Thursday, September 30, 2010

Courthouse Beer Dinner, Ja?!

Dust off the Lederhosen, tighten your Drindls and unpack your Oom-Pahs as The Courthouse Restaurant gets set to celebrate beer in October with ... well, an Oktoberfest Beer Dinner, of course.

5 sumptuous courses, including dessert, matched up with 5 beers in either a German traditional style, or a lovely Australian beer brewed in a traditional German style. The beers are chosen and the menu almost finalised (I'm still trying to perfect the Bratwurst Ice Cream) and I may even have a special guest so that the guests don't have to listen to me prattle on all night.

$55 will get you a seat (I'll provide the table) and it's only $50 for Courthouse Restaurant Beer Listers.

Friday October 15, 7 for a 7.30 start with a few 'specials' in stock at special celebratory prices fro those after some nice 'tweenies'. The Courthouse Restaurant, 1 Gloucester Ave, Berwick.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Things that seem funnier ...

... when you’ve had a beer.

For all those footy tragics, and by which in this week in Melbourne I mean Collingwood supporters, I offer the following. This occurred to me as I sat quietly enjoying a beer or two after the AFL Grand Final ended in a draw after the Magpies appeared to have the game in the bag – a ‘cake walk’, if you will.

Here’s your problem as I see it. It starts at the selection table. You had too many players with names that are also rudey bits.

Sidebottom, Johnson, Thomas, Ball, Reid, Jolly.

The solution; either get rid of them OR embrace the concept completely and include the following listed players in the squad for the Grand Final Replay this Saturday.

Wood, Rounds, Barham, Dick (obviously) and, of course, Goldsack.

And when the November draft comes around see if you can sign up Johncock, Tippett, Adcock, Bellchambers, Ruffles, Shammer, Cockie, Cox and Spangher.

... and Fevola. He’s the biggest dick of all.

Prof Pilsner

Friday, September 24, 2010

An Ode - or an Omen - for the Pies

For my good mate, Dr Lager and all those other Pie Tragics hoping for redemption tomorrow against The Saints, here is a specially dedicated post. As a normal person who barracks for neither team, I'm hoping for a nil-all draw, but, in Melbourne at this time of year you just have to have an opinion one way or the other.

Here's mine. I DON'T LIKE St Kilda a bit more than I DON'T LIKE Collingwood. So ... GO PIES!!

But to put a liitle perspective, nay, reality, on the matter here are the lyrics to one of my favourite songs by legendary Melbourne outfit, Weddings, Perties, Anything that sums it all up nicely I think.

By the way, if every Collingwood supporter is going to be watching the Grand Final tomorrow ... who will operate all the rides at The Royal Melbourne Show?


“Well it’s Black or White – it’s lose or win
It’s Collingwood, uh-oh they’ve been done again”

It’s a sad, sad night, down at Vicky Park
I see the crowds roll out, into the cold and dark
And every pub in Johnson Street is full up to the brim
And the fists are clenched, the feet are stampin’
The faces oh so grim
My Dad gets home he just won’t talk ‘Hey Mum, what’s wrong with him?’

“Well you can call it Black, you can call it White
There’ll be a tough time in the old town tonight”

My Dad is dealing out some bitter chips
Us kids we’re eatin’, we’re eatin’ fish & chips
He’s watching telly, is he insane?
It’s the football replay and he goes through it all again

“But you can call it Black, you can call it White
There’ll be a tough time in the old town tonight
There’ll be a tough time in the old town tonight”

Now on Sunday morning, so quiet it seems
Nobody heard our poor Mother’s screams
Nor saw the Police car coming through the night
But Mum just cried and she just said that she would be alright

Now Dad just goes about his business like it’s all the same
The cat’s run off, the chooks won’t lay, the old black dog went lame
And if I open my big mouth he says; “look, it’s just a game!”

“Well you can call it Black, you can call it White
There’ll be a tough time in the old town tonight
There’ll be a tough time in the old town tonight
There’ll be some drinkin’ at the old hotel tonight
There’ll be a tough time down in Carringbush tonight”

... tough time in the old town tonight!
... tough time in the old town tonight!
... drinkin’ at the old hotel tonight!
... tough time down in Carringbush tonight!

“You better not laugh, you better not cry, I’m tellin’ you why!”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ale Stars & The Beer Ambassadors

It was a different Ale Stars session last night as 65 gathered downstairs at The Local Taphouse in St Kilda like the bear that went over the mountain - to see what they could see.

