Monday, July 14, 2008

A Mountain Goat & A Nice Pint

It was one of those spur-of-the-moment things where the Beer Gods just sort of say, ‘Yeah, Go on, it’s just what you need’. After two weeks of playing sole care giver to the two and four year old, and with another week still to come, I was not really starting to go completely mad but let’s just say that the level of general conversation needed to be raised just a tad. There really is only so much thoughtful insight on the human condition to be gleaned from the situation where Tooty didn’t wait her turn and pushed in front of Brobee on the slide in Yo Gabba Gabba. And don’t even get me started on the number of times the little girls have taken great joy in beating me at ‘Guess Which Window’ on Play School. Curse you, round window!!!

So a brief e-mail from Chris at 10.57 last week came 17 seconds after the same e-mail I received from Mountain Goat Brewery announcing the tapping of the newest of their ‘one-off’ brews, an amber ale called ‘Fancy Pants’. I replied with a flippant kind of, ‘sounds like a good reason to get down on Friday, before it all goes’ to which Chris replied, ‘will check with the boss but sounds do-able’.

Permission granted and babysitter sourced and it was off to the Goat to get some good beer down our throat! If Melbourne could have turned on a colder winter’s night it would have been snowing but walking through the almost secret clubhouse entrance to the brewery bar we couldn’t have felt warmer. The anticipation of a nice hand crafted ale or two probably helped the system to adapt as well. The first thing you always notice about the Goat is that wether the joint is quiet or pumping it always has a welcoming feel. This has as much to do with the underlying philosophy of the place as established by its creators as it does to do with the homely feel of the space and the honest friendliness of the staff.

Mountain Goat was at the forefront of the craft brew ‘movement’ in Victoria back in the 1990’s and has held something of a sentimental favouritism to craft brew drinkers for sticking true to strong beliefs in the types of beers they wanted to produce and the way in which they wanted the beer made and marketed. Urban legends abound as to the tactics used by Cam and Dave and their mates to get the ‘Goat word’ out onto the streets and into the pubs. More of this in an upcoming post dedicated to the “Goat Guys’ and their special brand of beery magic.

Friday nights at the Goat are something of a well poorly kept secret – if that makes sense – in that many know about the tap beers and the magic pizzas and the community spirit in the joint and the fact that you just don’t see too many drop kicks or dickheads like you might find in a chromed and pokie littered pub. But it is no secret society or subscriber club. One in, all in. That and the fact that you can sit and drink a Hightail Ale and, with a glance over your shoulder, see the steam gently rising from the vats of the same stuff that your beer soulmate will be drinking in months to come. And he or she will sip theirs and look over THEIR shoulder and think of YOU! The Circle of Beer!

The whimsically named Fancy Pants is an absolute cracker and, if you like your beer with hop aroma, hop taste and hop bitterness all neatly wrapped up in a perfectly balanced malt driven V6 touring car of a beer then I suggest you get down there soon. Perhaps you could suggest it become a regular feature on the Goats’ brewing calendar. Get your mates to spread the word and make the same suggestion. Ask local pubs why they don’t have it on tap and suggest they get on board as well. Hmmmm, sounds like a good sneaky way to get the word out?!

Anyway, the Pants were followed by an IPA for me and a Hefeweizen for Chris while Jimmy switched to a very nice, and nicely priced, red. I finished with a Pale and Chris the Surefoot Stout. It has to be said that on a chilly night there is something almost magical and medicinal about the Goats’ Stout that can’t be explained. It also doesn’t need to be. You just kinda drink it and then you’ll know what I mean.

Get into the Goat at but don’t read all the history and stuff because it might spoil your enjoyment of my piece on craft brewers featuring The Goat.

Prof. Pilsner

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