Blog Archive

Monday, March 30, 2015

Brewsvegas 2015 - Re-cap and After Thoughts

Well after a launch party and a solid 8 days of events the second Brewsvegas has come to an end,it's safe to say that it was largely successful both in being bigger than last year and in having even more interesting events to attend.

I attended events on 5 of the 8 days (including the launch party) and have learnt a valuable lesson that you really can bite off more than you can chew and that if you want to attends events every day you need to pull a Cinderella act to get enough sleep and be sober enough to enjoy the next day.

That said, everything I did was well worth it so here is a list of my other posts..

Saturday 21st:
Launch Party

Sunday 22nd: 
Beerkary @ Hoo Ha Bar
Wicked Witch and Groove in the Brew @ BBco. 
Big Bold Bizarre Bacchus @ The Burrow

Tuesday 24th:
Barrel of Laughs @ Newstead Brewing Co.
Fromage with Fortitude @ Tippler's Tap

Wednesday 25th:
Pint of Origin @ Newstead

Thursday 26th:
4 Pines Bastards @ Bitter Suite
Well Tapped @ Tomahawk

Friday 27th:
Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves @ Newstead
Holgate Mystery Beer Hunt @ SuperWhatNot

Overall I am very happy having attended as much as I did and whilst it seemed weird taking a week off work to attend a week of craft beer events it was totally needed, the extra rest makes all the difference.

Look from what I attended there isn't a lot that needs to change but I'm already sure that the Brewsvegas Team have learnt again this year and will improve things again next year but I will talk about one thing.

The Launch Party.. It was fantastic to have $5 beers and food trucks but thanks in large part to social media it was not a real pleasant event just due to the small venue and massive turn out and whilst a big turn out is a positive the position of the beer lines and entrances meant trying to get out or get food was a mission in it self but in essence this was the first time they had done a party like this so it too will improve next year.

I would say don't get rid of the $5 local beers, it was a good start to the week and helped to get non-craft drinkers involved or people to try beer they wouldn't normally, just get a bigger venue with more seating.

The only other thing I'll mention is an event is ticketed try to have the tickets and venue staff ready and knowledgeable before people buy tickets because an average person might only try once to get tickets, having to try 2 or 3 times is only for the persistent.

In most cases it was the first year for a lot of these events so natural improvements of them for next year are expected.

Final Thoughts:
To all of those involved in organising Brewsvegas, all those staff that worked during the week and all the brewers, breweries and rep's involved.

And to all the people I met, a lot of you for the first time, you were all friendly and happy to have a beer and talk about the festivities and that made it that much better to be part of Brisbane's great craft beer community.

You all did a great job and made for a very enjoyable week that didn't really have any serious under tones, people were able to attend events and for the most part enjoy themselves and have fun and laugh and this is an important part of it.

Again, to everyone involved.
Thank you

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Brewsvegas 2015 - Day 6 - Gypsie Tramps & Thieves @ Newstead Brewing Co. & Holgate Mystery Beer Hunt @ Super Whatnot

Now that I'm no longer feeling like just laying on a cold tiled surface I can write about last night's events and there was some fun to be had, so read on!

Gypsies Tramps & Thieves @ Newstead

Back at Newstead for the 4th time in a row and it's starting to feel like a second home and is almost solely responsible for the over 50 unique beers I've poured down my gullet this week and Friday was no different as I sampled 5 of the gypsy brews on offer!

But wait, what is a gypsy brewer? good question. Essentially there are some very lovely and very talented brewers out there that don't have their own commercial facility to brew at so they pimp themselves out to those that do so that we can enjoy the end product in a licensed venue.
image by Newstead Brewing Co.
Gypsie Brewers and Beers on tap..
Croft Brewing - Biscuit Blast Brown Ale & Wet Hop Harvest Ale
Black Hops - ABC Black IPA
Beans Brew (?that decal..) - Saison
Duck & Cover - Secret Galaxy APA
Brewtal - West Coast Thrash IPA
Toybox - Belgian Blonde

a little afternoon paddle
Black Hops - Black IPA was one of my favourites of this lot with a very peppery finish and great stone fruit aroma resulting in a solid BIPA, but there was enough variation with this lot that there was really something for everyone on tap.
There was a tap change somewhere in here too as I remember Croft's Wolf Scratch coming and my enjoying a pint of it with some chicken wings to line my stomach before the next event..

