via Food Republic
Chances are, you’ve never heard of Akzidenz-Grotesk, the century-old typeface font that resembles Helvetica in its simplicity and clean lines. Neither had we — until we saw it emblazoned all over these cool longnecks.
In a conceptual series comprising six beer types, the Lisbon-based designer João Andrade gives us all a reason to raise our glasses (er, bottles) to his favorite font. Since Germany is the third-largest importer of beer, and Akzidenz-Grotesk originated in Berlin where it was used by printers, the marriage of the two seemed both appropriate and appropriately random. In the examples below, each label’s typeface varies in weight and width according to the level of alcohol in each beer.
We love the concept — the more innovative and forward-thinking label designs, the better — though we’d probably discourage anyone from actually using the word “grotesk” in a beer name.
In designer João Andrade’s world, Akzidenz-Grotesk beer would exist in five varieties: light, medium, bold, super and extra (shown above).
Full story over at Food Republic
There’s been plenty of hype in the pointy end of the Craft Beer community about the release of Tusk, Feral Brewing Company‘s infrequently released Imperial IPA. The hype is due to the fact that Feral Brewing Company has won more awards that Ben Hur, the strict conditions under which outlets are able to take on this beer and its blink and it’s gone time frame. To be honest, I didn’t give it much thought because I thought that my chances of getting to a venue serving it in the short window foreshadowed were slimmer than Lamb0 after his return from Sri Lanka.
Low and behold, I found myself having to do in a fly-in-fly-out trip to Carlton – without any certainty of sneaking any visit into any fine Carlton establishment. Stars aligned and the next thing I knew, I was enjoying a quick lunch in a pub I’d been wanting to visit for a while. The Great Northern has been on the radar and whilst it was a fleeting visit, it ticks many boxes and I’ll be back as soon as possible. The Great Northern had clearly met Feral’s conditions in relation to Tusk and is one about 10 venues selling it. According to Crafty Pint, they are “venues who have guaranteed that there will be cold refrigerated transport from brewery to bar and that it will be tapped the instant it arrives“. Highly regarded US Imperial or Double IPAs like Pliny the Elder emphasise this need to engage in as immediate consumption as possible, so this isn’t hyperbole on Feral’s part. So what’s it like? This is as big a beer made by an Australian brewer as I’ve had. My companion for the day simply went “Phew!”. He immediately commented on the alcohol. Without prompting he reckoned it tasted spirituous. Interesting reaction from a bloke that doesn’t drink craft often. Tusk is a classic sipper, squintly so on the first taste – but one that works up to a magnificent crescendo as it goes on. I was actually keen for a second – but at 9.5%, on this instance, one was enough. Delighted to have had a crack at the Tusk
The Great Northern is putting on an event during “Good Beer Week“, where thirteen of their taps will be turned over to some of the USA’s finest. They are clearly warming up to that event. They have a good range of Bridgeport beers available in their bottle, there’s plenty of Brooklyn Beer paraphernalia up and they have an iconic beer on tap – Rogue‘s Dead Guy Ale. The tap head’s marvellous and the beer’s even better. The back stories of many of Rogue’s beers are pretty interesting – not surprising for a craft brewer that’s been around since 1989. Dead Guy was a private label for a Day of the Dead promo many years ago. It was so popular it became a perennial name for Rogue’s Maibock – and the tap handle is iconic as they come. Bloody fine beer that held it’s own despite coming after the Tusk. I will return to the Great Northern – if that could be during Good Beer Week – even better.
It’s been a long time between inductions. The stars aligned on this one and our latest inductee was welcomed by no less than 5 salty seadogs, including Lamb0 who’s
been absent from the BotF for some time.
Our latest member, Rhett, was treated to full blown BotF experience including beverages at favourite BotF haunts before and after the voyage. Frankie’s Pizza didn’t fail to disappoint with its usual eclectic range of tap beers including a Rhubarb Wit. The post voyage venues almost don’t need to be stated – but 4 Pines and Murrays got a run.
So to the questions.
