Monday, 13 June 2016

Two Small Things I Wish All Venues Would Do

People that have met me know that I'm a pretty positive person and not prone to having a serious whinge all that often, but there's two little things that I wish all craft beer venues would do.

1. Put the beer prices somewhere that's easy to see. Be it a board behind the bar, a sheet of paper on the bar, a menu at the tables. Somewhere. I'm not a poor man but I like to make my money go as far as possible and being able to plan beer purchases while out and about helps a lot.

2. Pop your tap list on Now Tapped. I've routinely popped into venues just because I've seen there is something I want to try or something I've had before and really enjoyed. I don't know if Now Tapped requires an outlay for the venue, nor do I know if there are many others out there like me that use it but the more info I have the happier I am and more likely I am to visit a venue.

That's all :)

Thanks for reading, and as always, drink well.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Chasing White Whales

Today I realised something about my craft beer hobby. It's not just a hobby now, it's an obsession.

A lot of my incoming beer data comes from Instagram. And I follow my fair share of American Instagram accounts (be that breweries, liquor stores, personal accounts etc). A beer that I've seen pop up a lot in the past few months is Founders KBS.

Now Founders KBS has intrigued me because...
1. It's an imperial stout that's been aged in bourbon barrels with chocolate and coffee.
2. I would see pictures of it multiple times a day on Instagram. KBS day creates a flood of Instagram content.
3. Rate beer has it sitting at 100/100.

Reason #1 is enough for me to be interested in it, but #2 and #3 are the icing on the cake (or the stout in the bourbon barrel if you may).

Fast forward to today at 2:00pm today. I see on Instagram that a local bottleshop has just got Founders KBS. A quick message and a bottle has been set aside (saving me from having to leave early). Left work at normal time and made my way there. While walking I realised I was way too excited for a beer? I felt like a kid the day before Christmas. Proper excitement. What have I become?

90 Minute IPA. Done!

It's embarrassing but I now plan outings with mates (that aren't as 'crafty') with the goal of making sure we go to craft beer venues. They sometimes mind, they sometimes don't. I've found the trick is to not start at a craft beer venue and move them to one. Especially if the venue has Connect 4.

Victory at Sea. Done!

My poor wife also has to put up with me standing in bottleshops, just staring at shelves for way too long. And the last two family outings (Mothers Day and Birthday) I've suggested we go to Newstead Brewing Co, and we did. Everyone had a great time because it's an awesome venue, but lately it seems to be all about me and my craft beer hobby.

Grapefruit Sculpin. Done!

Saying all that too, I'm not changing. Not going back to macro beers. Good beer might be more expensive, but the craft beer community is awesome, and craft beers themselves are even more awesome. I think I'll be doing this for a very long time.

Thanks for reading, and as always, drink well.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Favourite New (to me) Beer - May 2016

The months seem to fly by so quickly at the moment. There is literally new beers, new venues, kick ass events or other random things happening every day in Brisbane. It's a great time to be a craft beer drinker up here (even if we don't get our own Instagram-feed-spamming GABS event, maybe one year).

An interesting thing has happened in the world of craft beer (that I'm not really sure of my opinion on) and that is you can now get Ballast Point Sculpin and Grapefruit Sculpin legitimately in Dan Murphy's bottle shops. I'm drinking a Sculpin right now. On one hand, I'm glad that these two great beers will be much more accessible than they used to be. But on the other hand I like shopping at independent bottle shops and local breweries and would prefer my money goes there.

We all also know that Ballast Point "sold out" last year. How that affects beer purchasing decisions is obviously up to the punter, but BrewDog  have let us know how they feel about it. Would this deal with Dan Murphy's have happened if Ballast Point hadn't been sold to Constellation? Who knows? Do we care? 

It also brings up something else. Around my circle of beer friends Grapefruit Sculpin is seen as a beer that is put on a much higher pedestal than it deserves. Often it's cited that there are beers brewed locally that are much better. I don't disagree with that point at all, but I'm a fan of grapefruit IPA's and will actively go out of my way to try them. So this is good for me.

As for new beers go, there's been some crackers this month.

Favourite beer of May 2016 is....

Molotov Cocktail Heavy by Eviltwin Brewing. A monster of a beer coming in at 17.2% ABV, it's not just a beer that's delicious but an experience as well. It's not often one gets a chance to have a beer with double digit percentages, and this is well into that territory. I was surprised by how balanced Molotov Heavy was too. And such a puckering fruitiness that came through. Delicious.

Same day as the Molotov share I got to try The Kraken from Bacchus Brewing Co. Actually surprised I hadn't had this before and it didn't disappoint. A really nice vanilla and toffee flavour came through the bitterness of the IPA. Hope to get there and have it on tap some time soon.

Lastly, the Continuous Daryl by Mornington Peninsula Brewery was on tap at The Mill on Constance and it was delicious. A spot on IIPA that ticket all the boxes. Plus happy hour at The Mill is something to behold. Get there!

That's enough on the keyboard for a day. Thanks for reading, and as always, drink well.