Drink a Beer That’s 3,300 Years Old

via Mike Newman @ Cool Material

We’d recommend aging some of those barley wines you’ve got for a few years for a smoother profile, but aging something 3,300? That’s nuts. While this beer isn’t aged long, it is based on a recipe that predates any brew you’ve downed in your time. Egtved Girl’s Brew is based on a recipe from the Bronze Age that was figured out after samples were taken from a beer bucket that was unearthed from a Danish gravesite. Egtved Girl’s Brew is a wheat beer brewed with honey and other more interesting ingredients like bog myrtle and cranberries. We’d recommend drinking this one fresh.

Categories: Beers

Clover Hill, Rainbow Falls and Mudgee Mud

The “waterfall stars” of the area around Robertson are undoubtedly the Fitzroy, the Carrington and the Belmore Falls. We’ve discovered what really should be a fourth, but you’ve really got to work to get there. The Macquarie Pass National Park was created in 1970 and lies mainly to the south of the Macquarie Pass Road, which has made the squeamish sick and amused bikers since 1898. About two thirds down on the right hand side is a turn-off to Clover Hill Rd. There’s a small carpark here and a gate blocking what used to a road to a farm that was 3km in.

The farm was originally created in the late 1800s. In the 1950s, a bloke called Turner, who made his money from manufacturing parachutes and then bikinis (I kid you not) rebuilt the farm house into a Tudor Mansion. He built a causeway across the Macquarie Rivulet and frolicked with his mates on the waterfall that we ultimately found. He came a bit of a cropper later on, the house was damaged in a fire and the National Parks took over the land and created the park. That means that after walking through eucalypt and rainforests for about 2km along an easy undulating path, you emerge into a succession of clearings with views to the ocean. You can see the ruins of the house (I’ll visit them next time) and there’s still fence posts around.

A thin brown track takes you down a steep hill to the Macquarie Rivulet, which is plunging down a narrow chasm. We dropped our gear and headed upstream. Along the way we passed a massive balancing rock in the middle of a small cascade. Just when we were about to turn back, we turned a corner and were rewarded with a fantastic sight – the Rainbow Falls. The falls tumble down into a reasonable pool in which a couple of the braver kids had a swim. Next time we’ll bash our way further upstream and try and find a way down past the chasm. It’s spectacular and well worth the 3.5km walk in.

Illiards and I weren’t going to make the same mistake with our beverage and I carried in a couple of glasses to enjoy a drop on site. Mudgee Mud is an imperial oatmeal stout that comes in a sturdy 750ml champagne bottle, so there was no real chance of any mishap, like the day before. It had been a slog, so the restorative powers of the Mudgee Mud were welcome. This is a cracking stout. Intensely bitter, with strong vegemite flavours coming through. Much like Southwark or Sheaf Stout on steroids. At over 8% it gave us the Dutch Courage to roll up the steep ascent out to the main track. A terrific label as well with a story explaining the name.

Categories: Beers

Carrington Falls and a Smokey Red from Mudgee

It is BotF on tour this weekend in the Southern Highlands with a number of members enjoying the Easter Break. Untappd uniques abound and there’s plenty of opportunities for beerp0rn against some spectacular backdrops.

Carrington Falls is 10kms out of Robertson, 7kms along the Jamberoo Mountain Road. Like all the Falls in this part of the world the National Parks have made it very easy to take in the view. It is a comfortable drive to a carpark, from which it is an 100m walk to the lookout. The falls drop 50 metres into the Kangaroo River. Access is also provided to the river behind the waterfall and provided you don’t suffer from vertigo you get a sensational perspective of the drop.

We carried a bottle of Mudgee Smokey Red with us. The beer label hyperbole had us salivating for what promised to be a full-bodied red. Tragedy befell us, however and due to a combination of being bobbed around on the bushwalk and possibly a faulty seam – the bottle burst at the bottom, spraying beer all over the car. I managed a couple of drops, but really to get to Mudgee again to pick up another. Fortunately the beer was indeed rich and the aroma that has developed in the car isn’t too bad.

There’s other attractions near the Falls. A highlight is Nellies Glen, which is on the right before the falls. A 100m walk through the bush brings you to a large pool backed by a broad 4m cascade. It is a magical place. The pool is quite deep, but you can walk around the edge and get in behind the waterfall. The water might get warmer, but a couple of hardy ones amongst us got in and made it behind the tumbling water.

World Beer Cup Winners You Can Drink Right Now

via Mike Newman @ Cool Material

With the most entries in the Cup’s history, this year’s World Beer Cup was a battlefield of great brews. Over 4,700 beers from around the world competed to snag gold in a plethora of categories. While many of these beers will be tough to ever come across, some have been bottled and can be picked up from your local liquor store depending on where you live. Here are a few of the gold medal winners you can drink right now:

American-Style Wheat Beer

Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen (Link)

Session Beer

Lagunitas Daytime (Link)

American-Belgo-Style Ale

Starr Hill Whiter Shade of Pale (Link)

International-Style Lager

Asahi Super Dry (Link)

Australasian-Style Pale Ale

Ballast Point Sculpin (Link)

South German-Style Weizenbock/Weissbock

Schneider Weisse Tap6 Unser Aventinus (Link)

Ordinary or Special Bitter

Left Hand Brewing Sawtooth Ale (Link)

Classic English-Style Pale Ale

Redhook Audible Ale (Link)

American-Style Amerb/Red Ale

Odell Runoff (Link)

For the full list of winners, click here.