Today at Newstead is the Red Jockey event with Red beers all day and BYO vinyl record's from 3:30pm but as for the Gypsy beers expect to see some more of them around town after Brewsvegas is over.

Holgate Mystery Beer Hunt @ Super WhatNot

This event was a treasure hunt of sorts, following clues and drinking our way through the Holgate core range of beers.

Our team (arguably the best team!) consisted of a solid chunk of Brisbane's beer blogging scene with myself, Darren from 250Beers, Jason from Brews & Bacon with Mrs Bacon, Nick from Chasing Ale, Dave from @BeerFoodBrisbane and our (not so) secret 7th team member (by association only, we aren't rule breakers!) AM from The Beer Drinkers Table.

We started at Super WhatNot and were given our first Holgate beer, first clue and first five cards with the idea being that the team with the best hand at the end of the evening would win.

First clue led us to Sonny's House of Blues at the former spot where Rosie's used to be for a glass of Holgate ESB and after some chit chat and figuring out what cards we had in our hand we headed off to the third destination, The Gresham.

The Gresham is a heritage listed bar and is home to coffee, scotch and a tight range of craft beer and as we read over our third clue we enjoyed a Holgate - Temptress chocolate porter.

Third and final clue led us to The Embassy for a Mt Macedon Pale Ale but after that we spent some time chatting and enjoying Feral's Imperial IPA Tusk which happened to still be on when we were there (good timing really!).

At this point we were able to work out our hand of cards and we came up with a hopefully unbeatable straight flush but after making our way back to Super WhatNot we found we did not win but that didn't matter because it was all a bit of fun with many silly photos taken and hash-tags used.

Overall a really fun and enjoyable event and hopefully we something similar next year.

We ended the night by moving to West End's BOSC to enjoy one too many Riverside - 777 Double IPA's which has resulted in a slow start for me today and subsequent skipping of any events I was going to attend today but that's ok as it has been an epic week and I'm happy with succeeding defeat at this point.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Brewsvegas 2015 - Day 5 - 'The Bastards' @ Bitter Suite and Well Tapped @ Tomahawk

4 Pines - The Bastards @ Bitter Suite

On Wednesday evening 4 Pines launched their new box of 6 hoppy beers with the Brisbane launch being at Bitter Suite in New Farm and whilst I did not attend that event I did visit on Thursday afternoon to try them all out!

4 Pines have a pretty good reputation in Australia as a value for money, well flavoured craft beer producer and whilst I don't personally enjoy every beer they produce there is a couple of stand outs from this release that I'm glad to have tried.

The beers are..
A Bastard No More - Pale Ale (4pines original pale ale)
The First Bastard - English IPA (malt driven)
The Second Bastard - American IPA (hop driven)
The Third Bastard - New Zealand Pale Ale (Fruitier)
The Fourth Bastard - Aussie Pale Ale (Lighter flavour)
The Fifth Bastard - Belgian Pale Ale (Slight Funkiness)

My top choices..
The Third Bastard - NZ Pale
This light, fruity and refreshing pale ale had a great aroma and a smooth full flavoured finish and for me was the better of the four pales.

The Second Bastard - American IPA
This seemingly aggressively hopped IPA has a huge nose that is just full of resinous aroma and floral notes and had a bitter but slightly fruity finish and was easy my favourite of the pack.

The box of 6 bottles is out there in the wilds of craft bottle-shops around Brisbane and the beers are still on at Bitter Suite in New Farm so if you are wanting to try them, get to it!

Well Tapped @ Tomahawk

12 beers all on tap from local brewers around Brisbane most of whom have no commercial setup and have to gypsy brew all vying for a trophy and the opportunity to get there beer out there and impress the local craft community.

Initially expected to start at 6 pm with 13 beers but that ended up being 12 beers with paddles available from midday. 

This was a good idea as there was plenty of other events on and some were ticketed but people want to try all the unique beers, this way they could!