Ale Stars, you see, usually has a theme, be it a beer style a beer type or beers from a particular brewery. But this time things were different. In fact, I bet if you asked a thousand beer lovers if they’d like to pop over for a ‘slide night’ you’d get a thousand answers ranging from “I’m washing my hair” to “piss off you idiot”.

But, as I said, last night was different. The slide night was being presented by The Beer Ambassadors.

The Beer Ambassadors are Barney Matthews and Miro Bellini from Fed Square must-hang-out, Beer Deluxe and Road Goat, Tom Delmont. And their slide nights are well worth attending. Combine it with a big group of interested onlookers and a fist or two full of very nice American Craft Beers and who could say no, really?

Of the 65 who did say yes, few had any real idea what to expect. Most knew of the boys’ recent trip to the States where they set out to visit 25 breweries and bars in 25 days and sample the best of what that burgeoning Craft Beer scene has to offer but there was a little mystery as to how they would make an Ale Stars night out of it. As it turned out, the boys themselves didn’t really know, either.

What we got was a rollicking night filled with tales of travel and friendships, of mountains and medical emergencies and 200kg Mexican bedmates. You just had to be there.

The beers were different to what we were used to as well. Not that were exact replicas of the beers that the Ambassadors sipped in The States, but representative nonetheless. A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale from Lagunitas got things going and for those in the room (most of us) who had not had an American style wheat beer were divided on this one. Love it or leave it seemed to be the two camps.

Ale Stars had been treated to an Avery Beer when we tasted Brown Ales and this time round we had their flagship IPA which kept things ticking at 6.3% and accompanied the Ambassadors tales of foaming fermenters and Ron Jeremy branded production lines. Don’t ask, I’ll tell you when we next catch up for a beer. But let’s just say it had something to do with ‘packing the most boxes’ ... ooops, may have given it away there. [CAN WE EDIT THAT OUT IN POST? Prof. YEP, THINK SO. Ed]

Salvation then appeared in the form of Avery’s Belgian Strong Pale Ale of the same name and, at 9% it would have to be something pretty drastic that you were being saved from. Warm and rich and spicy and coincidentally sharing its name with a Russian River Brewing Company beer. In a sign of where the Craft Beer scene in The States is at, the two breweries have combined rather than collided to make a joint-blended beer called Collaboration – not Litigation.

Shandy is still in two minds
as to who he is siding with

We finished the formal tasting with a Left Hand Milk Stout which was very much a desserty end to the savoury offerings enjoyed to that point. The Beer Ambassadors closed out the evening with a terrific story that seemed to require selected edits from each of the boys in order to fill in all the missing details that each suffered from. Let’s just say that if you ever find yourself lost, looking for a taxi on a strange corner in a state of fairly severe inebriation, you could do worse than to wake up on a sofa next to a rather large Mexican named Purnell who, until that very minute was a complete and utter stranger and who, as it turned out, didn’t violate you in any way. That you can remember.

That’s a trip worth taking.

Prof Pilsner

And just a quick shout-out to our good mate and long time Ale Star, Kelv, who is heading off to conquer Perth and drink a lot more of the WA Craft Beer a lot fresher. A top bloke and a loyal mate and true friend of Craft Beer. His last regular Ale Star event was last night's and I'd like to take the opportunity to wish him all the best and to thank him for his company on the journey so far. Cheers and Good Luck mate.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

And now for something completely different

Ale Stars beer appreciation club/collective/gathering/tribe/mob at The Local Taphouse has been travelling along nicely now for just over two years.

In that time we have been treated to beers from all over the world and across the growing Australian Craft Beer landscape and made plenty of good friends and met plenty of good brewers along the way.

In sessions past we have worked our way through beers in a particular style, beers for a particular season or beers from a particular brewery.

Tonight will meet a peculair trio.

The Beer Ambassadors are Barney Mathews and Miro Bellini from Beer Deluxe and "Road Goat" Tom Delmont who recently travelled the US to ... well, to drink beer, really. Tonight Ale Stars will be regaled by the stories of their trip.

If you haven't booked in already, be quick. This could be something special.
7 for a 7.30 start, beers and pizza and trivia and heaps of fun for $40.

Prof Pilsner

Monday, September 20, 2010

Braggot finds new friends

The Courthouse Restaurant Beer Dinner

I have to admit that I was going to begin this post by telling you how many Beer Dinners I’ve hosted at The Courthouse Restaurant over the last 6 years but I can’t actually remember the total and I can’t find all the menus that I’ve kept which would have given me an idea at least.

