February 5, 2014 by 250 Beers
The most recent Sniff & Sip session at The Brewhouse was last Thursday and it featured beers from Holgate. Hosted by the effervescent Dan Rawlings, it was the fourth such session.
As has become the norm for these events, the sesh was a sell-out and kicked-off slightly later than planned. However, nobody seemed fazed by the delay. The thought of five Holgate beers imminently being served kept attendees smiling.
The delayed start was a blessing in disguise for me as I was running late too. I had to hot-foot it across town following a blog-related, covert meeting at The Embassy. Details soon!
I managed to squeeze in a pint of the Brewhouse’s very own 7.5% double IPA – Pride of Ringwood SMASH before proceedings got underway. It hit the spot after my mad dash through Brisbane in peak hour but I struggled to get through further helpings later on in the evening especially when somebody highlighted that the aroma was akin to blue cheese.
Aside from the always fantastic beers being showcased at the Sniff & Sip sessions, the food is simply wonderful. I haven’t missed a session yet and I’m proud to state that I go to these functions to enjoy the food as much as the beer. They also provide a great social platform for people to get together. It didn’t shock me that there were people in attendance that had come from Ipswich to be involved. On a personal note, it was good to catch up with Jane and Mary again. I’d first met them last year at a Four Hearts Brewing degustation at Alehouse 24.
I knew what I was letting myself in for with the five Holgate beers as I’d had them all before. A large part of my continuing beer journey is trying new beers. Therefore, the fact that all five on show last week weren’t new to me is further testament to the pull that these events seem to generate.
The five beers and five foods were as follows (in order). Actually, before I go on I should apologise for the lack of my own photographs. There are only three of my own below. There’s always so much going on and so many conversations happening that it’s just plain old rude for me to stop and pick up my phone (unless I’m checking in a beer on Untappd!)…
Nut Brown Ale (5.3%). This flavoursome, English-style ale was perfect to begin with. It was paired with chipotle and lemon-marinated chicken breast, charred corn, pumpkin, roasted capsicum and cashew nuts with a maple, coriander and yoghurt dressing. Delicious start!
Temptress Chocolate Porter (6.0%). Without doubt this is one of the best (if not THE best) Australian-brewed chocolate porters around. A luscious, solid beer that oozes class. This sexy beverage was served with pulled bbq pork, turkey and baby spinach on a piece of sourdough with apple and horseradish coleslaw on top. I’m drooling just reciting it.
Double Trouble (8.0%). Another robust beer in the form of a Belgian-style dubbel served with a grilled field mushroom with lamb and goats cheese risotto on a smoked capsicum and red wine coulis. I managed to score a drizzle of something nice on mine that nobody around me got (see photo). Lucky me. I’m not ‘foody’ enough to know what it was. I hoped it was chocolate sauce but it wasn’t.
Empress Imperial Mocha Porter (10.0%). The Empress was tasting better than the previous time she slid down my throat five months ago. She’s a very indulgent drop and pairing it with a pie containing beef, pepperoni and roasted carrot was pure genius. Absolute genius. It was the stand-out course for me. Bollocks to the fact that I didn’t take a photo of the pie for this blog post and sentimental reasons.
Beelzebub’s Jewels (11.0%). The first and last time I tried this oak-aged Belgian Quad was through a Randall packed with rum-soaked figs at Armakeggon 2013 so it seemed fitting to finish the Sniff & Sip session with this beast in its natural state. Here is the dessert course that was served with Beelzebub (I’ve quoted from the menu word for word for arousal purposes): ‘A dark and stormy death by chocolate featuring raspberry and white chocolate parfait with choc-mint ‘n’ creme de cacao ice cream on the side, finished with lashings of chocolate caramel sauce‘.
Recounting the last course is making me itch to book for the next Sniff & Sip on the 27th February. The feature beers will be one-offs from the Brewhouse’s very own brewery, Brisbane Brewing Co. Bring. It. On.
One little added bonus for a few lucky beer geeks present last week was that some scored a Holgate bottle-opener/key-ring. I was one such fortunate geek. With my new key-ring firmly in my grasp I was chatting away the final moments of a great night with fellow IPA freak, Luke, when I glanced over his shoulder at a clock on the wall. It suggested that if I didn’t shut the hell up right that minute then I was going to miss my last train. So, in full-on Cinderella style I ran! Apologies once again if you read this Luke. We’ll finish the conversation soon. Oh, and I don’t suppose you found a glass slipper…?