Saturday, 4 June 2016


Untappd Catchup

Good Beer Week has been and gone for another year. Once again it absolutely smashed it out of the ballpark; living up to the "Bigger than Christmas" hype. I got to the most events I ever have, met a heap of great people and had so many great beers!

This Untappd Catchup should give you a good insight into my week, I think all bar one event (and a Pint of Origin or two...) had a badge earned. I'd love to hear feedback from you guys about what you did, especially if you've got any unmissable events for next year!

Considering how many badges I've got for you, I've decided to reprise this Untappd Catchup posting style. I last used this after my Europe trip last year. There's not quite as many badges as that day, but there's certainly a lot! I'd love to know your thoughts on this, I'm considering moving to a monthly one of these to wrap up the badges I don't write full reviews for. Anyway, time to get into it!

My badge-whoring tendencies returned on first Friday of Good Beer Week. I'd been out at Brother Burger (South Yarra) for the regional NSW Pint of Origin event and a delicious burger. I knew I had Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen in the fridge and was aware that it was the last day to get the Hefe Day (2016) badge. Naturally I tried it, but for such a hyped Hefeweizen I was quite disappointed. It was bland and flavourless. It's possible it didn't travel well, but it did nothing for me.

After the success of last year, there was no way Lizzie and I were missing the Brew vs Cru event at Vue de Monde. This year's beer guest was Stone Brewing, a very big name and one of my favourite brewers. You know you're at a serious beer event when you get served a big Belgian Strong Pale Ale/Tripel to kick things off... The beer that unlocked Land of the Free (Level 50), was Drew & Steve's Imperial Mutt Brown Ale.

Drew & Steve's Imperial Mutt Brown Ale also unlocked Brewnette's Have More Fun (Level 6). I've always passed this beer by for a number of reasons including price. Getting to try this wonderful Brown Ale in the presence of Steve Wagner, who talked at length about this beer, was a wonderful experience. This is an unmissable event for me, the food is superb, as are the beers and wines - as evidenced by wine taking out the win this year,

Hopped Up is a badge that you'd all be familiar with considering how often I unlock it. Stone's Americano Stout, also at Vue de Monde, reminded us that most big stouts have more than 65 IBU's and unlocked (Level 35). Panhead's Weedeater a wet hopped rye IPA at Alehouse Project unlocked (Level 36), while Wolf of the Willows Homage IPA unlocked (Level 37) but had an unusual aftertaste that dragged it down a little for me.

After Vue de Monde we headed to Boilermaker House ostensibly to have some Feral Watermelon Warhead. Being there I couldn't help but try a few of the rarer Feral offerings. Feral's Rust, a Dubbel, unlocked Dubbel, Tripel and Quad Oh My! (Level 4). I don't actually remember how this tasted, but going from my Untappd notes; it was quite malty, there was plenty of dark fruit, a little bit of orange peel as well as heaps of ginger - something I'm surprised about.

Pucker Up, the badge for sour beers is another one you should be familiar with. Two Metre Tall's Soured Wild Plum Ale Barrel Aged unlocked (Level 32) at a Two Metre Tall event at Fox in the Corn, which was incredible. Beavertown's Pom Pom Phantom (Level 33) followed at Dr Morse's sour tap takeover. Bacchus' GABS People's Choice winner Peanut Brittle Gose was (Level 34), while Brooklyn's K is for Kriek did for (Level 35). That is a beer I will take more about later, simply superb!

Another sour beer; Le Trou du Diable's Dulcis Succubus unlocked The Great White North (Level 3). Beer Deluxe Hawthorn had Pint of Origin Canada on, and as we don't get much Canadian stuff out here I had to check it out. This was a really interesting sour, with white wine notes dominating the flavour. I thought it was lacking a bit of acidity to be really exceptional, but I really enjoyed it. Ransack the Universe IPA from Collective Arts Brewing was my pick of the bunch.

Tuesday's Boatrocker event at Uncle, a modern Vietnamese restaurant in St Kilda, passed without a badge being earned. Wednesday rolled around and LoverBeer's BeerBrugna, a beer Cantillon brewmaster Jean van Roy recently said is one of five beers people should drink before they die, unlocked The Gondolier (Level 11). I didn't know much about this beer at the time, including was Jean van Roy said, and was in love with it! It had nice acidity, I couldn't quite place the fruit flavour at the time - plum makes sense on that front - and it was incredibly moorish! I'll be buying more of this!

Drink Like a Kiwi had two levels earned through GBW. Panhead's Weedeater, a beer I've already spoken about above, unlocked (Level 28). The second beer was Funk Estate's Red Renegade IPA (Level 29). It was a really interesting beer, with plenty of caramel malts, a hint of smokiness and plenty of tropical fruit hop bitterness. If it had a little more body, I think it would've been a truly spectacular beer! As it was; it paired beautifully with my homemade goulash!

Trip to the Farm (Level 14) was unlocked by Panhead's Greasy Monk at Alehouse Project. I thought this beer was more of a Belgian Strong Golden Ale rather than a Saison, but that's semantics I suppose now that the badge is unlocked. The beer was very tasty, with plenty of farmhouse funk and sweet malts. This was at the start of quite a big night so my memories of this are a little sketchy...
Beer Here's Dead Cat was the first beer at Atticus Finch's Viking Beer vs Pig event to unlock a badge; Paint the Town Red (Level 6). This was a seriously good event, they plied you with beers and wonderful meat - I'll be marking this one down for next year. It's a beer that is quite different to how I remember; it was slightly smokey with interesting herbal characteristics - no sign of the hops I remember this beer for.

