I could get used to this

I enjoyed another great food and beer dinner last week. The venue was North Melbourne’s Courthouse Hotel. The idea was to match each course with a beer or two and a wine and determine which was the best match. Its a great idea for a night out and I hope the concept takes off. My palate still has a way to go as does my descriptive writing. I thought I’d briefly capture my impressions anyway and maybe get a few laughs when I look back at this in the future. Thanks to crafty for not only organising the night but also typing up the menu and taking some photos (the italics are mine though). Continue reading

A sign of the changing times?

In some circles dining at Melbourne’s Grossi Florentino may be a common occurrence. I don’t live in those circles so when the opportunity arose to have dinner there with some good friends recently, it was enthusiastically embraced. The plan was to experience this Melbourne institution by partaking in a 5 course dinner with matched wines. The only drawback was my concern that the wines would be wasted on me. If only the beer revolution had reached establishments like this and they would match beers instead! Well, ask and you shall receive. Continue reading


If this blog had any regular readers, by now they could well be wondering why there have only been 2 posts this year and whether the blog is dead. These are reasonable questions and in fact I’ve been asking myself the same things. Here I reflect on what this blog was for and what its future is. Continue reading

Too good not to share

I have to break my recent beer blogging silence to share this (soon-to-be) classic.

Beer Song by ElbowSkin from Alister Robbie on Vimeo.

Not all beer and skittles

When I lasted posted, I mentioned that I would be visiting and writing about some other Victorian micro-breweries over the summer. Unfortunately I had some less than inspiring craft beer experiences during December and January and as a result haven’t felt much like blogging about beer (to be fair, there have been other distractions also – sun, surf, kids on holidays, a written-off car, a new car and a new job).

So time for a quick catch-up.

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Prickly Moses

A little while ago I spent a weekend with friends in the country Victorian town of Colac. Just down the road from Colac is the Otway Estate Winery and Brewery, where the Prickly Moses beer range – and quite possibly some wine –  is produced. I figured it would be rude not to visit while in the neighborhood so a dozen blokes descended on the brewery on Saturday morning.  One of the brewers, Hendo agreed to give us a tour and soon had us all sharing his enthusiasm for flavorsome beers. In fact if Hendo could find a way to bottle enthusiasm I’m sure he’d be a rich man very quickly.

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3 Ravens English Ale

After almost 3 months of blogging silence, I’m temporarily reverting to an old format to quickly record my thoughts on 3 Ravens English Ale which I am sampling for the first time tonight.

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Reasons to drink craft beer #4

Many of the fantastic breweries dotted around the Victorian landscape are significant enterprises in their local community. They generally employ local people directly and create employment indirectly through increased tourism, local production of ingredients, demand for accommodation and meals.

All this activity can be very important to country towns or out-of-the-way suburbs. It can help reverse the general decline faced by many towns, giving young people opportunities and therefore keep families close and communities alive.

Another reason to drink craft beer? Because it’s practically a civic duty!

Reasons to drink craft beer #3

A while ago, a friend claimed that he got completely different and more severe hangovers after drinking mass-produced beers (even in small quantities) compared with craft beers. This seemed like a potential urban myth to me. Given my scientific background, it was clear that I needed to devise an experiment to determine the existence and size of this effect. Putting my fear aside I bravely decided to be the human guinea pig in a series of precise beer drinking experiments. The results were astounding.

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Reasons to drink craft beer #2

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting some fellow beer lovers at an evening of Prickly Moses beer tasting at Young and Jackson’s in the city. A couple of the folk who brew the beer (and market it, and deliver it, and bottle it) were there to host the evening and took time to talk about the beer and the challenges in making it. It reminded me of one of the reasons I drink craft beer.

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