from Beersine with his ‘Beer Cheese’.

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!


Steggles from Bickley Valley Brewery.

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.


Sarah from Camden Town Brewery who won the unofficial ‘Best Merchandise’ award on the day with a range of stickers, hats & T-shirts.

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.


Doctor’s Orders ‘Prescription 12’ and Garage Project ‘Mecha Hop’

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.


Bob’s Bar Saturday Tap List

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.

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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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.

Feral Brewing - Hopfen Fahrt


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This spring a hop hungry monster strides out of the dark forests of Margaret River into the city to wreak havoc with the palates of beer drinkers. They call it Ryezilla!

The award winning Bootleg Brewing has collaborated with Belmont based award winning Mane Liquor for the next installment of their ‘One-off’ specialty series. Their creation is a Rye India Pale Ale (IPA) using the newly released Enigma hop.

Ryezilla as launched recently at Mane Liquor and 5ive Bar, Mt Lawley. Needless to say both venues were heaving with ‘hop heads’ keen to try this collaboration.


The beer originated from a conversation between Mane’s Elliot Moore and Josh Daley with Bootleg Brewery’s Head Brewer Ryan Nilsson-Linne. They discussed working together and the release of a new hop variety from Hop Products Australia was the perfect opportunity.

This is one of the first commercial expressions of the new Enigma hop. As such the team created a Single Hop beer to allow it to shine. The Enigma hop brings strong tropical fruit characters to Ryezilla contrasting the spicy malt base.

On their website, Hop Product Australia describe Enigma’s the initial testing’s as having characters like ‘Pinot Gris’, ‘Raspberries’ and ‘light tropical fruit’. This is certainly an enigmatical mix.

As for the malt bill, Bootleg Brewer Ryan says 15% Rye Malt was added to Pale Malt with a small amount of Wheat Malt used for body and head retention.

This recipe produces a lovely off-golden colour and spicy base for the Enigma hops to shine. The estimated 80 IBU’s are present but doesn’t overwhelm the malt base.

As the ‘One-off’ series name suggests this is a limited release beer. Get this monster while you can  from Mane Liquor and Bootleg Brewing.


Ryezilla Bottle


Rye IPA with Enigma hops
6.1% ABV
Liberal use of the new Enigma hop create aroma’s of light fruit salad, Passionfruit and berries.
Tasting shows some initial malt sweetness before spiciness from the Rye counterpoints this, coming through mid-palate and leading to a dry finish. There is lightness to this IPA that’s really enjoyable.
Delicious stuff!


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NAIL BREWING: John Stallwood talks about Clout Stout and Clayden Brew

Nail Brewing 'Clout Stout' x 'Clayden Brew'


As the cold nights of the past winter were lashed with rain and storms I have been kept warm by a rich, dark nectar. Strong and a little on the sweet side, this beer has its origins in one of Australia’s most celebrated and expensive beers, Nail Brewing’s ‘Clout Stout’.
Initially I was unaware of its pedigree however soon comments on social media linked Clayden Brew Imperial Porter to its esteemed sibling.
In order to understand how this came about I caught up with Nail Brewing’s owner and head brewer, John Stallwood. John was warm, funny and very open about the challenges he faces.
Not only did I uncover answers to this question but I learnt a lot more about Nail, the friendly sibling rivalry with Nail’s ’brother brewery’ and a little something about a planned anti-collaboration release.

Although relatively young, Nail’s ‘Clout Stout’ has become an icon of Australian Brewing. How did this big, beautiful beer come about?
“Originally we did it for Nail’s tenth birthday. We did three hundred bottles. It turned out really good. Moo Brew (Imperial Stout) and Boris (Feral Brewing) were the good reasons for doing it and the fact that Nail Stout was one of Nail’s core beers. We only had Nail Pale Ale and Nail Stout part-time”.
“For ten years we pretty much concentrated on Nail Ale and we actually perfected it at a time where it got Gold in 2008, 2009 and 2010, three years in a row at the Australian Beer Awards where there only had been given another gold to an Australian Pale Ale which is Coopers Pale. So it was all I did at one stage but Nail Stout we would do every now and again over those ten years”.
“So Clout Stout was a good beer to choose for the celebrations and something that I wanted to, I needed to make money from because I wasn’t making money and I needed to make a mark for the tenth anniversary. Not many breweries are ten years old”
“Excise laws were even tougher back then and I was lucky to brew at Edith Cowan. They would get the Excise Rebate so I could brew over 10000 litres”.
“Brendan O’Sullivan who now works at Josie Bones (now closed) was a student at Edith Cowan while I was brewing there. He’s got a good mind and I got good advice from him”.
“I hadn’t brewed anything that was high alcohol. I would say “this is four weeks old and this isn’t looking too good” and he educated us a lot which is good, a young student educating me. He’d say “Give it time, give it time” and it was a slightly low carbonation but probably one of the best beers I’ve brewed, Clout Stout 2010”.
“If you can find a bottle around you’ll be lucky. I actually ended up buying bottles back from Purvis in Melbourne to learn from. I bought some and had them sent back across the Nullabour. So it’s been across the Nullabour twice!”.


