March 11, 2013 by 250 Beers
February’s unique beer intake was 46.
That’s 46 different beers that, before the start of February, I’d never tried before. Greedy b*stard.
This comes hot on the heels of January’s revelation that my unique beer consumption was increasing. I provided a shitty graph to show the recent acceleration in growth of my unique beer tally. Well, fear not graph lovers because I’ve updated it! The amazing graphic now includes February (which should be called Febrewery):
Where do I begin?! Here goes:
4 Degrees Summer Wheat by Queensland’s 4 Hearts Brewing is a very fresh 5.0% wheat beer that I thoroughly enjoyed and will enjoy again I’m sure. A perfect Summer thirst quencher! I had this at Brisbane’s Pig ‘n’ Whistle (Riverside) pub. They obviously had left-over beer from January’s Fluid Festival.
Pints that were also consumed at the ‘Pig’ in February were Bacchus Brewing’s Queensland Ale (4.7%), Blue Sky’s IPA (4.5%), Weizen from Cavalier Brewing (5.0%), Murray’s 6.0% Big Wednesday (for the record, yes, I did have this on a Wednesday), Summer Ale (4.5%) from Prickly Moses, Wicked Elf Witbier (5.0%) from The Little Brewing Co. and, lastly, a threesome from Moo Brew – Pilsner (5.0%), Hefeweizen (5.1%) and the Barrel Aged Vintage Imperial Stout (8.0%) which is one the best stouts I’ve ever had.
For those that couldn’t make it to the Australia Day event (like me), this remnant stock was a bonus!
Sticking with the Queensland theme it’s only right that at this point I should mention my consumption of a bottle of Beard and Brau’s Golden Paw which is a very pleasurable 4.7% pale ale. Beard and Brau have recently relocated from South Australia to the Sunshine State. Also from Queensland is the Sunshine Coast brewery. I tried their Rye ESB (5.8%) and was blown away by the amazing maltiness of it.
There was a good showing of international beers that were added to my tally last month.
An Altenmunster Brauer Bier fell into my shopping basket during February for no other reason than I love these ceramic swing-top’s. As it happens, this wasn’t a bad beer at all (4.9%). A very traditional German beer.
Two from America – both of which were from The Brooklyn Brewery, New York. The East India Pale Ale (6.9%) is one of their perennials whilst the Oktoberfest (5.5%) is a seasonal brew.
One from the Republic of Ireland – a Caffrey’s Irish Ale. I bought this for old times sake. I wish I hadn’t as it was nothing like I recall. It was a very ‘nothingy’ 3.8%. The plus point was that I got to use an old glass of mine from the UK.
One from Scotland – the readily available Old Engine Oil Porter (6.0%) from the Harviestoun Brewery in Alva, Clackmannanshire.
Two from Canada – both from Whistler Brewing Co. the Classic Pale Ale was just that – a classic tasting pale ale (5.0%) and the other was the Black Tusk Ale (5.0%). I’m not sure what they were hoping to achieve with this one. It’s categorised as a dark ale and it was rather poor in my opinion. I certainly wasn’t expecting to savour upon the taste of an elephant’s tusk but I was at least expecting to taste a nice beer.
Two from Belgium – one was the world-famous wheat beer Hoegaarden (4.9%) which I scored a 4pack of for just $10. They were due out of date at the end of March. Result for me. I hadn’t had a ‘Hoey’ for approximately 15 years. It used to be a favourite of mine when I spent my time bouncing from pub to pub in Islington, London. Good times. The other Belgian beer was my first ever lambic or ‘sour’. Timmermans Tradition Gueuze (5.0%) got a blog post all to itself which you can read about here.
Three from London, England. Two were Chocolate themed brews which were Young’s Double Chocolate Stout (5.2%) which is imported into Australia by the container-load. It’s easily accessible from most large liquor outlets. The other is Chocolate Porter (6.5%) from Meantime. The Meantime brewery, as the name suggests, is in Greenwich. This is just down the road from where I grew up so I have a soft spot for these guys. This brew is delicious and was a great excuse for me to get out my Meantime pint glass! Do yourself a favour and try this porter if you haven’t already done so. The third beer from London was a Fuller’s London Pride (4.7%) which is the beer that really pushed Fuller’s into the ‘big-time’. This is a real English classic.
