Showing posts from 2010

Beer Taste Off: OZ and NZ versus CA

Our local hop head beer purveyors Purvis Beer in Richmond got in some beer from one of my favorite California brewers - Bear Republic. So we had an impromptu double-blind tasting of Racer 5 and Hop Rod Rye against our local favorites Galaxy and Hopwired.

I labeled four coasters "A, B, C, D" poured a measure of each beer into glasses, noted which beers were on which coasters, and turned the coasters over. Debbie came in and rearranged the order of the beers and the coasters. We sniffed and tasted each one, and then rated them.

There was unanimous agreement among the judges!

In fourth place was the Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic. This isn't too much of a surprise because it's qualitatively different from the other three beers. It's darker and sweeter, with a creamy head and less hops. It's a malt driven beer, with interesting grainy tartness possibly from the rye?

In third place was Racer 5! Also from Bear Republic, this beer is one of my "go to" beers …

Auction Rooms

Debbie and I have been on a quest to try a new Melbourne cafe every weekend. This weekend's cafe was "Auction Rooms" in North Melbourne. We've been hearing good things about it, both the food and the coffee. We visited at the height of the weekend brunch rush, and wanted a table inside so we had to wait maybe 20 minutes. This was no hardship as it gave me a great view of the kitchen and a chance to take some photos of the line.

This place seems to specialize in poached eggs, there was one guy poaching eggs pretty much continuously. He had two big pots of water on continuously and would alternate about eight eggs into each one. The kitchen was a little backed up and you could tell people were a little stressed.

We got our table over by the cute little sample roaster and each started with a macchiato of the single origin of the day, which happened to be one of our favorites an Ethiopian "Nekisse." This is a hand picked dry processed bean that I think has lovel…

More IPAs

Found two more winners at Purvis

The first is "Hopwired" from 8 Wired. A purely NZ beer made with NZ hops and NZ malt. It's a big IPA in the "New World" style, hop driven with plenty of dry-hop character and hop bitterness in the body. It's from Marlborough, home of world famous Sauvignon Blancs, and they like to claim it has a less grapefruit/pine hop character and more of a passionfruit/sauvingnon grape character. I say grapefruit/pine and I say the hell with it - actually I say "bring it on." It's my current favorite and having found it I am well content.

That said, there's another kiwi APA from Purvis that I just tried that's another winner. That's the "Tuatara APA" and I don't think I can do much better than quote from the label:
Spawned by freewheeling California hopheads, American Pale Ale is the red-headed stepchild of the Classic IPA. Big and extroverted with plenty of bitterness, a great APA shows off some fr…

Single Hop IPAs

Debbie found me a beer store that carries not only IPAs but a whole range of "single hop" IPAs. Most of them are by the Danish crazy man Mikkel Borg Bjergsø of Mikkeller brewing, but one is a local Australian IPA from Bridge Road Brewers.

The two Mikkeller's I tried this time were the Tomahawk and the Chinook. Both are 6.9% ABV a nice full golden color with big heads. They both had a rich malty mouthfeel, but were significantly different in flavor, obviously due to the different hops.

The Tomahawk seemed slightly less complex, mostly alpha acids appropriate to a bittering hop with less of the fruity citrus notes I look for a dry hopped IPA. It was fairly well balanced with some crispness, and would be a good foil to an oily or spicy food. I'm not so fond of it on its own though.

The Chinook is a hop I'm somewhat familiar with, it's a little spicier, a little less of the alpha acid bitterness, and slight woody and fruity notes. There was some malt sweetness, a…