The 12 brewers & beers were.. 
Croft - Ashton Kombucha's Funk'D
Duck & Cover - Berlinerweisse
Beard & Brau - Ephemere Farmhouse
Brisbane Brewhouse - Belgian Brown
Beans Brew - Sucker Saison
4 Hearts - Bremer Brown Ale
Brewtal - West Coast Thrash IPA
Black Hops - Code Red - Red IPA
Newstead - Red Orb - Red IPA
Semi Pro - Rye Mosiac IPA
Noisy Minor - Ba Winston Old Ale
Bacchus - Choc Vanilla Stout on Nitro

They ranged in alcohol from 1% (Funk'D) to 10.6% (Bacchus) and the arrangement of the taps was such that it basically went from lowest abv and sour styles to highest abv. and hoppy styles closing with the darker beers. This was really well planned out and made it easy for the staff to pour the paddles and easy for punters to know what they were getting.

We were able to take a voting sheet and a pen to write notes as it did get slightly confusing as we went so it was nice to have something to refer back to, with the end goal being to pick your winner and cast your vote for them to be tallied up at the end of the night.

There was some very good beers and there was a couple that made it hard to choose just one winner but I'll just mention my pick which was Beard & Brau's Ephemere Farmhouse Saison as it was just so beautiful, light and fruity (apples!) and hid the 7.4% abv extremely well.
It got very busy at Tomahawk around 6:30 - 8pm but the staff did such a good job especially given the fact that they were churning out cleaned glasses at a crazy speed to keep up with the paddles.

Even though there was a line there was certainly some excitement from most people in attendance so chatting in the line about the beers was very easy to do and made waiting go that much faster.

Shortly after 9 PM the winner was announced as Duck & Cover's Berliner Weisse which was a pretty good example of the style but I'm still not 100% sold on sour beers but Congratulations all the same!

If I had done nothing else this week but the Cheese event at Tippler's and this event at Tomahawk I'd be happy with my Brewsvegas ending there.

Tomahawk still have the beers on so get down there and try them and decide on your own favourite!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Brewsvegas 2015 - Day 4 - Pint of Origin @ Newstead

Day 4 of Events and I had planned to go to Tippler's for their Ribs and New England Brewing special but it turns out that was so popular the place was packed and the ribs sold out so I stayed at Newstead which was my first stop anyway and just enjoyed a quiet meal and several brews!

Newstead were running an all day event with a tape take over of collaboration beers brewed between Newstead and 7 quality breweries with 6 from Australia and 1 from New Zealand with each region being represented by a brewery..

Moo Brew (TAS) - Huonwise was a hefeweizen which should be no surprise because Moo's normal Hef is pretty popular around Oz but this had some smoked wheat in it which gave a slight twist but still the familiar banana and clove flavours were the star and made for a solid Hef.

image by Newstead Brewing Co.
Ekim (NSW) - Crash & Brunette a Red IPL went down a treat and as with most of Ekim's beers it had a set of biggy hoppy balls but with just enough malt to balance it out.

Good George (NZ) - Semi Hard, a brewery that I personally hadn't heard much of but they made a tasty session IPA that sat at 4% abv and had a light fruitiness to it that was perfect for a hot and humid day.

Killer Sprocket (VIC) - Eureka Stoutade was a golden stout with coffee and cacao nibs which created a really interesting beer and obviously looking at it you expect it to be a pale or golden ale.

Big Shed (SA) - BruChoc was an attempt to bring peach, apricot and chocolate into a beer and it largely succeeded although it was not my favourite beer of the day but as I hadn't had anything from Big Shed before I will be trying some of their other beers.

Colonial (WA) - Indian Pacific Middle was a heavily malted, low abv (3.5%) english style ale with a good bunch of hops thrown in but really it was all about making a really malty beer (I got a shit load of toffee from it) that was low in alcohol and full flavoured.

Burleigh Brewing (QLD) - 8 in a Row was an amber\red ale, I honestly bombarded my palate with all 7 beers and don't remember this one too well so I won't describe it.

