September 23, 2013 by 250 Beers
I’d been unable to attend the previous two annual events due to family commitments. However, the 2013 version of Armakeggon was locked-in with the ever-understanding Mrs 250 Beers weeks ago.
Armakeggon is a keg-fest. Plain and simple. A horde of around 50 different kegs of weird and wonderful beer (and some cider) gets tapped at Archive during a seven hour event.
The all-ticket affair kicked off at 11am at which point hundreds of thirsty Brisbanites flooded through Archive’s front entrance. I much prefer the front entrance if I’m honest as the rear entrance can often be a bit, well, trickyˆ.
I’d arrived early due to train connections and found myself pretty close to the front of the impeccably behaved queue which was basking in the Spring sunshine. Being one of the first twenty or so proved fortunate as fellow blogger, The Westbender, and I managed to grab a decent table ahead of the hoards of people behind us.
Having familiarised myself with the tap list last week I was keen to try as many new beers as possible. Wisely, every beer (and cider) was available in either a pot or 105ml taster.
I managed to try 21 different beers during my stay (I left before the end). All but two of these were tasters and all but two were unique to me.
There were 33 beers on offer that I hadn’t tried before so getting to try 19 new, unique beers before I departed was quite pleasing. Also, I’m not sure that I was coherent enough to work my way through the other 14 on my hit-list.
One clever concept was the tap rotation over four sessions. This was genius. I’m told that in previous years kegs weren’t changed over until they ran out which meant that lots of people missed out on some eagerly awaited brews. This year, after a few hours, the 18 taps at the main bar and next door bar gave way to different beers. Then reverted after a couple more hours…and then back again. Yes, I’m sure this pissed off the bar staff (who were fantastic by the way) but it kept us beer drinkers very happy.
Also keeping people happy was the lack of time spent standing at the various bars. The beer token system can be thanked for that. Having exchanged cash for these small tickets upon arrival meant that nobody was left standing at the bar waiting for change. This paved the way for quicker service.
As well as the rotating taps, there were ‘All Day’ bars too manned by Green Beacon, Holgate, Palais Imports and Stone & Wood.
I won’t bore the shit out of you by listing all 21 of the beers that I put away (I’ll save that for September’s round-up blog post early next month) but stand-outs for me were as follows:
Grindcore – Coffee IPA (6.3%) from Brewtal Brewers (QLD)
Cohort – Double Black Belgian Rye Pale Ale (7.5%) from Summer Wine Brewery (UK)
Cunning Ninja Shogun – Barrel-Aged IPA (14.3%) from Bacchus Brewing (QLD)
XS – Imperial IPA (9.5%) from Rogue Ales (USA)
Caramel Zombie Asalt – Salted Caramel Brown Ale (7.8%) from Toybox Brewery (QLD).
Beelzebub’s Jewels – Oak-Aged Belgian Quad (12.00%) from Holgate.
It should be noted that this was pumped via a Randal that was loaded with rum-soaked apricot, figs and something else that I can’t remember but it was bloody tasty! Nice work, Dan!
Special mention to Ross and the Bacchus boys for their Craison (8.4%) a crayfish saison. I’m not the biggest seafood fan. In fact, fish fingers are about as far as I go when it comes to eating things out of the water. I had an issue with Scampi Fries when I was younger. Anyway, yet again Bacchus have pushed the boundaries with brewing. This one is peculiar yet drinkable at the same time. Fishy.
Everybody present yesterday would have seen the Channel Nine TV cameraman along with a reporter. The news item was aired last night during the prime-time 6pm bulletin. Well, in between Untappd check-ins I had the forethought to text the wife and ask her to ‘tape’ it. Mrs 250 Beers duly obliged. Then, this morning, I did a good old-fashioned recording of a recording and uploaded it to YouTube. I apologise in advance for the poor quality. Turn your sound up…and keep an eye out for me in the background during the interview with Ross from Bacchus. I’m the hunk sporting the Fortitude t-shirt…
The constant intake of water throughout the day has left me without one iota of a hangover today which made me very happy. Anybody with two small kids to get fed and dressed in the mornings will know exactly how happy I am.
I survived the end of the world. It means that my sorry ass will be in the queue next year at Armakeggon 2014.
It was a great day. Thanks to all involved at Archive!