Favourite beverage Tooheys New (seriously)
Favourite sport to spectate Test cricket
Area of trivial expertise War
Induction ceremony witnessed by Pommy_ch, Lamb0, Gerald, Oompaloompa and Bladdamasta.
First held in 2005, the Groovin’ the Moo has been growing size and popularity as a musical festival for alternative acts that is held in oddish locations. First held in Gloucester, the 2013 version has been through or will be held in Maitland, Canberra, Bunbury, Townsville and Bendigo. There’s a common line-up at all venues, with local bands opening. 6 bands played in 2005 – at least 27 bands appeared on the 2013. On the weekend, I effectively chaperoned 5 teenage girls to the 11 hour concert in Canberra. They were far more familiar with many of the Canberra line-up than I was, but there were enough acts to keep me interested.
The big names (those that I’d heard of anyway] included Regurgitator, the Kooks, They Might Be Giants, Tame Impala, Temper Trap and Flume. The first three acts, in particular were fabulous. The ‘Gurge were wonderful. They played at twilight and played during the setting of the sun. Their blend of thrash, tongue in cheek lyrics and ebullient stage craft simply delighted the crowd. A great Australian band – the crowd went beserk. They Might Be Giants played some new stuff, but wheeled out their big hit “Dr Worm” (but not “You’re not the Boss of Me”). Really, really solid set and great show men. The Kooks were simply awesome. They fed off the crowd enthusiasm and just rocked out.
The suprise act for me was Matt and Kim. I had absolutely no idea who these guys were. I’ve spent plenty of time since looking at their clips on YouTube and reading up on their history. Boyfriend and girlfriend, Matt and Kim put on one of the most unique and wild live performances I’ve had the pleasure to see. Matt plays a keyboard and Kim thrashes a very simple kit with the vigour of John Bonham. She takes it to a new level with multiple ascents of her bass drum to engage the crowd with foul mouthed exhortations and gyrations that have to be seen to be believed. Her venture into the crowd, standing on the hands of an adoring audience was visually stunning. Two people creating so much noise is remarkable, even if some of it is computer generated. If you ever see these guys playing near by – get out and see them.
The beer list was appalling. I was being the responsible chaparone so was grateful for the presence of some mid-strength beers, but gees – I may as well have drunk water. Carlton Dry 3.5 (apparently especially made for festivals) is the worst beer I’ve drunk. It’s water with some carbonation and light dusting of beer flavouring. I’m convinced that when a beer states on a label “Smooth Finish” it really means no discerbible flavour. Once ticked off, I actually moved to real water for the rest of the day.
It’s only a 45 minute bus ride from the skyscrapers and constant noise and motion of Hong Kong’s Central District to a place that feels a world away. Stanley is on the south side of Hong Kong Island and is well worth a visit. In one respect it can be microcosm of Hong Kong in that there’s a market with stalls and haggling and a bar street that can probably get pretty raucous, but it’s in a lovely setting overlooking Stanley Bay with a promenade, a pier and a beach nearby.
The bars all line up along Stanley Main Street and whilst there might be a couple of classy restaurants hidden here or there, the majority of these places look like watering holes and party places first and foremost. It would be a great place for a pub crawl, particularly if you want to minimise walking. Like LKF, the beers lists aren’t challenging – but Vern’s Place looked like it had a decent range of British Bottled Beer. Many offer outside stools where you pitch up and have a good session of people watching. The sunset would probably go off as well.
I couldn’t go past The Smuggler’s Inn. It’s low ceiling is covered with business cards and currency signed by visitors over years. It was eerily similar to a bar I visited in Mexico in 2007 that inspired much of the internal decoration of the Cantina in my backyard. There’s a jukebox, a tight range of tap beers and plenty of spirits. Even though it was only 4pm in the afternoon – a crowd of tattoed younger folk decided it was early enough to start ripping into a few shots. The bathrooms had some of the more tasteful door signage to indicate who goes wear. Clearly a trademark, as this signage also features on their souvenir t-shirts – a painting shirt I think.
