Reasons to drink craft beer #1

Despite what people will tell you about their favourite mass-produced beer, it probably tastes very similar to the next person’s favourite mass-produced beer.

Only when you start to taste some of the craft brews available do you start to realise the variety and complexity possible in beer.

A reason to drink craft beer? Because it tastes good!

Random beer thought

To quote the highly educated (he must be intelligent because he’s found 1346 words for drunk) Pete Brown , beer is “a universal signifier of unpretentious sociability”. I think its important we keep a focus on “unpretentious”.

More great beer locations

Thanks to everyone who has sent suggestions for great bars for sampling Victorian beers. I’d love to descibe each in detail (and I might one day). In the meantime, try these places and send me your comments.

The Royston, Richmond

The Courthouse, North Melbourne

Bar Etiquette, Brunswick

Penny Blue, City

Cookie, City

The Fox, Collingwood

The Terminus, Richmond

Keep ’em coming

Cheers

So much beer, so little time

I had plans to start writing about the best places to sample Victoria’s brilliant microbrewed beers. Well, I’m pleased to say that places to drink local beer are springing up a lot faster than I can get to them or write about them. For example, I was out for dinner last week at the brilliant ‘Taxi’ at Federation Square and was pleased to note that I could enjoy a Holgate Plisener as a starter and have a sensible conversation with the staff about beer options. Only a few years ago, the finest dining establishments may have stocked a few international brews and some Crown Lager but that was about it.

Anyway, don’t wait for my opinions, just go to the places listed below and then let me know what you think…

Mrs Parma’s – Lt Bourke St

The Local Taphouse – St Kilda

Beer DeLuxe – Federation Square

Young and Jackson’s – Swanston and Flinders Sts City

The Terminus – Clifton Hill

Grumpy’s Green, Smith Street

The breweries listed on your right.

Any other suggestions welcome too.

Cheers

Three Troupers Amber Ale

Back in October last year I tried the Three Troupers brews available at the time (Pilsner and pale ale). They were pleasant enough but a little disappointing after some of the other local beers I had been trying. I’m pleased to say that their Amber Ale, released earlier this year, is a great improvement.

A fine-looking amber in the glass with a healthy white head, it has plenty of malt and caramel flavours and a smooth mouth feel.

See if you can get your hands on some and let me know what you think

Cheers

The Local Taphouse

OK – going out on a limb here. I don’t believe you will find a better place in Victoria to drink, learn about and generally appreciate the variety of beers in the world than The Local Taphouse in St. Kilda. It has a great relaxed atmosphere, very knowledgable and passionate staff, delicious food and most importantly 40 beers ON TAP.

They also run regular beer events and comedy nights and play host to some great musicians.

The beer list is extensive and includes local and international brews. There are frequent changes to whats on offer.

If you aren’t sure where to start (an entirely reasonable reaction) you can get a tasting paddle of 7 small beers and take it from there.

Perhaps the range of Victorian beers is not as extensive as some other places but if your haven’t put any artificial constraints on your beer tasting (as I have) you’ll not find a better place to indulge.

Cheers

Mrs Parma’s

In light of the parochial nature of this blog, it’s very hard to think of a better place to sample some beers than Mrs Parma’s in Little Bourke Street. They specialise in Victorian microbrewed beers and have a great range.

The staff are friendly and knowledgable and always up for a chat about the beers on offer. The crowd changes from suits at lunchtime or just after work to a very eclectic but generally older (ie not teenagers) assortment later in the night. Due to the very nature of the place, the drinkers are usually discerning and more sensible than your average city bar.

They also serve a huge range of excellent parmigiana based meals. The menu would be the envy of many establishments, even given the slightly parma-obsessed nature of Victorian pubs.

Mrs Parma’s is very well-known among Victoria’s beer lovers and has been written about by a few people. This article from ‘All Ale the Big V’ sums it up nicely.

By the way, if you would like to re-live the bad old beer days of the 80s and earlier, you can always opt for a pot of Carlton Draught.

There are lots of other great pubs around with beers available from all corners of the world (and I’ll write about some of my favourites in the coming weeks) but if your particular interest is in local brews then a visit to Mrs Parma’s is a must.

Cheers

Lots of great beer but where to drink it?

After a long break (from blogging, not tasting) I find I have lost enthusiasm for posting my thoughts on every beer I taste. I will certainly write about any that stand out from the pack but for the next little while I intend to concentrate on another pressing issue – the best places to sample Victoria’s great craft beers.

Research starts …..now

Something the megabrewers do excel at

If there is one thing the big brewers have been great at for quite a while its making ads. I guess you need to be when you have almost nothing else to distinguish your product from everyone elses. I particularly like the last one. Enjoy

Yarra Valley Gold

I’ve had a few people recommend the beers from Grand Ridge Brewery and have enjoyed a few pots of Gippsland Gold on tap so I thought I’d see what else they have to offer. First up was Yarra Vally Gold and I’m pretty impressed!

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