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Tag: Northbridge Brewing Company

NBC Chilli Beer Launch

NBC Chilli Beer with 18" Heatseeker Sub

NBC Chilli Beer with 18″ Heatseeker Sub

Somewhat fresh off the plane from Good Beer Week Melbourne, Goodtimes ploughed head on into the new Northbridge Brewing Company ‘Chilli Beer’. The beer was launched this afternoon as part of the NBC’s Chilli week that includes a themed food menu that the NBC is becoming famous for.

The Chilli beer is based on the NBC Lager with added Birds Eye chilli’s that were donated by local hot sauce maker Firehorse. Admittedly, it’s not a style of beer that I would normally drink however I do love chilli. Tasting shows the a chilli heat that is drinkable and has touches of capsicum sweetness.

NBC Chilli Week Menu

NBC Chilli Week Menu

NBC Chilli week also showcases a range of palate punishing dishes from Chilli Buffalo Wings, Sloppy José Burgers and an 18″ Heatseeker Meatball sub that has all of the Firehorse sauces in ascending heat. The real fun to had with friends is the Russian Roulette Sliders.

Who will get the Trinadad Scorpion, the second hottest chilli in the world,  hot sauce slider?

NBC Chilli Beer and Buffalo Wings

NBC Chilli Beer and Buffalo Wings

I thought that washing down hot food with a chilli beer would be a challenge but with a group of friends this quickly had tables filled with riotous laughter and sweaty brows. This can be shared through the event hashtag #NBCchilliface and the Goodtimes chilli face can be experience can be found on Instagram.

The NBC Chilli week runs until the Monday 1st June and as a bonus the palete cleansing, limited release NBC Saison is still available on tap.

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NORTHBRIDGE BREWING COMPANY: IPA

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Northbridge Brewing Company IPA

Recently Goodtimes was invited to the launch of the new seasonal from the Northbridge Brewing Company (NBC). The 7% Indian Pale Ale (IPA) had been on tap for a week and this was a great chance to learn more about it from Head Brewer Ken Arrowsmith.

The third floor Sky Deck was the perfect location for a couple of hours of hop-head heaven. As the sun set Ken worked the crowd with  the history and brewing techniques that centred around hops.  This included a flight of seven beers finishing with the new NBC IPA.

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The sun sets on the Northbridge Brewing Company Skydeck.

The first beer tasted was Tuatara’s ‘Pilsner’ which showcases the New Zealand Pacific Jade, Motueka, Riwaka, Nelson Sauvin hop varieties. This beer was included to highlight the seasonality of hop growing as well as to highlight the classic Pilsner style. Previous to establishing Southern Hemisphere hop growing regions, Northern hemisphere brewers were limited to just one harvest a year.

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Master Brewer Ken Arrowsmith sharing his hop knowledge.

Mash Brewing’s English style ‘Challenger IPA’ followed showing a modern yet English leaning take on the classic style. Although recent fame has been for their ‘Copy Cat” American style IPA, this beer can certainly hold its own. In many ways it’s a more approachable beer for those new to hoppy beers.

Next up was British brewery Youngs with their ‘Special Ale’. The Special Ale was brimming with classic fruity characters from the Fuggles and Goldings hops. This fruitiness was supported by the honey and caramel from the Maris Otter and Crystal malts. I’m sure this has many fans in its homeland but I’m not one.

Before the run of modern IPA’s commenced pipping hot pizza’s, arancini balls and mini Burgers were delivered to the tables. These continued throughout the night. I’ve eaten at the NBC quite a few times and it has to be one of the best kitchens in Perth for casual dining.

Stone & Wood ‘Pacific Ale’ heralded a shift into more contemporary territory. This is a beautiful, 4.4% ABV beer that was that has it’s origins in Byron Bay on the NSW north coast. It’s unfiltered and uses the Australian Galaxy hop which creates summery passionfruit aromas. Pacific Ale is consistently rated in the top two Australian beers.

Feral Brewing’ ‘Hop Hog’ is the beer that takes the number one position. As the tasting were being handed out more than half the audience had worked out what we are about to taste. This shows not only the prevalence and respect for this beer but also the changing tastes  of Australian beer drinkers. It’s a classic.

Things stepped up from there with New Zealand brewery Epic’s ‘Hop Zombie’. Before tasting Ken noted that this was one of his favourite beers and it’s easy to see why a hop-head would love it. Hop Zombie is an 8% ABV Double IPA – that is a massively scaled up version of an IPA.  It’s inspiration comes from one of the original Double IPA’s, River River Brewing’s ‘Pliny, the Edler. Both of these beers are very balanced and drinkable, even at 8% ABV and with 80 International Bitterness Units.

Finally it was time for the new Northbridge Brewing Company IPA to be sampled. Ken had a few words to say about it but really wanted to let the beer do the talking. The IPA uses classic American hops (Cascade, Centennial & Chinook) with an addition of Galaxy hops. This is then dry-hopped with the resinous Amarillo & Centennial hops.

With its assertive bitterness and solid malt backbone, Ken has created a wonderful expression of a classic beer style. This will be quite a step up for the novice beer drinker from a Pale Ale or even the less assertive ‘Hop Hog’.  Given this is a one-off anyone wanting to try it is advised to get to the Northbridge Brewing Company soon.

http://www.northbridgebrewingco.com.au/

 

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FREMANTLE BEERFEST 2014

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

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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.

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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!

 

http://fremantle.beerfestivals.com.au/

 

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