Sunday, January 25, 2009

What’s in the Fridge? January 09

I have been thinking about how I would approach this series of posts without it presenting like a hobo’s show & tell or the shopping list of an obsessive compulsive and in a way that would benefit my readers in an amusing kind of way.

On a technical level there is the listing of beers by style or type but that just sort of seems a bit too beer-nerdy and listing them alphabetically and I think even I would start to think of checking into the Dr Ticker’s Home for those who just take beer far too seriously.

So here we go. I’ll begin with the fridge rules of the house. For those who haven’t been into my fridge yet, here’s how it works. Unofficially, the fridge has something of a division system in place. As the cook, I am responsible for the menu planning and the operation of the dining room. With two little ones under five, a teenager with newly fitted braces and a wife who can be home at varying hours – coupled with a new trial family diet – meals can be four different things at four different times. The fridge needs to cope with a lot.

So; the left hand side of the middle shelf is beer. The right hand side crisper drawer is for veggies and the left hand side crisper drawer is the Beer Crisper. This is where the ‘specials’ are moved to after having the appropriate chilling time on the shelf (the fridge ‘sweet spot’ also happens to be the bit right behind the beers) The lower right hand side shelf MAY be used to store beer - longnecks, 500ml Euro stubbies and such which leaves the rest of the fridge for fresh food. Clever menu planning means that if I am making a Beef and Ale pie or a stew with beer or a stock with beer instead of stock .. well, then I can store that beer somewhere else in the fridge.

That’s the ground rules out of the way. Now to the featured beers. At this time of the year I am always trying to support the locals and with the Australia Day weekend upon us I have stocked up with some Australian craft beers.

Bridge Road Brewers is well represented at present with a Pale Ale, Bling IPA and Chestnut Lager (as seen on ‘Ale Stars’ – the One about Pale Lagers) while the APA theme continues with 3 Ravens 55, Snowy Mountains Crackenback Pale, Bright Brewery Blowhard Pale and Northern Rivers Brewing Co Pale Ale. These beers are all in by virtue of an upcoming post on American Pale Ales, inspired by my ‘spirit beer’, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Western Australia’s Little Creatures Pale Ale is tagging along as a comparison companion to the SNPA. More on that story later!

The English style Pale Ales are well represented by Barons Pale Ale and Redoak’s Organic Pale Ale because, well, I like Pale Ales and I like bitterness in a beer and I love hop flavour and aroma and it’s nice to have a choice. When I come home late after a long night in the restaurant, it’s nice to know I can find what I really need to end the day. At one in the morning!

Red Hill Bohemian Pilsner, Spain’s Ambar, Sunner Kolsch and Weihenstephaner Pilsner and Original from Germany round out the shelf and the lying-down bottles.

That’s the shelf covered.

The ‘specials’ in the Beer Crisper are a bit of a mixed bag. A Red Duck (Vic) Strong Belgian Ale (10.5%), some more 3 Ravens and Bridge Road IPA, the two ‘Lost Arks’ – Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and an interesting find, a Caledonian offering, Deuchars IPA from Edinburgh, Scotland. Found at a 1st Choice Liquor shop in Forest Hill last week, it was sitting there with a hand written specials ticket reading “Fully Imported – 500ml - $2.49ea!!” Hmmm? That seems very good! Where’s the fine print I thought to myself? And there it was ... down the bottom ... “Buy 2, Get 1 Free!!” Shoo Byewt-tayyyy!! Even if it’s ordinary, I’m in at that price! OK, so the neck-print showed a best before date of yesterday, but, hey! It’s come this far, what’s a day or two between friends!? And ... it’s pretty bloody good! Yes, I got three. Twice!

So that’s the fridge for now. I can sense that you’re disappointed that there isn’t a ‘stock beer’ at the moment. I often have a handful of something nice and cheap and cheerful. The fact is – I don’t got no more room!

Prof. Pilsener

And Tim, yes it was JZ – Jamiel Zainasheff – who was the beer judge from America who was over recently for the ANHC. Shandy tells me that he spoke very highly of the Little Creatures and compared it favourably to the SNPA but Shandy thinks it may have been a case of ‘holiday beer syndrome’ where the best beer is the one in your hand! Still, it all goes towards the suspense and mystery for me of the Sierra Nevada!


Unknown said...

Oooh, Crackenback Pale Ale is one of my favourites, we had 4 kegs between my bucks party and wedding ;)

Beer Blokes said...

Between the buck's night and the wedding?! Is that four kegs BETWEEN the end of the buck's night and the start of the wedding, or ... Ha Ha!!