Exploiting a small window of opportunity after another flying visit to Melbourne, BotF sprinted through a couple of bars in Exhibition Street, which comes off the Paris end of Collins Street. I’ve got to say, though, that I was stopped dead in my tracks by my first beer. The European Bier Cafe is a very classily done up bar on the corner of Little Collins and Exhibition Streets. Plenty of dark wood panelling, booths and 3 6-tap-racks mainly of European beers provide a fine drinking establishment. They don’t miss you on price, however. Had a quick yack to the barman, and he advised that despite a 16 to 2 ratio on Euro to Cartlon Draught on tap – the punters drink Carlton Draught 2 to 1. Maybe its the price. I chose the Leffe Blond – f&ck me. This is just a sensational beer. The Leffe glass ensures that your nose is assaulted immediately with all sorts of aromas. The first sip is also overwhelming and you wonder where you left your knife and fork. I started to hope that my plane would be delayed, as I wanted to sip this fruity complex strong beer. The website lists an amazing history of the Leffe Abbey that is well worth a read.
I eventually finished my Leffe and skedaddled down to the Coopers Inn. This is another fine Melbourne establishment. Tastefully renovated, there are more pictures at the BotF Bar Review Map. The problem with the bar sprint is you don’t get enough time to appreciate some places, and I’ll need to come back
As I entered the Coopers Inn, I noticed a Mongolian restaurant a little way up the road. I had a Fat Yak, and the penny dropped. I was very close to the site of the Fat Yak competition launch, reported recently by Tipples. If there has been a better beer competition, I haven’t seen it. The detail from the website to the imitation footy cards you use for entries is just so laudable. Fat Yak is a dead set favourite of many BotF correspondents, I only wish they gave entries with every on tap Yak you have at the Qantas Club.