If you were there last night you had every chance of running into one of the brewers with most of them being in attendance, overall it was pretty fun and a fairly easy night for me after a busy week so far and an even busier couple of days to come!

I'd expect the beers to still be on tap today so if you can get down there, get to it and try some great beer from one of Brisbane's brewers and some of Australia and the NZ's top breweries.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Brewsvegas 2015 - Day 3 - Barrel of Laughs @ Newstead Brewing Co. and Fromage with Fortitude @ Tippler's Tap

Yeah, so, I may have skipped Day 2 which was planned to be the Saison launch at Super WhatNot but after Sunday's longer than expected 4 events, I decided sleep and rest for the busy week to come.

Day 3 (or Day 4 as some may say, Launch was day 0 I swear!) was overall pretty fun and entertaining with..

Newstead Brewing - Barrel of Laughs & Black & Tan

Arguably, barrel aged beers can take some getting used to, so can barrel aged ciders but that was the entire point of this event with 3 barrel aged beers and 2 barrel aged ciders on offer.

Newstead was offering a tasting paddle of four beers and a meal of pork belly for $30 but I had other events on so I went with the paddle of 4 for $15 and it was well worth it to try these beers.

I tried the Sour Saison, a Baltic Porter, a Barley wine and a barrel aged Cider (although I don't recall which one, chardonnay I think) and sat down and started tasting.

The cider was super dry and not that fruity but was a decent start to a beery evening after wandering about in the Brisbane humidity.

The Saison had an odd taste that I didn't overly enjoy but the Barley wine was decent with a big boozy hit and a rum and raisin like finish.

I completed my paddle with the Barrel aged Porter which was not dissimilar to the already good Newstead Porter 21 feet 7 inches but with a slight boozy bump from the ageing, only minor though.

From there I moved onto the Tails and Heads collaboration between Newstead and Brisbane's James Squire pub the Charming Squire.

A Black and Tan is where one beer is dark and one is light but the two are mixed together in theory to create a layer with light on the bottom and dark on top although I clearly failed at pouring mine..

Newstead brewed Tails which is the Hefeweizen and Squire brewed the Heads which is a Dark Ale, both beers work as intended but the Hef for me wasn't as strong as I'd expected.

The Dark Ale from James Squire was a solid, malty and very moreish beer that I thoroughly enjoyed, I think this style is their strong suit.

Pouring the two together however just seemed to result in me making a mess of the table as I clumsily blended the two together with varying results.

Heads & Tails are on tap for the rest of Brewsvegas so give them a go at either Newstead or Charming Squire.

Fromage with Fortitude

So when I booked this event all I was thinking about was the cheese, I thought you know I've had most of Fortitude's great line of beers, this is all about the cheese.

You know what though? I underestimated two things, the Golden Ale which I'd never had and the effect the cheese would have on the beer.

There was no hand holding just a simple introduction for each beer by the entertaining Dan Rawling's from Fortitude with Witches Chase cheese maker Millsy giving a solid run down on each cheese as well as some of his pairing suggestions.

After this we were free to drink the beers and cheeses as we pleased making up our own minds on matching which cheese with which beer.

We had dried apple, apricots, sultanas, quince paste and some crackers and toasties to pair with 5 cheese, 2 Cheddar, a Red Leicester, a blue and a triple cream brie.

For the beers there was a full range from Fortitude/Noisy Minor with their Lager, Golden Ale, Anzus IPA, Admiral Ackbar Red IPA and Yasterbov Ukrainian Imperial Stout.

I'll admit that now days I really don't go for lager, I don't enjoy the aroma and usually don't enjoy the taste but the lager did match perfectly with the cheddar and the triple cream brie with a slight nuttiness adding to the flavour.

I've had all the beers before with the exception of the Golden Ale which was the stand out for me, not only because I hadn't tried it before but because it is so full flavoured with a lovely hoppy aroma and a great smooth malty finish.

For the cheeses I could eat the Triple Cream Brie all day, it was just so tasty but in all honesty each one had something great going on... With my favourite pairing being the Imperial Stout and the Blue as it out that slightly funky flavour all the more, which may be partly because there is a hint of Belgian yeast in the stout.

