This post is the first of many to come reviewing beer and cider festivals. If we go to a festival, we’ll try to get the post up as soon as we can after the event. We also welcome a new writer, Dr Minnie. The good Doctor is fairly new to the craft beer world, but really enjoys her beers, especially her IPAs and dark beers. She also happens to be my fiancee (and soon to be wife).
Event: Perth Craft Beer Fest 2016
Where: The Bar Pop Urban Orchard, Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge
Date: 4th- 6th November 2016
|Feral Brewing Co
|Australian Beer Co
|Stone & Wood
|Colonial Brewing Co
|Cheeky Monkey Brewing
|4 Pines Brewing
|Northbridge Brewing Co
|Batlow Cider Co
|Big Shed Brewing
|Custard & Co Ciders
Perth Craft Beer Festival
With so many boozy festivals around these days – pork and cider, beer and beef, Freo beer festival, the list goes on – it is tempting to say the least to try to get to anything and everything. But if you’re like us, even having lived in Perth 5 years now and despite the exploding number of fantastic beers within the growing brewing industry, the events themselves can be rather bittersweet and outright disappointing. Long queues, the same old food trucks, overpriced everything and jammed packed with people.
Scoopon had a fantastic deal for this event and I bought us tickets as a surprise, it was a gamble I was willing to take. Come on, an afternoon of drinking craft beer is always a win at the end of the day. We even got credit on our electronic currency cards with the deal so it ended up very affordable!
We weren’t quite sure what to expect. Let’s just say we were completely blown away and surprised at how well the event was organised and its awesome atmosphere. Top notch selection of over 30 breweries with everything from the regulars to the weird and wonderful, bordering on experimental beers – it was fantastic. The electronic currency card system worked a treat with no longer than a few minutes to get some of that golden goodness straight from the kegs. The food stalls there were epitome of beer food, definitely a step up from the usual hotdogs and fries. Lot Twenty. Wok Street Chow House, O Five, Clarences and Old Faithful pumping out great American BBQ pit meats, sliders, Asian classics and other top notch grub.
Best of all, the people there and the atmosphere is what made it the best (apart from the beer of course). No hippy drunkards there to enjoy some cheap beer samples, these guys were serious about beer and you could see it in their eyes – the pure pleasure of the brewy goodness in their bellies. Such a chilled afternoon with seriously good DJ, it made the beer tasting experience even better.
Without further ado, let’s go straight to the heart of it all – the beers.
Top Craft Beer No.5. – 4 Pines Brewing, Pale Ale (Brookvale, NSW)
Style: American Pale Ale, 5.1% ABV
Bittering hops: Simcoe, Finishing Hops: Cascade, Amarillo and Citra, 35 IBU
Malts: Ale, Wheat, Munich and Crystal.
Impression: What you’d expect from a pale ale. No words to describe but it is what it is – classic. Flavourful hops, malty and creamy melon enough to haunt you and finish with a clean taste.
Top Craft Beer No.4. – Mash Brewing, Russell American Amber Ale (Swan Valley, WA)
Style: American Amber Ale, 4.5 % ABV
Impression: Beautiful amber colour with citrus and passionfruit nose with roasted caramel and biscuity backbone. Clean bitter finish. Alluring golden creamy head. Wish I had some crispy pork crackling at the time. Dry hopped. Love it because of its uniqueness.
Top Craft Beer No.3. – Little Creatures, Single Batch Series Very Hoppy Ale (Fremantle, WA)
Style: Double IPA, 7.7 % ABV
Hops: Cascade, Chinook, Columbus, Ella, Citra, Centennial, Simcoe, 60 IBU
Impression: Aroma is like the smell of hops on a warm Sunday afternoon. Smooth start, not what you’d expect from its bold hoppy name, but as you give it a swirl in your mouth and down your battle-worn boozy oesophagus, BAM the hops hit you. Just the right amount of hops, complex enough to blow your mouth with hints of passion fruit and grapefruit. Surprisingly nice soft finish.
Top Craft Beer No.2. – Mountain Goat, Captain Amylase Rum Porter (Richmond, VIC)
Style: Imperial porter, 7.7% ABV
Hops: Traditional Goldings and Fuggles hops, Super Pride of Ringwood
Impression: Not many dark beers seen at this fest, first one I tried here and oh wow. Aromas of creamy, earthy, chocolate malt and the flavours of toasty caramel syrupy goodness hooks you right in. Sincere tribute to amylase. Just the right pinch of bitterness. Haunting, lingering finish. I want steak, stat. Pretty much the best porter I’ve ever had.
Top Craft Beer No.1. – Pirate Life Brewing, HOPCO NZ Pale Ale (Hindmarsh, SA)
Style: American IPA, 4.8 % ABV
Hops: NZ Cascade, Motueka, Pacifica
Malt: Munich, Pale
Impression: Made in collaboration with Tasmania-based family-owned hop distributor HOPCO. Beer made with lots of love and LOTS of NZ hops. Reminds me of spring, crack open a can and you’re in hop lovers paradise. Just enough to tantalise your senses and goes down with a bang. Aromas of nectarine and lemon, silvery bright malt flavour with hops that accentuates the bitterness. Draws you in to a whole new world of hops. Lingering finish.
Score: Tried my hardest not to be biased being a kiwi, but 8.5/10
Class of its own – Big Shed Brewing, Golden Stout Time (Royal Park, SA)
Style: Sweet stout, 5.4 % ABV
Malt: Roast malt, crystal malt and base malt.
Impression: Brewed like their usual stout with extracts of honeycomb, caramel and vanilla. My sweet tooth recognised my fave Aussie ice cream, Golden Gaytime. Medium-bodied, chocolatey caramel, delicious dessert beer. High level of residual sweetness to balance out the bitterness of the stout. Had an awesome chat with the brewer and co-founder Craig an inspirational brewer true to the core of start-up brewing.
Nigel’s Favourite – White Rabbit, Red Ale (Geelong, VIC)
Style: Flanders Red Ale, 4.9% ABV
Yeasts: 13 different strains of yeast, lactobacillus, Pediococcus and Brettonamyces
Impression: White Rabbit’s take on a Flanders Red. A great sour beer with huge complexity from the barrel-aged. Apparently each barrel is slightly different; some very sour, some more funky. All perfectly blended to create a complex and effervescent beer that really refreshes. As good and as fine as any great wine you could ever find.
Well there you have it! My first post! I hope you liked