beer

New Year, New Beer – March…

You will notice that this month I went to the lovely little city, Adelaide, home to Coopers beer which was enjoyed over the weekend of festivals. WOMad and The Fringe were so much fun; I am already looking forward to next year. I also had the pleasure of attending my first Taste festival and I it definitely won’t be my last – I had an awesome day, which turned into night tasting some of the best food and wine from across the world (lots of African beer this month!). Beers up!

1.       Sapporo, JAP – an iconic beer form the land of great food and in this case, great beer

2.       Thomas Coopers Selection, SA – Good ‘ol fashioned pale ale

3.       Coopers 62, SA – dense, rich and I couldn’t drink 62 of them

4.       Coopers 5 Seeds, SA – Another variation of a much loved SA Great brewery

5.       Coopers Clear, SA – Just like the rest of the Coopers family, only clear

6.       Dr Tims, SA – Drinking Tim out of a tinny – you don’t get much more aussie than that!

7.       The Hills Cider Company, SA – Made from freshly picked fruit from the Adeliade Hills, no complaints here

8.       Pacifico Clara Cerveza, MEX – A happy, hoppy pilsner beer

9.       Tusker African Lager Beer, KEN – I like the beer more than I like tusking

10.   Tusker Malt Lager, KEN – Made from 100% African ingredients, it was refreshing as the salesman himself (legend!)

11.   Sail & Anchor Boats Bind Amber Ale, WA – great branding and taste

12.   Sail & Anchor Larks Foot Golden Ale, WA – awesome name, and my favourite from this brewer

13.   Sail & Anchor Monkey Fist Pale Ale, WA – The flavour is far better than a fist to the trotter

14.   Wiked Cider, QLD – another boutique apple cider on the market… still not sick of them!

15.   Sail & Anchor, WA –

16.   Crabbies Spiced Orange Ginger Beer – a beer meets vodka cruise flavour – it gets my vote!

17.   Reef Blonde, QLD – blondes have more fun, even when they are beer

18.   Blue Sky Pilsner, QLD – Award winning, clean refreshing taste

19.   FNQ Lager, QLD – Nothin’ bogan about this brand, other than the taste of this beer

20.   Cairns Gold, QLD – Robust flavours, but not flavours for me

21.   ELK Pear Cider – Sweeeeeeet, far too sweet for this little piggy

22.   Hang Man Pale Ale by The Rocks Brewing Company, SYD – good balance of hanging between bitter and sweet

23.   Convict Lager by The Rocks Brewing Company, SYD – Dark, brooding, just like a convict

24.   Boxer Red Ale by The Rocks Brewing Company, SYD – Punches some chocolatey flavours

25.   Australian Beer Company Cider – I think I have found a new fridge staple, freshingly delicious!

26.   Balmain Brewery Pale Ale, SYD – Pales in comparison to other pale ales

27.   Balmain Brewery Pilsner, SYD – Not to bitter and even tastes a little nutty

28.   ELK Cider Berries & Lime, VIC – Tasting more berries than I am lime, great on ice but too sweet to repeat

29.   Grand Ridge Natural Blonde, VIC – Taste a little like coriander… which I love!

30.   Grand Ridge Wheat Beer, VIC – heavy and, you guessed it, wheat!

31.   Grand Bridge Pale Ale, VIC – Smooth, refreshing and full of flavour

Oink oink

Truffle Pig.

Brisbane’s Best New Bars …

Brisbane’s Best New Bars …

brisbane

On a few recent trips to my old stomping ground, BrisVegas, I was blown away by the amount of change there has been over the past six months since moving to Sydney. Naturally, I made a concerted effort to try all the newest places for cool cocktails and delicious dishes. Here is the list of all the hottest new bars around town:

Riverbar and Kitchen:

Once I found out Boardwalk Bar was shutting down, I was disappointed as I loved the river-side drinking on an afternoon down there. But it was a blessing in disguise because now Matt Moran has waved his magic wand and converted this prime real estate into a sleek new watering hole for Brisbane-ites. The name is self-explanatory – the venue pays homage to its water front location, the theme is boat shed beauty and they have buckets and prawns and cocktail jugs to match.
Riverbar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Alfred and Constance

Nothing screams Brisbane more than a Queenslander conversion. This old house on the corner of Alfred and Constance street has been revamped into a thriving tiki themed bar where all the ‘cool kids’ are now hanging out. The space is huge, but not big enough to accommodate the crowds that are flocking here for the cocktails and suckling pig. It takes forever to get a great, but has a great vibe. I can’t wait to return when the crowds have died for a lazy roof top session in the sun.
Alfred and Constance on Urbanspoon

At Sixes and Sevens

Another stella house conversion of Brisbane’s most fashionable strip, James Street. The Cru Bar crew are responsible for this little gem, and you can tell by their sleek and sophisticated fit out and wine-adorned walls. You will also find a great bar menu perfect for sharing that includes pork and fennel sausage rolls with apple sauce and cheese boards (up to three varieties) accompanied with quince and flat bread.
At Sixes and Sevens on Urbanspoon