It seemed everyone enjoyed the night, it was quite intimate and there wasn't a large amount of noise so it was really easy to hear everything and asks questions comfortably, I know I went away feeling very happy and satisfied.

If you are interested in the cheeses or the beers you can now get the Lager, Golden Ale and Anzus IPA in bottles around Brisbane at selected craft beer bottle-shops (check my links on the right) and for the cheeses you will have to visit Witches Chase Cheeses on Mount Tamborine but it's worth the drive!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Brewsvegas 2015 - Day 1 - Beerkary @ Hoo Ha, Wicked Witch & Groove in the Brew @ BBco. and Big, Bold, Bizzare - Bacchus @ The Burrow

Beerkary - Flavours of the Mountain @ Hoo Ha Bar 

Grey skies and a 10am start time seemed like the perfect excuse to drink beer and eat pastries so it made sense for me to start the first day of Brewsvegas by visiting Hoo Ha Bar.

If you've haven't been to Hoo Ha I really encourage you to check it out, it is a very nice venue with exposed brick, wood and nifty looking furniture and it also has a cracking food menu and a great beer range, both bottled and on tap.

Beerkary have an obvious nack for marrying beer with baked goods and for this event the theme was flavours from Mt Tamborine with native ingredients like finger limes and quandong's being used.

There was four beers matched to the menu with Beard & Brau - Tambo on Rye, Croft - Finger Lime IPA, Noisy Minor - Yasterbov (Imperial stout) and Black Hops - Beacon Street (Farmhouse Red).

The standout beer for me was Croft's Finger Lime IPA, just bursting with flavour from the finger limes but not so much that it was over powering, just a really refreshing beer with just enough bitterness to balance out the lime.

The food from Beerkary is always delicious and this was no exception with everything looking stunning, I imagine it was an awfully late night for the team on Saturday getting everything prepped.

I went with the Bratwurst on a grain roll and a Bee Sting for my breakfast and both were delicious, the bratwurst was juicy and the roll soft with a crunch from the seeds.

The Bee Sting had a really nice flavour, with a creamy filling and soft pastry which all matched perfectly with the Tambo on Rye from Beard & Brau with it's strong rye flavour and malt profile balancing any sweetness from the bee stings filling.

As always with Beerkary the event was packed from the get go with a solid line forming at the bar for food and bevies and almost no seats not long after the event started!

Some of the beers are probably still on tap at Hoo Ha so if are you wanting to try them, get down there!

Wicked Witch of West End - Beer Launch @ Brisbane Brewing Co.

Brisbane Brewing Co. is one of the newest and one of the nicest looking brew pubs in Brisbane and earlier this year they ran a home brew competition with Brewers Choice to make a dark beer with the theme being Wicked Witch of West End.

There was quite a few entries and they were all judged with the winner Dan Angus getting the opportunity to brew his beer on a commercial scale at BBco, his entry was a Black Rye IPA.

The batch made for the event has come out great with a fruity aroma and a dry, earthy bitter finish that keeps you coming back for more and I know I drank way too much of it!

From chatting to punters at the launch it seems it was well received and talking to Dan it was suggested that it won't last much longer so if you are waiting to try it now is probably the best time!

Big, Bold, Bizzare... Bacchus! @ The Burrow

If you haven't heard of Bacchus by now they are a cleverly setup micro brewery out at Capalaba with a very unique small batch way of brewing which allows for experimentation and the production of lots of different small volume brews.

This is the second year in a row that The Burrow has hosted this event and this year Bacchus brought along four unique beers which were..

Mango & Lychee - Imperial Pilsner
The most tame of the bunch, I didn't find this that interesting but it was light, fruity and refreshing.

Hedge your Bretts - Brett Pale Ale
For me this was the best beer of the event, funky yeast sourness coming through in a pale ale, something I'd pay for bottles of for sure.

Imperial Red IPA
This was good but really it is what I've come to expect from Bacchus by now, a big ballsy no non-sense Red IPA that was sitting at 12% alcohol so not for the faint-hearted.