They did offer a unique on tap, which Edelweiss Weissbier Snowfresh. Poured beautifully, it was also ice cold. Now, you’ll often see a wheat beer being described as having a banana nose. No doubting that on the Snowfresh – but this was like sniffing and tasting a bag of Allens Banana lollies – which I don’t mind, just not in a beer.
Wanchai has a deservedly dubious reputation, but it also has some gems. I visited during the day and stumbled across Trafalgar – a pub on the 5th floor of a building – that specialises in British Beer.
The lifts are rickety and not all go to the 5th floor, but persistence pays off as you end up in a bar with great inside and outside ambience, high above the sordid going-ons of the Wanchai main drag.
Their speciality is a wonderful selection of British bottled beer. I’ve hankered after Sneck Lifter ever since I saw it on a website. Worth the wait. An absolute belter. Advertised as strong, but just a touch over 5%. Still had that warming spiritous flavour. Outstanding beer.
The second beer I tried was a delightful golden ale named for a travel author Alfred Wainwright. Very finely made, with an uncloying sweetness that made for a very pleasant sip. Nice happy hour times as well.
I eschewed the more direct subway route when I arrived in Honkers and opted for a stroll and a trip on the Star Ferry from Kowloon to Central. Most Harbours are good Hong Kong’s is spectacular if you can see it. Nostalgic for Sydney. Still, I love the old-time feel of the Star and the navy blue Gene Kelly sailor suits the crew wear. Imagine trying to get the Sydney deckies to do the same.
I had a couple of beers left over from China including this Pineapple beer, which is quite common in Chinese convenience stores and supermarkets. At 1.8RMB or 27 cents Aussie it’s a bargain, but I paid $26 cents to much for it. Not even a good soft drink. The novelty value wore off after the first sip. Aah, Back of the Ferry – taking one for the team do you don’t have to.
If you want to get a sense of the explosion in China’s wealth, visit Zhujiang New Town. This is a part of Guangzhou that will blow your mind even if you aren’t aren’t a connoisseur of skyscrapers. They’ve just gone berserk here and the variety of glass covered behemoths gives Shanghai a run for its money. There’s some quite exceptional buildings including the remarkable Canton Tower.
This is the expat part of town (apparently) and the giveaway is a place like The Brew. It’s a Canadian sports bar with a good range of burgers, wings and beer. It also shows all sports (I’m watching Super 15 now).
There’s a range of bottles from a group called Brewers & Union. The Steph Weiss was a seriously good Hefeweizen , but I can’t tell whether it is German, Belgian or South African. Still, the labelling is cool and the beer’s better. Check out the website and Untappd and make up your own mind. So there you have it. Drinking a beer made in Europe by South Africans in a bar run by Canadians in Guangzhou watching two NZ teams play rugby.
A trip to Guangzhou cannot avoid visiting the banks of the Pearl River. Guangzhou exists because of this mighty river. It is so vital to the city that the VB of Guandong is named after the Pearl River – Zhujiang.
The city loves its river and the way its pleasure boats, the buildings on the banks and the bridges light up in an orgy of neon in the evening. After a long day of walking the blocks on the northern banks, I parked myself on Shamian Island and watched a procession of dazzlingly lit boats cop a gander at the Island before u-turning and heading east under all the bridges. I sampled a couple of Zhujiang drafts (in a bottle) and enjoyed a clear and mild evening. It is a bland and forgettable drop.
The boats look wild enough in daylight, but they go nuts after dark. Guangzhou is less western than Shanghai or Beijing and bars can be hard to find. Tomorrow night I’ll visit Zhujiang New Town, which was rice paddies fifteen years ago. The expats apparently have had an impact, but I’m sure the Chinese influence will still dominate.
But, I don’t think this beer has anywhere near Ireland, let alone Dublin. It’s made by “Corbelli Wines”, the Dublin coat of arms is normally portrayed on a blue background, and there is no indication that this beer is specifically made in Ireland. Yep, I think it is made in the EU, but Corbelli comes from the West Midlands! which is even more confusing.
One to avoid. Dubious origins and crap beer.