Let’s say that I reckon it’s about twenty.

My point was going to be this; each dinner has featured at least five and sometimes six and one time seven beers and I have only used two beers more than once (Schofferhoffer Kristallweizen and Bridge Road Brewers Australian Ale) and rarely use more than one beer that we already have on the Beer List, so it’s fair to say that we have always tried to give value for money.

But, to be fair, I have generally had to cater mostly to a market that, while willing to try something ‘new’ is not one to really embrace anything ‘different’, and so particularly early on we had to use a more mainstream standard of beers to make sure we didn’t scare too many away. After all, you don’t win a Grand Prix on the first lap.

But, as the base of regular supporters has grown (I’ve done Beer Dinners early in the piece with a table of two and a table of four and, more recently for 56 people) I’ve found that I need to ensure that the maturing palates are not disadvantaged. The beer selection has consequently matured to include lesser known styles and unfamiliar brands including a growing emphasis on Australian Craft Beer.

But the last Beer Dinner I took things a step further. Not only were the guests introduced to the mysteries of Dark Lager in the steely form of Matilda Bay Dogbolter, we then crashed their palates with a very hoppy Anchor Liberty Ale and then completely changed their perceptions of what beer CAN be by finishing the night with a Bridge Road Brewers Megachile Pluto Braggot. As you can guess there were so many foreign words in that one that it took us ten minutes just to introduce the beer!

Braggot, that Ale/Mead hybrid so well loved of the Medieval Britons, was recently reintroduced to the craft beer scene by Bridge Road Brewers Nardia McGrath (amazingly and coincidentally at the same time by Red Duck Brewery as ‘Ugly Duckling’ at 14%!). The Bridge Road Braggot uses a rather generous 85kgs of Beechworth Red Stringy Bark honey in its 800litre batch and this gives it warmth and mellowness and a nice big hug with its 10% alcohol level.

And here’s the point of this whole post. The Braggot went down an absolute treat. The response was terrifically positive and, considering the guests had already had at least four beers and four courses by then, there was very little left undrunk. Beer, that is, not people. Although, as I recall, there were very few people left un-wobbly! But happily so.

So from here on in I need to readjust my thinking when I’m standing in the beer aisle choosing the beers to suit the dishes I have in mind. While I still have to make sure that the beers fit into the per-head budget I reckon I can throw in at least one – and maybe even two – beers that are outside the comfort zone for the average drinker.

I might even call it The Braggot Principle. Thanks, Nardia.

Prof Pilsner

Oh, and Ben? I might grab some B2 Bomber for the next Beer Dinner on October 15. I know you guys are still fighting over whose beer has the most positive review! You might even like to invite yourself down and I’ll make it a Bridge Road Beer Dinner...?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

2010 Crown Ambassador Reserve

I suppose that if you manage a restaurant that offers around a hundred different beers it stands to reason that you will frequently come into contact with people who will show an interest in beer. Some of these will become more than just guests or regulars, they will become friends.

One of these rang me (from his holiday in Queensland, no less) and asked if I’d like to come as his guest to a Beer Masterclass at the RACV Club hosted by Fosters Head Brewer John Cozens and featuring tastings of, among others, the Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager – 2010. After a nano-second’s thought, I replied that I would.

The 2010 Crown Ambassador has been in the news of late and sadly not just because of its $90 price tag or because of the niche it is carving for itself in the beer market. Based on the malt/hop platform of its premium lager’s namesake, Crown Ambassador is big (10%ABV), bold (fresh wet Galaxy hop flowers) and brassy (presentation box, hand-capped, limited to 7,000 champagne style bottles.

Unfortunately it also has one unintended added extra. Brettanomyces. Brett, to you and me and any brewer who knows his stuff. Actively sought out by those wanting to brew a sour Lambic style beer but assiduously avoided by those trying to brew, say, a layered, super-premium, limited release specialty brew. As an example.

Brett is a sneaky little wild yeast which imparts a firm sourness and some high-end funky aromas - all of which make a good Lambic but are not necessarily welcome in a beer that doesn’t set out to be Lambic. It’s not the end of a beer, in particular one which has such complexity and depth – if anything, if you’re going to get stung with Brett, this is the kind of beer that just might carry it.

Enough of the back story - for those wanting a comprehensive insight into this issue, I refer you straight to The Crafty Pint – it has pictures and quotes and EVERYTHING!!