Another porter and a beer from Japan – from the Yo-Ho Brewing Company who are a three-hour train journey north-west of Tokyo. The Black Porter (5.0%) was my first ever Yo-Ho and I think it may well have been my first craft beer out of a can? I can’t include the Caffrey’s as a craft beer as Molson Coors produce it.
Another Molson beer that I tried for the first time during the month of Valentines was a King Cobra. This 7.5% pilsner style beer is sold in 750ml bottles with a champagne cork to boot. This is all very elaborate but probably very necessary as there was a huge amount of carbonation. I popped this open during a feast of Indian curry one Saturday evening and it went down extremely well. I do prefer the less gassy, standard Cobra though.
There was a solitary offering from Russia – Bajithka 9 is a strong 8.0% beer that I think was a lager. I couldn’t rely on my Russian reading skills as I don’t possess any. It tasted like a lager but the alcohol taste ruined it for me as it was very overpowering.
Febrewery saw the arrival of two new beers for my list from New Zealand. First up was Gunnamatta Tea Leaf IPA (6.5%) from Yeastie Boys. I had high hopes for this as I’m a big IPA fan. However, it let me down a bit. I didn’t like the taste. Not really my cup of tea. The less said about the next Kiwi beer the better. My ramblings all about Monteith’s Brewers Series IPA (5.5%) can be found elsewhere on this blog!
A visit to Cleveland on Brisbane’s Bayside one Saturday afternoon turned into an accidental mini-shopping spree mid-Feb. I was driving along and saw a sign for The Vine bottle shop. I screeched to a halt and left the wife and kids in the car as I dashed in. Amongst a few beers that I’d had before, I walked out of there with some newbies: The Beast – a 7.0% IPA from Jamieson Brewery (which I’d been on the look-out for), Holgate’s Nut Brown Ale (5.3%) and also a Stone & Wood’s Jasper Ale (4.7%).
To this day I have no idea how I hadn’t tried the Jasper before then. I just kept missing it I guess.
My unique beer list was blessed with the presence of five beers from Western Australia in Feb. These were Feral Brewing’s 5.8% Hop Hog IPA (which achieved cult status by claiming the top spot in this year’s Local Taphouse Hottest 100), their White which is a 4.6% Belgian style wheat beer, Nail Brewing’s Australian Pale Ale (4.7%) as well as their Oatmeal Stout (6.0%) and also Matso’s Pearlers Pale Ale (4.5%). The pick of the WA bunch would definitely have to be the Hop Hog. It’s an extremely decent IPA that I will drink again and again and again. Special mention goes to the Nail Stout which was very smooth. I’ll be reacquainting myself with this again during the winter months.
I mentioned a pint of Murray’s Big Wednesday IPA earlier in this post. One of its stable mates is the Punch & Judy Ale. At 3.9% this beer is at the opposite end of the alcohol content scale but proves that lower alcohol content doesn’t necessarily mean shit beer. The Punch & Judy is certainly punching above its weight in terms of flavour. I’d happily drink this one again.
Red Hill’s Golden Ale (5.0%) and Scotch Ale (5.8%) will definitely feature on my palate again. Both were extremely well crafted and very sessionable. The Scotch Ale in particular left me wanting more.
There were three Holgate beers; the Pilsner (5.1%), the Temptress Chocolate Porter (6.0%) and the Road Trip IPA (5.8%). More on Holgate and their beers in a blog post not too far away.
Beechworth’s Bridge Road Brewers provided me with the opportunity to sink a couple of real gems. The Bling IPA (5.8%) is very good. A real hop-smack but not over the top. It was just right and very drinkable. Just as sessionable was the Summer IPA (5.0%) – an Australian single hop IPA. The Summer hops are very gentle making this IPA a real pleasure to drink. I had this one at Archive in Brisbane and I could have sat there all afternoon drinking more of it.
As my monthly round-up for February draws to a close, I have to give mention to one last beer that made my list. Lager Than Life is a 6.5% pale lager than comes from the Bald Dog Brewery on Brisbane’s north-side. Owner and operator, John, re-ignited his passion for brewing with this real treat. More please John!
46 different beers over a month is probably a few too many. Many of these beers weren’t purchased as ‘singles’. Some were 6packs and some were 4packs. With a close friend of my Father seriously ill with liver problems, we should all remember not to overdo it.