Not the Craw!!! The Craw - Chilli Mud Crab beer
Yep. Crab and chilli in a beer, this was by far the most strange of the four and not something I overly enjoyed. It was good for a bout half a glass with notes of chilli, lots of coconut and a unwavering finish of crab but this isn't for me but glad I tried it.

Groove in the Brew @ Brisbane Brewing Co.

Back to BBco for a musical beer adventure like no other! Groove in the Brew was an hour long 4 part musical act in which pieces were performed inside the brewery by the head brewer, his brother and some of the staff.

The music was certainly original and interesting although I think by not walking to the glass and watching I missed a lot of the spectacle.

Beers for each music act were..

Slippery Froth - Belgian blonde
It was a fairly solid blonde, tasty, funky and refreshing.

Liquorice Stick
Yep, liquorice beer. Look, I don't like any kind of aniseed flavour at the best of times but whilst this smelt like a bag of liquorice all-sorts it tasted way more mellow with a slight aniseed flavour and some sweetness, was enjoyable enough but I wouldn't want more than a small glass.

Smelt like smoke, tasted like cheap white wine. Described as having a whole heap of smoked sultanas in it, there was no confusion over how this tasted. I drank mine but most of our table were not so daring. 

Needs More Cowbell
A light red, fruity lambic and by far and away the best beer of the four. A solid take on the style and ultimately a refreshing way to cleanse out the previous 2 beers..

This was by far one of the funnest events and even with the wet weather the place was packed and brimming with on lookers.

Photo by @Potts_Cass
In hindsight I probably did one event too many yesterday but I don't have a hangover of any note and I feel pretty satisfied in participating and checking out many of these great events on offer and looking forward to what ever I do next!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Brewsvegas 2015 - Day 0 - Four Hearts and Brewsvegas Launch Party

 Four Hearts - Pumpyard Bar: First Impressions

It's been open less than 2 weeks but the positive responses coming from patrons have made it an anxious wait for me to get to Ipswich and cut my teeth on some of the tasty brews and food at Brisbane's newest brewery.

The Pumpyard's decor does not disappoint with exposed brick decor, shiny beer kettles with led lights around them and some neat looking furniture made from steel pipes

There is 10 taps with around half being beer brewed in house with a couple of session beers that sit under 3% alcohol, their signature Pale Ale and a current seasonal Red IPA that has a big malty kick and solid bitterness.

The menu is full of tasty treats to compliment the beer all created by beer chef Ali Orchard who has had previous involvement in pairing beer and food at Tomahawk and Tippler's.

I decided to have some finger food so I went with BBQ Wings and Onion Rings, the wings were super tasty with a nice crunchy texture and the sauce had a sticky burnt toffee flavour with a slight chilli kick.

The sauce however, went literally everywhere and I needed 3 napkins to get through it and as a grown man there is only so much brown goo I want coating my face.

If you live out near Ipswich then Pumpyard should be your new local and if you are in the city I recommend taking the drive out, it's well worth it!

Brewsvegas - Launch Party @ Wandering Cooks

It's been 12 months since last years event and it's felt like forever, but last night it arrived with a bang with food trucks and $5 beers taking centre stage inside the Wandering Cooks at 1 Fish Lane.

It was a dreary, wet and drizzly day but that didn't stop anyone from participating in the launch with hundreds of people packing themselves both inside and out of the warehouse like building.

It was a great experience and a good way to kick off Brewsvegas but the shear number of people in attendance made it difficult to move around especially as the night went on.

There was 17 taps of tasty beverages all priced at $5 which made the exchange of money for liquid goodness a simple one and also helped to bring the crowd in.

There was something for everyone with the Brewsvegas beer from Green Beacon being what I went for first but there was a vast array of beer from breweries all around Queensland.
It begins!
Food trucks were setup outside with Char Baby, Vira Lata, Juan More Taco and Pizzantica serving tasty food, I went with a pulled pork roll and apple slaw from Char and it was good!
The lovely folks from Beerkary were setup inside dolling out tasty Beercaroons, dense and rich malt cookies and hop infused marshmallows.

It was a sufficiently epic way to kick off Brewsvegas and I suspect there is a few sore heads around Brisbane today but with the week of events set to kick off this morning this probably won't stop many people from getting out there today and checking participating!