This piece is my experience of the 2010 Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager as shared with John Cozens and a Wine Bar full of ‘Everyman’. To set the scene; the RACV Club hosts various events for its members and the Beer Masterclass is a small group (30 at most I think) sat in the upstairs Wine Bar. Six beers are served along with ‘light delicacies’ to match and the evening is hosted by an industry expert/ identity.

We began with a standard Crown Lager (not that any present expected to use this as a reference point for the Ambassador!) followed by a Cascade Green (for the Galaxy hop addition – I know it’s in there somewhere) and then onto a side-by-side tasting of the 2010 and the 2009 Crown Ambassador Reserves. A Duvel and a Hoegaarden were set to finish.

John introduced the night and spoke with a genuine warmth of the purpose and method behind producing a beer like the Ambassador. It is always fascinating for me to hear the reasons behind the beers and John conveyed beautifully the way in which this beer set out to be just a beer, not one that would be confined to a particular style guideline. A ‘layered’ beer based on the core Crown ingredients but built up with levels of malt, hops, yeast flavours and high alcohol to give the drinker a series of little experiences on the way down.

After tasting the 2010 Ambassador John called for comments and the hands shot up. Remembering that most present were not beer industry experts or even craft beer advocates – to be fair, most were rank novices - the response puts into context the problem, as I see it, that Foster’s has created for itself.

The overwhelming reaction was that the beer ‘smelled bad’. “Is it just that it’s a bit young?” asked one “Is that smell supposed to be there?” queried another while others asked if the smell was the hops or the yeast. It was at this point when I felt for john Cozens as he is a brewer but also an employee.

Knowing what I already knew (I had consulted two reliable sources to ensure that the Brett issue had in fact been admitted by Foster’s) I was interested to hear the reply. And it’s not that he tried to say that the Brett WASN’T there but that the ‘youth’ of the beer and the unexpected wetness of the hops WERE suggested as factors in the funky nature of the new flagship brew. I guess I wanted to hear that the beer had in fact contracted an unexpected infection (even if the source is still a mystery) but that this only added to the unique nature of the beer. Perhaps this audience wasn’t the right one for that concept?

And so to the Prof’s conclusions. [Remember, I’m a pretend Prof, no real scientific qualifications. It’s just a name I made up]

From chatting with John Cozens I can appreciate that Foster’s has a marketing dilemma rather than a brewing dilemma on their hands. Yes, the beer has an unexpected and, indeed, unwelcome addition to the flavour profile. Yes, they would prefer that it wasn’t there because even in a ‘Beer with no Style’ you still don’t want to list “infection” on the ingredients panel. But does that warrant a recall or discount or a public flogging in the town square? Probably not. But an admission that sometimes even under the strictest controls and the tightest testing something can go amiss would have been nice.

I reckon the Ambassador will come good in two or three years and that’s probably as much a hope as it is a considered opinion but I’m happy to wait and see. I still think the concept of the Ambassador is a good one because next year’s Vintage will still sell because there are those who need it to ‘complete the set’ and there are those who will want one as a gift or to display in the boardroom. Who knows, they might even have forgotten all about the stink by then.

“Brett? Wasn’t he the bloke from the second series of “The Farmer wants a Root?”

Prof Pilsner
(Proudly NOT a real Professor)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Buses, Beechworth, Bright and a bit of Beer

On paper it all innocent enough. A weekend bus trip to historic Beechworth in Victoria’s North East on Saturday and a casual lunch visit to Bright on the Sunday for lunch.

This trip, however, was not conducted on paper but in the form of three minibuses filled with Ale Stars and Local Taphouse regulars and the destinations included two of Victoria’s finest craft breweries and Beechworth’s oldest hotel so ‘innocent’ was suddenly looking like a forlorn hope.

Add to the mix three 2-way radios, 3 dodgy Op Shop Bus Driver uniforms and a healthy dose of shenanigans and the trip began to take on more of a Footy Trip feel.

In short the trip had everything. From stunning views and limited release brews to bargain hunting and Bogan spotting – we even had real beer tears and lost a couple of our number along the way.

It all began just before our scheduled departure time when Justin rang Guy from Thrifty Rentals in South Melbourne to explain that they had no record of our bus booking. “That’s probably because the bus is booked at Avis Rentals in South Melbourne”, Guy replied. This was a good omen.

