April 18, 2013 by 250 Beers
Will she? What on earth does that song mean?
“She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes.”
Of course she will or else she wouldn’t be coming round the mountain.
We started singing that little old ditty on a jaunt to Queensland’s brewing ‘mecca’, Mt Tamborine last weekend. I say ‘we‘. By that I mean ‘I‘. Mrs 250 Beers reluctantly joined in on the third verse and the two mini 250 Beers just stared at us…..in amazement. Probably.
I mention the word ‘mecca’ because, amongst a host of wineries and distilleries, Tamborine and its neighbouring villages are now home to three notable breweries. There’s Fortitude Brewing along with their rowdy sibling, Noisy Minor. Also, Beard and Brau of course who have relocated from Barossa in South Australia. The other is the established Mt Tamborine Brewery or MT Brewery as it’s called….this is where we were heading.
We drove south for the 110km journey from 250 Beers Towers for a spot of lunch. Mrs 250 Beers was convinced that I only wanted to go for the beers and that taking her and the kids out for a Sunday drive was just a ruse.
She was right. She always is dammit.
Due to an unplanned stop-off, we arrived with moments to spare ahead of our 1pm table booking. We had to stop because the youngest of the mini 250 Beers got hungry. It was obvious that the tot’s hunger wasn’t going to wait until we got to the brewery. Driving in the same vehicle as a crying baby isn’t my favourite past-time so I begrudgingly pulled the car over. It turned out to be a good move because my full attention was required as we climbed the mountain roads.
The roads are notoriously tricky to negotiate and had it been raining I would’ve shit myself twice as much as I already was. I may not have even gone through with it. These windy roads have claimed several lives in recent years. So, soiling ones pants is pretty much a given.
The drive was well worth it though. As soon as we’d been shown to our table, it was obvious that the ambience was very much a laid back one. There are two main eating areas; the bar area which is near, er, the bar which has a covered section as well as an outdoor seating arrangement or there’s the bistro/restaurant, Liquid Amber, which is where we were situated. The whole complex also includes a cheese factory/shop plus the actual brewery and it’s all housed under one roof which really does bring together a wonderful vibe to the place.
I was a bit nervous about being in the more upmarket bistro with the two kids as this was our first outing for a meal as a foursome (something we only realised while we were there) and you never know if my three-year old son will have his ‘I’m going to be an arse hole today’ hat on but there were heaps of families in attendance. My fears were quashed when it transpired that both boys were impeccably well-behaved.
Once comfortable in our seats, a waitress asked if we wanted to order some drinks. I nearly made some ridiculous statement about us being at a brewery but I bit my lip and ordered an MT Rainforest Lager. The wife ordered some weird girly, red liquid. The waitress took our food order too.
By now, the eldest of the two mini 250 Beers was getting really hungry. He’d watched his younger sibling get fed about an hour prior and kept asking when the food was coming. When it did arrive, we were all quite surprised at the size of the portions. They were huge!
Mrs 250 Beers had ordered the cheese nachos and, I kid you not, it would have served three people. My three-year old had ordered the chicken tenders with chips which would have lasted him hours! He didn’t get through it all. I had opted for the home-made ‘pizza of the day’. I’m a sucker for good pizza and when I found out what the ingredients were I’d made my mind up instantly. In fact, the split second the waitress had uttered the word ‘kransky’ I was sold and nodding frantically. The kransky was accompanied by BBQ chicken pieces, some fancy cheese and some onion.
I wouldn’t usually have opted for a lager but I was very thirsty after the drive and, after all, the chance of the MT lager being anything like a run-of-the-mill lager was pretty slim. It sat side by side my pizza with both complimenting each other perfectly. A good, steady, sessionable lager.
I was full after the pizza had disappeared and Mrs 250 Beers was struggling to get through her pile of nachos. We avoided dessert in preference of treating the boys to some ice-cream at one of the many shops down the road. I have a sweet tooth but I was keen on another beer in place of sweet stuff. I ordered the schwarzbier, Black Cockatoo. I thoroughly enjoyed it as much as the first. Appealing to my sweet tooth, I was pleasantly surprised with the subtle sweetness to this beer. It wasn’t very prominent but it was definitely there. I liked it.
I settled the bill which was around $60. Not bad considering that included three huge meals plus drinks.
Not wishing to leave the brewery MT handed (see what I did there?), I walked back to the main bar area and ordered a mixed 6pack to take home with me. Six bottles of different MT Brewery beers. Hopefully, it was $20 well spent. I’ll review them all and report back soon. The actual brewery set-up is adjacent to the main bar so while I was there I had a quick look. It was pretty impressive although not being a brewer myself, I didn’t know exactly what I was looking at.
In an attempt to walk off that big lunch, we strolled along the main high street and took in some local craft shops, bought some fudge made on the premises in a fudge shop and, of course, some ice-cream for a very good boy.
One thing that the wife didn’t realise was the fact that we were actually heading directly towards MacDonnell Road which is home to Fortitude Brewing and Noisy Minor. “Oh, did I fail to mention that Darling?”
Being a non-brewer (that is likely to change), it amazes me just how small brewing set-ups can be. An average Joe would be forgiven for thinking that beer is made in huge factories. I suppose it is in some cases but having just seen the small arrangement at the MT Brewery, it really shouldn’t have been astonishing to find that the old dwellings of the Eagle Heights Brewery and now base for Fortitude Brewing and Noisy Minor are not much bigger than the shed in my own back yard. Having sampled eight decent Noisy Minor beers at the launch last month, I’m convinced that their building must be like Doctor Who’s Tardis inside!
There was nobody home so I didn’t get the opportunity to thank the guys personally for inviting me to the launch.
After burning off a few of the calories that we’d gained during our feast, we walked back to the MT Brewery where we’d left the car and then got on our way to conclude the 220km round trip. I wasn’t really looking forward to the hair-raising descent back down the mountainous roads. However, with the kids almost instantaneously asleep in the back, it would prove easier than the trip up.
Would I go back? Absolutely. If the six MT beers in my beer fridge as are good as the two I had off tap and if kransky appears regularly on their pizzas, then there’s a strong chance I’ll be back sooner rather than later.
MT Brewery beer reviews online soon!
MT Brewery, 165 Long Road, Eagle Heights 07 5545 2032