Have you tried the original 2010 version recently?
“I don’t have it much. Actually I haven’t had it in 18 months, I’m overdue for it. Imperial Stouts are an ageing beer. I’ve gotta drink every bottle I brew for the next ten years to really understand it because they change”.
“When you spend $90 on a bottle of beer you want to know when to drink it. People say ‘how long should I keep it for?’. I don’t know how long you should keep it for because each batch does change”.
“Master Brewer Tim O’Rourke (Brilliant Beer Technical Training) from the UK, he came over (to Australia) and said ‘most Imperial Stouts you can keep for ten years’ and I was like ‘Keep a beer for ten years?’. That shocked me”.


So how did you settle on the Russian Imperial Stout style as the tenth birthday beer?
“Nail and Feral are like brother breweries. Feral and Nail are very competitive towards each other so whatever I say in the next amount of time I will give a lot of shit to Feral but that’s because we are brother breweries but I won’t give them shit for this one”.
“Nail Stout was originally the beer that won lots of awards and then Feral brought out Boris and then Moo Brew brought out an Imperial Stout as well. I can remember thinking with the Moo Brew one ‘Wow, that’s a lot of money for a beer’. I love both of them”.
“Brendan’s a great brewer but I brew better beer. I got some advice from him and it’s probably wrong but beers like Boris really hit me”
“Beers like Nail Stout were one of my strongholds so I wanted to brew a revved up Nail Stout and also be able to make money from it”


At over $80 a 750ml bottle, Clout Stout is admired but is does come with a price tag to match. Can you let me know more about how you positioned Clout in the market place?
“Clout Stout is a very expensive beer for all different reasons but it is hard to sell an expensive beer and people do complain about the price”
“I’ll answer this in many ways. If you were selling a car would you sell it for $8000 or $20000?”
You would sell it at your best price.
“That’s one reason but then again you’ve got to be able to sell it and have people that are able to feel happy. You don’t want to sell a car and get consumer affairs on to you or whatever. You want you to be able to buy that car again”.
“I’ve never really had anyone complain that’s bought it which is a good thing”
“Every year I think I’m nearly getting to the level to be financially stable. Clout Stout helps dig me out of that hole a little bit. It’s the only beer I really make money from and even though it’s hard work and I wouldn’t want to brew it all the time”

Nail Brewing Clayden Brew Imperial Porter

Clout Stout was released in 2010, 2011 and 2012. What happened to the 2013 vintage?
“There’s also a lot of pressure brewing this beer which is where Clayden Brew comes about”.
“Clout Stout won gold at 2012 and 2013 Australian National Beer Awards and Champion Beer and the only Gold at the Sydney Royal Beer Competition and it puts a lot of pressure on you to brew another good one and I felt some much pressure that I felt “I don’t want to fuck this up” because it’s got such a big name for such a low volume beer you need to keep the perfection”
“Last year I did one batch and it was … I don’t know whether I had shaky knees or whatever”.
“I did another one and they weren’t quite … the main reason was they weren’t quite the high alcohol because Clout has to be ten plus (ABV). I’d never added sugars except for priming so I didn’t have the alcohol reading so I blended the two and that became Clayden Brew. My son’s name is Clayden Brew Stallwood and it’s the Brew Log collection number three. There will be more of them in the future”.
“There not many beers that have such a high terminal gravity yet such a high alcohol. I bottled it six months ago and I’ve been drinking it not every day but a lot. Maybe a couple of bottles a day”
“After drinking one of these you think ‘what do I drink next?”
“It’s a mini Clout Stout. Clout Light. And it will happen again”
“It’s actually a lot easier to do a Clayden Brew than a Clout Stout”.