Pony Lounge and Dining

The name of name sense as soon as I stepped into the ranch inspired space filled with furniture and fit out made from beautiful timbers, leathers and hides. The outdoor bar and terrace has unrivalled river views and is the perfect place for an after work drink to settle into the weekend. Try the William Wallace cocktail, it is completely orgiainla and made from gin, grape fruit, orange and vanilla, perfect for those without a sweet tooth (like me!).
Pony Dining Eagle Street Pier on Urbanspoon

Loft

I have spent a few fateful nights in this space before when it was Uber, a rowdy uni student haunt, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it is now a NYC-style bar with an impressive wine and cocktail list. It is conveniently located above on of my favourite bars, Archive, but if you want to get away from the crowds or not a fan of craft beer, head here.
Loft West End on Urbanspoon

Green Becon Brewting Co.

The craft beer craze isn’t showing any signs of slowing down as more and more microbreweries are popping up all over the place. This isn’t a ‘place to be seen’ scene, but a great post for those that appreciate a good brew, because the beers on offer are brewed right there in front of you in revamped old industrial space, to add the Teneriffe’s old-to-new charm.
Green Beacon Brewing Co on Urbanspoon

Next Door Kitchen and Bar

Once a flavourless tourist trap, Southabnk has come into its own in recent years with great new bars and restureants taking reign. The newest addition to the clan, Next Door Kitchen and Bar, offering a range of premium ciders and quirky cocktails. If that doesn’t get you excited, the parmesan and truffled fires will… YUM!
Next Door Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

Oink oink,

Truffle pig.

Queenie’s of the Forresters

The young pub gurus who we can thank for the Norfolk, The Flinders, the Abercrombie and the Carrington are also the brains behind Surry Hills hottest bar (and bar tenders), The Forresters. Women flock here to flirt with the tatt covered owners, while the men are attracted to the rare sight of a pub filled with females… and food – not sure which are better though.

The pub downstairs are a certain non-pub feel to it though, more like a classic Italian restaurant with plasma TVs, beer on tap and the quint essential smoking area filled with drunken fools out the front. But if you’re hungry, looking for an escape from the busy bar or place to start a big night out, Forresters restaurant is just what you’re looking for!

The menu is huge, casual and full of fun fillings. The pizzas are charred to perfection, thinner than Kate Moss and flavoursome. You can also get Rueben sandwiches made from the daily rosisster meat and a basket of crinkle cut fries covered in pulled pork and melted cheese… Just when I thought fries couldn’t get any better.

If Italiana pub food ain’t your thang, head on up to Queenies, the address’s new addition which is the equivalent to taking a holiday to the Bahamas with your grandma…. In a good way. The food is more tropical than a pineapple, and the décor is more retro than a record. But don’t bother packing your bikini on this holiday – the food is fried, plentiful and absolutely delicious.

For mains we shared the BBQ jerk chicken served with jungle slaw and sweet potato fries and the fried pork burger with pinable, both were HUGE, tasty and were washed down well with the tropical beer, Palmer Cristal. But the highlight of the meal was the cevechi made of snapper, avocado, mango and chilli – tangy, fresh, full of flavour and all devoured with accompanies corn chips – if this is what eating in the Caribbean is like, I need to book my ticket!

Oink Oink,

Truffle Pig.

The Forresters, Surry Hills:

Queenies on Urbanspoon

Queenies , Surry Hills:

The Forresters on Urbanspoon

New Year, New Beer: January

January the time of the year when everyone pledges to start over, start fresh and start doing things they have never done before. The same goes for me. 2013 will be a year of trying new things, 313 beers and 52 ciders to be exact! A beer for every day of the week except for Sundays which will be the official day of cider. Why am doing this? Well, ever since craft beer became more trendy than hvaing beard and looking like you haven’t showered, I have become intrigued. The fizzy, amber drink has been a constant throughout history, brought people together, helped people make friends, made people more attractive and been the cause of lots of fun, so why not embrace it? It is a New Year, New Beer.

So over the next 52 weeks I will be sharing my taste testing with all of you, and of course, would love any suggestions on where to get the goods. I dare say my local bar and bottleo will run out of new products for me, so share your hidden brewers and crafty creations with your piggy pal.

So below is the run down of month one:

