Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ale Stars – A new year

Tuesday night saw Ale Stars at the Local Taphouse in St Kilda reach something of a turning point. We saw the first instalment of the new Ale Star year. We saw the launch of the very first Ale Stars memberships. We saw the presentation of the first Ale Stars member shirts. And we saw Trappist Ales.

Many saw very little by the end of the night.

I’d like to spend a little time to detail the tasting notes of the four Trappist Ales we tried. I’d like to, but I can’t. I remember we started with Orval that kicked off at 6.2% ABV, moved through Chimay Rouge at 7%, onto Westmalle Tripel at 9.5% and finished with a Gulden Drak dark tripel at 10.5%. It all gets a bit hazy after that.

I do remember that, before the night kicked off our Ale Stars shirts were received. The presentation of the ‘gurnseys’ revived memories of junior footy days when the coach – usually the team captain’s Dad – called each kid up, shook his hand and reminded us all that the jumper carried the club’s history and proud traditions and that, if you were going to go out and get pissed and embarrass yourself, don’t be wearing the jumper. Guy and Justin just threw our shirts at us from the bar. But the sentiment was the same. At least it was FOR THOSE LUCKY ENOUGH TO GET THEIR SHIRT Apparently a couple of us with unique sizing requirements will need to wait a bit longer.
Ale Stars has kicked up another gear yet again. It was as if everyone in the room suddenly ‘knew’ each other. We were all ‘known’ before, but now we ‘knew’ each other. Proudly walking the room wearing a stylish Local Taphouse- badged shirt, individually monogrammed and numbered, the Ale Stars seemed ‘closer’ and it just seemed to make the place a strangely happier one. For those who got their shirt.

I don’t know if it was entirely due to the fact that the long awaited memberships were delivered or the fact that those cheeky Monks hidden within our brews were giving us a little more ‘buzz’, but the night seemed to fly. No sooner had we settled in than we were standing around in groups, holding up the bar, holding up The High Table or holding up Simon-Rob and admiring each others shirts. Those who had them.

I should point out at this point that I was humbled and thrilled, in equal parts, to have been able to celebrate my birthday on the same night. Thanks Shandy in particular, for the special gift of a homeopathic, organic and bio-dynamic hangover cure. To Ben, thanks for the Camra magazine – I have already filled out the form for my Beard-and-Anorak Special Offer.

Thanks also to everyone who wished me well. I should especially thank my mate Col who offered to drive because I must also thank the twelve other Ale Stars who bought me a birthday drink which left me incapable of driving a greasy stick up a dead dog’s arse – so to speak. Kelv, the Rochefort was a particularly memorable drop if for no other reason that I got to share it with you and that it eclipsed the night’s previous holder of most potent brew. 11.2%??? I could have sworn it was no more that 11%!

Maybe because I had my birthday buzz on, but this Ale Stars just stood out as especially memorable. Did the heady Trappist brews have anything to do with the following;

We recorded our FIRST glass-drop-and-smash. Don’t worry Robert, I won’t print who did it.
We almost recorded our first light-smash when Shandy got a bit too enthusiastic with the tech-foul bell.
We definitely recorded our first Prof-Smashed. Luckily, no-one knew it was me because I DIDN’T HAVE MY ALE STARS SHIRT.

And to finish, I have to give a huge shout-out to Jo, Gemma, Bron (Bran) and the rest of their team who aced the trivia Quiz for the first time. And they did it on one of the few nights that ‘Lucky’ Simon was away – coincidence? Or just Lady Luck?!

Prof. Pilsner


Steve said...

Great wrap up Prof. I never realised you were funny ;-)

Shandy said...

I think that Ale Stars goes down as the drunkenest one yet. I was super sozzled myself and have only a foggy recolection of events after the Kwak and other post event beer treats. I wasn't even approaching the efforts of Simon though. Hardly any wonder as the big lad was knocking over full versions of the samples as his "inbetweeners". I remember him asking me to hold him up. Fat chance, I was barely holding myself up. Crackin night. Hope the hangover cure worked.

Gems said...

Awesome night! The beer was so great I forgot it was a school night.
Happy birthday Prof!
I still cant believe we wont trivia! Hooray for the Cheese Stars!

Briony said...

Happiest of happy birthdays Prof - I never would have missed it had I of known!

I have been told my shirt is 'in the mail' whatever that means. Will wear it out and about and send some pics of the furthest flung Ale Star :)

Glad it was a great night, keep up the great blogging Prof

Stevo in Sydney said...

Oh, and happy birthday Prof!

I'm sorry I missed this one but after the damage I did last time it was probably a wise thing to have escaped for Sydney only hours before!

I think in time a history of the Ale Stars will need writing and I think you're the man to do it!

Shandy said...

Oh yeah, and how about the Cheese Stars taking the gong. I reckon Briony and Simon are the hand brakes on that team. Good work Gem, Jo and the others. I'm gonna make the trivia next month a stinker. :)

Beer Blokes said...

I feel so sorry for Simon and Briony - all the fine beers they have put away over so many Ale Star nights and their team finally scores a win and a free beer and they miss it!

Hope Sydney was worth missing this one for! Look forward to catching up soon to share all the details!

Thanks to all who wished me well for my birthday ... best birthday party since the one I had when I was eight years old.


Shandy said...

More evidence of how well recieved the beers were and how hammered everyone was. I've just put all the scores into a spreadsheet and found one set of scores with the names of the beers as follows.

Orval (Nothing odd about that)
Chi666may - Fucken (obviously liked it)
WeSatanMalle (Would the monks approve?)
Gulden DrLuciferAk (Fortunately not brewed by monks)

I'm pretty sure these are Simon's scores but I can't say for certain.

Beer Blokes said...

I an so confident that Simn/Rob is responsible for these that I will put a beer on it. In fact, make it a 666 pack.