With all passengers (and buses) accounted for we set off in convoy for Beechworth some 300 kms away. Trivia questions and a beer version of ‘Spotto’ were on hand to keep ‘the kids’ amused on the 3 & a 1/2 hour journey but it wasn’t long before it became clear that Fun & Frivolity would be the order of the day. An exchange of paperwork at the first set of traffic lights kinda set the standard.

And we hadn’t had a beer yet.

Communication between buses via 2 way radios was arranged so that stops could be co-ordinated, road conditions passed on and, most importantly, so that no-one would get lost. Two outta three ain’t bad. Green Leader (Guy) headed us along the Hume until the first Wangaratta turn off where he took the exit before Amber 2 (Prof) could get on the mike and say “DON’T!!” Silver Fox (Justin) had a big call to make; follow the Prof’s call or head off with the tear-aways.

He chose poorly.

A call was put out quickly (before we lost radio contact) to let the Lost Boys know that we would wait on the Great Alpine Road while they took in the unplanned sights of Wangaratta township. We expected to catch them up in around 10 minutes. That’s ten minutes in normal time, which is actually twenty minutes in “Wangaratta is flooded and we needed to take a bit of a detour time”.

Two important decisions were then made. JJ and GG allowed the Prof to change his call sign to ‘Lone Wolf’ and also that ‘Lone Wolf’ would take the lead from here on in. A relatively relaxing and uneventful jaunt into Beechworth saw us head in convoy down Ford Street and around into the back carpark of Bridge Road Brewers at – you won’t believe this – exactly 1.15pm as per the itinerary. Things could really only go pear-shaped from this point.

While the thirsty travellers availed themselves of several of Ben Kraus’ splendid brews the bus drivers drove the convoy to Latrobe at Beechworth which, despite being no more than 10 minutes walking distance from the brewery, took us half an hour, 2 laps of town and a visit to the Information Centre to locate. I should have led us off. Once the group was checked-in and the luggage dumped en masse in the closest room, the drivers headed back to Bridge road Brewers to begin the Bus Drivers’ favourite game, “Catch Up”.

The afternoon was spent enjoying the local culture while the night was spent enjoying the local wildlife. It’s fair to say that a fair amount of coin was ploughed into the local economy and it wasn’t long before the town knew it had some visitors. The night wore on in various lengths and as the sun came up the last of the crew was getting back to bed as the first were presenting for breakfast.

By the time our scheduled departure drew near we realised we were 2 short of a full tour as some friends of James had yet to surface. A light knock on their door suggested they had wandered into town with half a dozen others but, when leaving time arrived and they were still MIA, a gentle pounding was applied to the door before the decision was made to leave without them. Afterall, a 6.6% attrition rate for a tour of this type is more than acceptable.

We made our way to Bright with a couple of fake indicator manoeuvres, a couple of ‘two-times-round-the-roundabout’ and more than a couple of sore heads. Beautiful sunshine greeted us, along with Scott Brandon from Bright Brewery and after a tour and some more tastings we had lunch and a special dessert – some ‘experimental’ chill distilled Fainter’s Dubbel from Scott’s cellar. A cracking warm and rich sherry-like brew but not one for those with a four hour drive to look forward to.

As we wound up our trip with the obligatory ‘after’ group photo (including two chairs with Bright Mini Kegs to represent our fallen comrades) we bade farewell to Bright and pointed the wagons homeward. Carefully planned piss stops, sorry Pit Stops and pre-arranged drop offs were confirmed and we were away. These plans were all soon discarded as we stopped off at the Milawa Cheese factory and several bladders proved to be less iron-clad than their owners had given them credit for.

The trip concluded with some absolutely text-book sensational co-ordinated passing moves (geez those 2 way radios were worth the effort!) and some very entertaining rounds of Spot The Bogan before we approached the lights of the city. Before we began to shed passengers along the way into St Kilda a straw poll was conducted to see which of the many beers sampled over the preceding 48 hours was the favourite.

The Bridge Road B2 Bomber and the Bright Staircase Porter were well supported but the clear winner was the Bridge Road Bier de Garde on handpump at Tanswell’s commercial Hotel. As too what was the funniest/scariest/most embarrassing moment from the weekend ... well, you know, what happens on tour STAYS on tour!

Needless to say preparations are being made to arrange the next Ale Stars Road Trip with various destinations and durations being considered. I’m all for returning to Beechworth and Bright again and I’ve even offered to drive the big bus.

If nothing else, we owe it to the two we left behind to at least make a half-arsed effort to find them!