One of the beers from the Amager collaboration series unlocked Down in Smoke (Level 2). The beer was "The Amazing Gotland Campfire Beer", a Smoked/ Rauchbier brewed with Malmö Brewing Company. Funnily enough it was wonderfully smokey, and it only improved as it warmed - it paired sensationally with the Wedding Sausage. It's a beer that I was very happy to try at an event like this, I would never have got through a 500ml bottle by myself.

As expected, Danish Delight (Level 4) was unlocked at the Viking Beer vs Pig event. Another Beer Here beer; Dark Hops, was the beer. It's a Black IPA, that I first tried years ago. I don't know why I don't drink this beer more ofter; it strikes a fantastic balance between roasty malts and citrus hop bite - all with this creamy mouthfeel that is just sublime.

In part due to my illness at GABS, the Heavy Weight badge only got unlocked twice throughout GBW. The honour of (Level 41) went to To Øl's By Udder Means, also at the Viking Beer vs Pig event. It was a milk stout with lovely sweetness and a little citrus. Boatrocker's Roger Ramjet's Breakfast, the coffee infused version,, was sensational and worthy of (Level 42).

The first beer I had at GABS to unlock a badge was Deep Creek's Green & Gold. I'd never heard of the brewery before, apparently they're a very small brewery from New Zealand. This was a a pretty straight up and down Gose, with citrus, salt and tartness all present, although a little light on. There is some hint of raw alcohol, that I'm guessing was from the added Tequilla. What Gose Around (Level 2) was the badge.

The Boatrocker Rarities event at Carwyn pitted Boatrocker against some of the most hyped beers in the world. They stood up surprisingly well, even coming out on top for me on a couple of occassions. The De Struise XXX Rye Triple Reserva Boubon Barrel Aged Quad was an incredible beer! It unlocked Belgian Holiday (Level 27) and had flavours of raisins, peppery rye and bourbon.

That same event also featured the famed Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS). When I saw this beer on the list, alongside Cantillon's Fou Foune, I knew there was no way I could miss this event. It's a monstrous 11.2% stout that is aged in bourbon barrels for a year after being brewed. This check-in unlocked the American Craft Beer Week (2016) badge.

My second KBS (I mean, I had to have more than 1!) also unlocked Beer City Brewsader, a badge you can still unlock if you have 5 beers from Grand Rapids based breweries before October this year, I'm guessing mine were all Founders beers. KBS was simply sensational! There was so much coffee and chocolate, as well as nicely warming bourbon and oak hints. This beer absolutely lives up to the hype!

Straight from Carwyn we staggered off to the Sydney Pint of Origin at The Rainbow. A pint of Ekim's Grapefruit Viking IPA, their take on Ballast Point's Grapefruit Sculpin which is taking the country by storm, unlocked Taste the Music (Level 2). This was a nice IPA packed with Grapefruit, both sweet and bitter. The Rainbow is one of my favourite pubs, I'm not quite sure when someone changed the FourSquare info to a music venue, but I'll take the badge.

Post-GBW I popped into Tru Bru to sample a few of the De Molen offerings. That ever confusing badge, New Brew Thursday (Level 18) was unlocked by their Bloed, Zweet & Tranen, which I'm 90% sure means Blood, Sweat & Tears. It's a Rauchbier and it's more on the campfire smokey flavour side of the ledger than the bacon/meaty side of things. It'd be a really interesting beer with a cheese platter.

Anton and I also shared a bottle of Brooklyn's K is for Kriek. This is a beer I've had sitting in my cellar for over a year. It's a 10.1% Kriek and it's absolutely worth the $50 price tag! Sky's the Limit (Level 16) was the badge. The cherry flavour was wonderful, while some orange peel and hints of bourbon add a real complexity to the beer. It was also wonderful mixed with a little De Molen stout.

Trappist Travesty has recently become a leveled badge. (Level 2) was unlocked by Zundert, one of the newer Trappist beers from the Netherlands. In the next day or two I will get up a full review for you all. It's very dark in appearance for a Tripel, the flavours were on the lighter side of things, but were definitely tasty, while the ABV was well hidden.

Lizzie bought me a Niigata Beer from the Japanese grocery/take away shop that we sometimes get Sushi from. It's a Belgian Pale Ale, and if I'm being honest it's not great. It's clearly utilizes Belgian yeast, which imparts quite good flavour. The problems start with the latent sweetness and end with a slightly sticky/cloying mouthfeel. It certainly isn't the worst beer, it's just not very good either. Rising Sun (Level 4) was the badge.

It's taken a little longer than I'd hoped, but finally my wrap-up of Good Beer Week is complete! 23 different badges were earned, not counting levels, many more beers were had and I met a heap of great people. I already can't wait for next year's Good Beer Week! Let me know your thoughts on any of the beers in this post, Good Beer Week events or if you've got any beer related questions; Cheers guys, keep an eye out for more content soon.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

1 comment:

  1. Damn, nice selection. GABS in Sydney was great but our beer week is later. I was in your fine town for work last week and was nice to discover Y&Js is now pouring good beer. Try the year old Moo Velvet Sledgehammer, tis good. Damo the barman knows his shit too.