So will there be a 2014 Clout Stout?
We’ve already got 600 bottles of Clout and packaging arrives next week then we’ve got to hand label them.

Nail Brewing Clout Stout Label

The packaging for Clout Stout is very iconic how did that come about?
“That was one of the easy packaging ideas where Nick Rawlings, he’s a good mate, I said I’ve got these 750ml bottles, 300 of them, and at low volume not many people help you with things like that but he’s a mate”.
“He said I’ll sort it out and I said “I want a pewter looking label in a box and he came up with the label with the Nail straight down”


You touched on Excise Tax earlier. Can you share your thoughts on it?
“Excise is a big problem in beer. Some weeks I pay more Excise than I earn in a year and that doesn’t seem right does it. I’m doing my dream but I want to appreciate the moments rather than look back and go ‘uhhh’. I can see the light and I’m probably three years away but I want to appreciate the moments because I don’t want to look back because I was stressed and had all these problems. So brewing is a dream job but it’s a nightmare to live it”
“I think all brewery owners are the ones that have the suffering. Everyone thinks that they’ve got lots of money where they actually just work hard and make, hopefully, lots of beer but don’t actually get time off”
“Some of the older ones now are getting their rewards. That makes ones like myself see the light. They are the ones that I bow to, the leaders like Feral”.
“There’s a lot that are starting that think that they are on the easy road but it’s a long road. It’s enjoyable but you’ve gotta love it otherwise you’re fucked”.

Nail Brewery
The Moo Brew Imperial Stout gets barrel aged in used Moorilla Winery barrels. Have you thought about a barrel ageing project for Clout?
“Brendan (Varis) is good at that but one of the problems I have at the moment is time. Now we have started to get a couple of good people working for Nail that will make things like that easier. They are eager and enthusiastic and someone that I could say “let’s go and do something with that Clout Stout in a barrel” and I think they’d jump to it but I haven’t had that opportunity before”.
“It will come and that’s part of the good thing about being able to share a brewery with Brendan is being able to do stuff like that and being able to get advice from our brother brewery”.
“We are very competitive and there is a beer coming out in the next three months and the best I can say now is it’s the opposite of a collaboration brew”.


Very interesting! Any other news from Nail Brew Log Series?
“The first one did was the ‘Hugh Dunn Brown Ale’ and while we were waiting for the labels to happen we had the malt so we brewed an Imperial Brown called the Hughe Dunn. That’s the one that’s had good dominance in Porter Trophy’s in Adelaide and Melbourne and now we’re making it part of the core range”.
“It’s not a beer that will do great volume. It’s a real specialty beer that’s something that’s not too conflicting. It’s a malt based and a high alcohol beer”.



Clout Stout 2011
Russian Imperial Stout
10.6% ABV
This pours BLACK. No light passes even the edges of the glass.
Aromas of molassus, raisins, burnt fruit cake, liquorice and alcohol at start this massively complex beer.
Full feel is full with a rich viscousity.
Chocolate, treacle, figs and slightly burnt caramel are enveloped around a boozey alcohol.
This alcohol rises to a warming finish.
A stunning beer!

The 2012 & 2014 vintages were also sampled. Each has it’s own nuance and a vertical tasting would be an wonderful proposition.

Clayden Brew
Imperial Porter
8.5% ABV
This pours black with a dark ruby to brown tinge at the edges.
Caramel and burnt sugar aromas makes me think of sideshow alley. Coffee and a hazelnut-like aromas are also present.
Flavours of light licorice, chocolate and fig show through the a rich malt base. There is a slight oiliness too.
This lacks the depth of Clout when tasted side-by-side but on it’s own it punches well above it’s weight.
Given that is 10% of it’s siblings price, this is recommend for anyone with even a passing interest in trying Clout Stout.
Delicious and affordable.


Nail Brewing ‘Clout Stout 2014’ will be available in the next few months. Previous vintages are still available in specialist Liquor retailers and select Dan Murphy’s stores.

Nail Brewing ‘Clayden Brew Imperial Porter’ is still available in limited quantities from specialist Liquor retailers.


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NBC Street Front

New craft beer taps are pouring in Northbridge!

Wednesday this week the Northbridge Brewing Company poured its first beer bringing together seven years of work on a  multipurpose venue in the heart of Northbridge.