Prof Pilsner

P.S. A huge thank you to Big Kelv for his sterling job of Wingman. Shotgun Rider, Navigator and, most importantly, Hanging-Out-The-Window-Photographer on my bus. And a special shout-out to all my passengers for their company and friendship. We really must do it all again. Soon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Crafty Pint

In the words of the Southern Army Officer from one of my favourite M*A*S*H episodes;
“Well strap mah face to the side of a hawg and roll me in the mud, where ARE mah mannaers?!?”

In all the post Home Show excitement, the second meeting of the recently formed Australian Beer Writers Guild (NTBTTS)* and running a family, I completely forget to give a very large shout-out to a mate and his labour of love website, The Crafty Pint.

Conceived, designed, created and driven by freelance journo and beer lover, James Smith, The Crafty Pint is something of a one-stop site for all your Craft Beer needs. It provides plenty of easy to read information on the beers, the breweries who brew them and the good beer people who sell them to you, all in a really tight, quick-loading format.

At this stage The Crafty Pint covers just Victorian craft brewers and their beers and focuses on in-house brewers rather than contract brewers or other beer on-sellers but hopes to expand over the coming months to promote craft beers around the country.

Regularly updated, the site gives readers a heads-up on new beer releases and beer events around town. With links to the breweries it’s an easy job to find out more from the source and maps and locators make it easy to plan a night out, a pub visit or a trip away and satisfy all your beery needs.

There are plenty of other feature pages keeping you well informed about all things craft beer – even a very entertaining section which features a Beer Blogger of the Month (well worth checking out the first offering!) – making The Crafty Pint a great source of information as well as entertainment for the craft beer lover.

Prof Pilsner

*Not To Be Taken Too Seriously

The Courthouse packs out – again

I had planned to post a quick reminder of the next Beer Dinner I’ll be hosting at The Courthouse Restaurant this Friday night featuring some really nice food matches and some beers that slip from the Winter Warmers into the fresher hoppy quenchers of Spring ...

But it has booked-out again.

The next is due for the second week of November but I think it might end up slotting into the last week or two of October so that we can give it a bit more lead-in.

As for this Friday, think of the forty of us as we settle in to some seriously nice food and, among other fine brews, Schofferhoffer Kristalweizen, Brew Boys Maiden Ale and Bridge Road Brewers Megachile Pluto Braggot.

Prof Pilsner

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Beer Blokes at The Melbourne Home Show

The last week of August saw the Beer Blokes join beery forces with The Courthouse Restaurant in Berwick to take the word on Good Beer to the masses at The Herald Sun Home Show and Garden Expo.

For those unable to attend, we presented a Beer & Food Experience in three parts. Showcasing three of Matilda Bay’s finest brews, we began with a nice crisp Munich style lager, Big Helga, and a brief introduction to Craft Beer. Tim (Chef & Owner of The Courthouse) then showed the crowd how to use beer as an ingredient in a pie which was then matched with a Fat Yak Pale Ale. We finished with the seemingly incompatible Dogbolter Dark Lager paired with a little chocolate mud cake. The fact that not a single crumb or drop was left behind makes me guess that the matches were a hit!

We were thrilled with the response to both our show on The Wine & Dine Stage and to the crowds we had visit us at our stand. Attendance at The Home Show was expected to be around 40,000 and it felt as though, between us, Tim and I served nearly all of them samples of Matilda Bay beers, along with some selected offerings from some of Victoria’s finest Craft Breweries. And when I say ‘we’ of course I mean ‘we’ plus our very dedicated support staff of Jess, Carol and Sam who helped us out – particularly after each stage show when a mass of ‘Beer Hunters’ headed over for some more of what they saw on stage!

We are all now totally exhausted but absolutely thrilled that so many people were keen to find out more about our burgeoning Craft Beer scene and were so willing to try some beers that were, until now, a mystery to them. We are busily preparing orders for shipping and selecting some special Craft Beers from around Australia for our visitors to enjoy. Needless to say there are more than a few Dads who will get a very nice surprise on Sunday September 5th!

A special thanks to Tom and the crew from Mountain Goat for your help – there are now heaps of little kids with Goat stickers on their bikes! To Ben from Bridge Road Brewers and all the others who helped us with posters and stuff to make the stand look ‘homely’ an extra big thank you. And the biggest thank you of all to Scott and the crew at Matilda Bay for the loan of the bar which made the stand look welcoming and gave the punters something solid to lean on while they learned all about good beer!

Prof Pilsner