Categories: Beers Tags:

Fred’s Bar and a red moon rising

Fred's Bar

Fred’s Bar

An in situ (ie on the BotF) posting.

On a day when very strong rumours have emerged that AC/DC have played their last gig – news of a new bar at Circular Quay is small beer. However, given it’s a cloudy night and the red moon rising can’t be seen, I may as well write about the new addition to Circular Quay’s bar scene. Fred’s Bar is conveniently positioned next to the Australian Wine(o) Centre, a preferred beer supplier to BotF than Mr Liquor because of their penchant for quality uniques. (As opposed to the contents of a stray container that Mr Liquor might find at La Perouse or Botany).

Fred’s is an intimate but friendly place. The proprietor noticed me photographing my Asahi Dry Black and we had a chat about Untappd and his beer range. Being a three tap venue, Fred’s chosen well. 4 Pines continue their quest for world domination and two of the three taps are Kolsch and Pale Ale. The other is Asahi. There’s a maslin of stubbies and I had to have a lash at the Asahi Dry Black. Didn’t do it for me – but i’ve got the mother of all flus so I’m possibly being harsh.

Fred's tap range and Asahi Dry Black

Fred’s tap range and Asahi Dry Black

Fred’s will get a repeat look in as a middie of 4 Pines before the voyage is always a good thing. This trip has been an astronomical disappointment because the rarity of a Red Moon Rising has failed to emerge from the mist and rain. Ah well, I’ll let Lamb0 tell us when the next red moon rising might occur.

Big seas, and as I sign off we’ve almost sailed out the Heads and we making the big left hander to ride in the swell.

8 New Beers You Should Know

via Mike Newman @ Cool Material

When you hit your local liquor shop in search of some new beers to try, there are a few that are worth keeping an eye out for. Some of these are brand new and some are seasonal offerings just hitting the shelves. So next time you’re out scouting potential fridge-dwellers, keep an eye out for these.

Mint Chocolate StoutFlying Dog Brewery
OpalFirestone Walker Brewery
Go To IPAStone Brewery
Habanero Sculpin Habanero Sculpin
Monk’s Blood21st Amendment
Ryan And The GoslingEvil Twin / Crooked Stave
Agave MariaThe Lost Abbey
Endless IPAGoose Island

Categories: Beers

Back on the Back of the Ferry and Hong Kong tidbits

The night time sail home

The night time sail home

As Dorothy once said “There’s no place like home”. Too true, and it was wonderful to Back on the Back of the Ferry with a full turnout of the Foundation members – illiards, Lamb0, pommy_ch, oomploloompa and yours truly. It might have been dark, but the air was mild and the view as always spectacular. The Rhapsody of Seas let off a few blasts and for a moment it looked we’d be blocked for a run, but the MV Narrabeen claimed home town privileges and we were given an inside passage. We were rewarded with a marvellous view of the cruise ship silhouetted by the coathanger. Great to catch up with the lads – with my first Australian beer in 11 days – the go-to Coopers Green Pale Ale.

A sort of a ferry - Tai O

A sort of a ferry – Tai O

This latest trip to Hong Kong was my best yet. It was longest trip I’ve done, during the week I had great night time buddies supplemented by the local knowledge and I’d done some research to make days as a tourist pretty interesting. A highlight of the trip was a visit to the centuries old fishing village of Tai O, which on the far west of Lantau Island. Lantau Island is best known for the Big Buddha, its cable car Hong Kong Disneyland and that Hong Kong airport adjoins it. There’s plenty more to it than that. Despite the towering apartments of Tung Chung, the majority of Lantau Island is mountainous forested mountains with a number of beaches that apparently go off in the hotter weather. There’s a few villages and larger towns like Mui Wo and no shortage of Westerners live on Lantau and do the daily commute to Hong Kong Island. Despite its relatively isolated location Tai O is easily accessed by bus or taxi. Tai O is a village where a view of the water is key. There are tight little lanes, lined by restaurants, dried fish shops and souvenir shops. The smell of fish pervades the air. For $25HKD ($4ish aussie) a covered, elongated punt takes you up the river past the stilt houses and then out to sea to look for pink dolphins. You also see planes coming into land and the start of the Hong kong-Macau-Zhuhai road bridge. Despite being surrounded by the modernity, Tai O retains a lovely quiet charm.

Lebanese beer - branding, tick

Lebanese beer – branding, tick

The more times you visit HK, the more there is to discover. The ferries and the islands to which they take you will be re-visited. The New Territories are a little piece of China without having to get a visa (just need to co-incide the visit with bar opening hours). There’s more to Honkers than Central, Wanchai and LKF. Causeway Bay will be re-visited and the dark-side of Kowloon offers plenty of adventures. Best bar of the tour had to be the Roundhouse. Looking forward to taking a crowd there. Made it back to the Hong Kong Brewhouse for a third time and enjoyed a very good Sevens Stout. Best beer was Young Master Ales Rye Old Fashioned. Worst beer – Watermelon Wheat. Most unexpected beer – 961 Red Ale from Lebanon. Best feed was the Beijing Restaurant. Worst feed. No such thing as a bad feed in HK. Funniest moment was going to X-Bar – four floors above the Beijing Restaurant, getting into an intense game of darts and then realising that we were in a fairly intense gay bar. Still – I doubled out on 16 – so I was happy. Best view – Sugar. Best island – Cheung Chau.

Sevens Stout - HK Brew House

Sevens Stout – HK Brew House

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