The $800,000 build includes the state-of-the-art onsite brewery, multiple levels including a “Skydeck” and recycled wood from the old Perry Lakes Stadium. The outdoor terrace overlooking the Northbridge Piazza is the perfect place for a beer on a sunny day.

The appointment of Ken Arrowsmith, previously an icon of the Swan Brewery, as the Head Brewer adds curiosity and credibility to this new venture.

Northbridge Brewing Company Beer Terrace

Keen to find out more I asked Northbridge Brewing Company Venue Manager, Natasha Stickland about the past, present and future of the NBC.

How did the team come together to create Beerland and the Northbridge Brewing Co?

“With an extensive portfolio of hospitality assets, the team has long recognised Western Australia as the home of the craft beer revolution in Australia and had the vision to create an accessible hospitality venue where exceptionally well made craft beer was the focus.”

“We were very fortunate that the team managed to convince Ken Arrowsmith that it was time to resurface and put his Master Brewer’s hat back on to create his first commercial beer in at least five years. Luckily for us, one of our Directors went to school with Ken!”

Ken Arrowsmith hard at work.

Beerland Pale Ale, Beerland Lager, Beerland Mild and Beerland Wheat beer have been released as the core range. Are there plans to extend this range or add seasonal beers?

“In addition to our current core range, we will also produce limited edition seasonal brews – it would be fair to say that an IPA is high on our list, as is a German Festival beer. The list is endless and we look forward to engaging with our customers to make beers they have always wanted to try.”

“NBC has one of the most advanced breweries for its size in Australia. We utilise a step-wise infusion process and a full reverse osmosis water treatment plant which provides extra flexibility to fine tune the characteristics of our beer, particularly in the hands of our Master Brewer.”

Has there been an important influence on the development of the brewery?

“Yes, the support of Lord Mayor, Lisa Scaffidi, City of Perth Councillors and senior staff there.
While we had the concept to provide a relaxed environment opening out over the green grass of the Northbridge Piazza, it was the support of the City of Perth which has helped to bring our concept to life.”

“Watching the development of the hospitality industry and the passion that people have for well-made beer has certainly been influential.”

The taps are pouring at the Northbridge Brewing Company.

The taps are pouring at the Northbridge Brewing Company.

Seven years is a long time to get the brewery up an running. What was the process to get the site like?

“It has been a long haul, however now we have a fully functional brewery, a sensational, dedicated team of hospitality professionals and a venue capable of hosting up to 500 people, we are only looking forward.”

“Let’s just say we appreciate the support that we have seen since we started and it will be worth the wait!”

What are your hopes for the Brewery especially given it’s a block from the new Perth City Link and in the heart of Northbridge?

“We have always enjoyed the experience of going to small breweries and trying these fantastic, world class craft beers made by passionate brewers. But in WA this is really something that is limited to day trips to the Swan Valley or down to the Margaret River and Dunsborough region.”

“We will be aiming to provide a similar experience right in the heart of the Northbridge.”

“At NBC we have a full bar, including other people’s beer – we recognise that not everyone likes craft beer, but they can still enjoy the NBC experience. Importantly we also believe that our beers stand up to some of the best in the game, so we are not shy to stand them side by side with other great beer labels.”

“We hope that being accessible in terms of our offering and location will draw more people into our take on the craft beer experience, where we hope they will be bold and take advantage of our beer offering.”

The view from the Northridge Brewing Company Skydeck.

Where do you see Australian Craft beer in five years time?

“Western Australians love a good craft beer and we only see this continuing to improve. We have watched tastes change and believe that beer drinkers will continue to trade quantity for quality, particularly in WA where there is a lot of great choice.”

“At NBC, we cater to every beer drinker, whether you are a beer aficionado, a novice hoping to
increase your product knowledge or people who just share a love for the amber liquid and we will be doing our part to drive the craft beer sector further.”

Does the Northbridge Brewing Company  have a bottling or canning plan for the coming years?

“At the moment our focus is providing exceptionally well-made beer which is only available over the bar, straight from the tank.”

What are the game changing beers that have inspired Ken Arrowsmith and Beerland?

“Our Master Brewer, Ken will tell you he has a broad palate for beer and that his favourite beer is the next beer he tastes!”

“In fact Ken believes there are very few bad beers, it’s just a preference of taste.”



Further information can be found at and on Facebook.

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