  1. Moo Brew Pale Ale, TAS: The creative folk at MONA have opened a brewery – giving visitors even more of a reason to never leave! The Moo Brew Pale Ale is, crisp, light and has a citrusy flavour. I enjoyed it so much I ordered two.
  2. Moo Brew Dark Ale, TAS: Not as refreshing as its pale friend, I felt like I was back in high school drinking rocket fuel. If heavy beer is your gear, you are in luck.
  3. Ginger Beer, TAS: I love ginger and I love beer – drinking this is like hosting a party on my taste buds
  4. Four sheds pale ale, TAS: Smooth, fruity, subtle flavour, nice after take and brewed in the bottle
  5. Four sheds, TAS: heavy, bitter, almost tastes like coffee
  6. Anchor steam beer, USA: Bitter, super fizzy, awesome label on a  stubby little bottle
  7. Pear Paragon Cider, TAS: As sweet as sugar, 5% alcoholic
  8. Whale Ale, WA: Chewy pale ale that tastes great with blue cheese, what doesn’t?
  9. Melbourne Bitter, VIC: If you like 2-for-1 this tally will make you smile, not sure if they bitter beer will though.
  10. Vale Ale, SA: My favourite beer to date, subtle hints  of passionfruit and glides down the gullet
  11. Moo Brew Pilsner, TAS: Crisp, hoppy beer that proves pilsner doesn’t need to be made in Pilsner
  12. Moo Brew Hefeweizen, TAS: strong, wheaty and foamy. Can’t say I am in love
  13. Sol, QLD: A wannabe Corona that doesn’t tastes as good, but your wallet loves it
  14. Blumers, IR: Often found on tap, isn’t too sweet and often my poison of choice
  15. Stiegl Goldbräu, GER: crisp, hoppy delicious and considered one of the best in the world. Not disagreeing
  16. Asahi, JAP: Clean, crisp, refreshing and typically Japanes, brewed perfectly
  17. Palmer Cristal, CUBA: the perfect beer for a tropical holiday to Cuba, crisp light and frizzy!
  18. Orion, JAP: refreshing, mild taste and made from fresh spring water behind the brewery
  19. India Pale Ale, WA: hoppy goodness and perfect for washing down a curry
  20. 7 Sheds Pale Ale, TAS: An easy to drink thirst quencher
  21. Rekorderlig (Strawberry/Lime), SWE: Great for a hot day, but far too sweet for my liking
  22. 4 Pines Pale Ale, NSW: Fruity with a bitter after taste and brewed naturally
  23. Coopers Pale Ale, AUS: A wholesome natural beer with a chunky, full bodied taste
  24. Reshers, AUS: not a huge fan, taste a bit like metallic
  25. Liberty Ale: Like a Pale Ale but more hops than a kangaroo
  26. Itaipava, BRA: A Brazilian beer that tastes like purity in a bottle
  27. Little Creatures Pale Ale, WA: Fruity, light and flavoursome, and a favourite
  28. Rekorderlig, Pear, SWE: The answer to a bad mood and a hot day, refreshing and delicious!
  29. Peroni, ITA: Crisp and dry, bellisimo!
  30. Little Creatures Bright Ale, WA: refreshing, plenty of flavour and a hint of apple.
  31. Corona, MEX: A flavoursome Mexican party flavourite that always taste better on a hot day with lime.

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest in Sydney…

Are you wondering where to go for Oktoberfest in Sydney? Well, I have kindly volunteered to do some market research to help you find the best place to go. My suggestion, pork knuckle down and get to Löwenbräu Keller!

Perched upon Argyle Street in the Rocks, Löwenbräu Keller is the perfect venue for a few liters of beer and a good hearty meal.  They prides themselves on being the most authentic Munich restaurant in Sydney, and the historic cobble stone streets add a touch of charm while you’re playing make-believe wishing you were really in Munich celebrating Oktoberfest.

Löwenbräu Keller has two areas, the outside tables which are perfect for lapping up the daylight savings sun or the traditional Bavarian beer hall bar inside and down stairs. The service is typical German – serious, punctual and dressed in ledenhosen and beer wench dresses. Cheesy and cliché, what more would you want in a German restaurant during Oktoberfest?…. probably beer and food.

There is an extensive beer (Bier) menu with Oktoberfest specials coming in all shapes and sizes, but mostly in the traditional 1 litre beer mug. Get in the spirit and order the Bowenbrau Oktoberfestbier – a full-bodied brew with a hint of spice which will get you feeling very festive. As for the good, if you’re on a diet don’t even bother. If you like rich, creamy, fried food – you have come to the right place.

I opted not to go for the famous pork knuckle although I fully intended to before I arrived, but it was huge and looked like too much admin for my liking. Given I was a little tipsy I opted for an easier-to-eat pork belly served with braised cabbage, roast potatoes and jus. The pork belly was everything pork belly should be – a tender, juicy, fall-apart-in-your-mouth piece of belly topped with a crisp, golden piece of crackling. I could almost feel the roasted fat residing on my thighs immediately. But when in  Germany (or The Rocks), you must do as the Germans do. The chicken schnitzel covered in mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes was just as heart-stopping delicious.

If you’re feeling more like a pig than you are a German, never fear, Löwenbräu Keller have a roaming live German band there, yodeling for your entertainment so you can dance the calories and night away….

The Bitter: Probably more than I would have liked to pay, but you only get to celebrate Oktoberfest once (a year)

The Sweet: Service, schnitzel and shameless stereotypes

The Damage: Liter of beer, huge meal and cardiac arrest will cost about $50 per person.

Oink Oink,

Truffle Pig.

Löwenbräu Keller – 18 Argyle St, The Rocks – Sydney, NSW – lowenbrau.com.au

Lowenbrau Keller on Urbanspoon

Tommy's Beer Cafe on Urbanspoon