Enjoy your week of beer filled goodness Brisbane, I know I will!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Brewsvegas 2015 - March 21-29

It'sssssssssss timeeeeeee (read this in your best UFC announcer voice) for the second ever Brewsvegas, a glorious celebration beer and food from Brisbane, greater Queensland and Australia in general with a host of super awesome events over a week.

Last year with my blog in it's infancy I only ended up attending one event and whilst I did write a post about it I was rather unhappy that I hadn't gone out and experienced more events because really if you can't drink beer, make friends and be happy during a beer festival when can you?

So this year I'm going to attempt to do the polar opposite of 2014 and attend as many events as I can with an aim of 1 per day with a blog post each night/next morning depending on the level of alcohol consumed ;)

If you've been on the fence about trying some craft beer, beer matched with food or food made with beer now is the time to do it and support some amazing local business and breweries in this fine town.

The launch party will kick things off at 5pm on the 21st of March at the Wandering Cooks in Fish Lane in West End with beer, food trucks and music taking centre stage so come and kick off the festivities even if beer isn't your thing normally!

So head on over to the Brewsvegas website and plan your events or head over to Brisbane Beer and check out the awesome interactive map for Brewsvegas which has all events, what they are and where they are in a nice layout.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Craft Beer Rising - Bites & Brews @ The Shafston Hotel

Craft Beer Rising is a celebration of Australian and local craft beer and a fantastic excuse to grab some mates and hang out at your local and drink local.
Every year local bars and venues get involved putting on different events and this year Brisbane's Shafston has jumped on board with a lane-way festival called Bites & Brews which aimed to celebrate some of Brisbane's excellent food as well as delicious local craft beer.

The weather had looked a bit like rain earlier in the day but for the most part it held up to create a really enjoyable, sunny, fun and beer filled day with a great atmosphere.

Queensland breweries were well represented with Newstead, Green Beacon and Fortitude all offering some of their tasty brews along with a great collection of other Aussie craft breweries like Holgate and Mornington Peninsula.

Fortitude brought along their Patersbier(Fathers Beer)a full flavoured Belgian style session beer which had a familiar yeasty funk and was similar in style to a blonde and was just plain refreshing.

Green Beacon impressed with their brand new red IPA called Reds Dead, an American hopped and malt balanced IPA which I have to say was really delicious and a bit of a sneaky surprise for those that attended the festival as it was a preview here before debuting Sunday 1st of March at the Beacon home base in Newstead.

My favourite beer of the event was from Sydney's Rocks Brewing in the form of their no non-sense Conviction IPA which was just bursting with American hops with the expected pine like hit of resinous flavour coming through from the first to the last sip making for a very enjoyable beer for anyone that loves heavily hopped IPA's like I do!

Now let's talk about the food because Brisbane really does have some excellent food trucks and a fair chunk of them were at this event with ChipTease, King of Wings, Bun Mobile and Char Baby parking in the lane ways and dishing out delicious eats.

I went with King of Wings to start out the day and line my stomach for the impending deluge of beer that was to follow and it whilst it was my first experience with king of wings it also super tasty so I'll be keeping an eye out for their locations around Brisbane.

This was also my first experience with ChipTease, they churn out some incredible looking creations with things like pulled pork or nachos toppings adorning crispy potato or sweet potato chips but the one that caught my eye was the dessert chips.

Sweet potato chips tossed in cinnamon sugar, topped with Nutella and Chantilly cream. Very decadent and very sweet but the combination really works but be prepared to share!

I thoroughly enjoyed this event however there is one glaring (pun intended) issue is that there simply wasn't enough shade from the summer sun and not nearly enough seating and tables.

The good news here is there was enough room for more tables, more seating and more shade so I'd expect the next event to sort out these couple of issues and if anything it means that the turn out far exceeded any expectations as there was certainly a lot people enjoying them selves by mid afternoon!

I'm really glad to see another large pub jump onto the craft beer bandwagon and although it might be awhile before we see the Shafston's taps pouring all the beers that were represented here, it's still a step in the right direction and it could easily become an annual event that coincides with the last weekend of Summer!