There is so much action happening on such a frequent occurrence in the Australian craft beer scene, that august journals like The Crafty Pint and Australian Brews News (can a journal be digital?) can barely squeeze all the news in. To be honest, I can’t remember which of these fine purveyors of beery info let me know first, but I recevied advance notice of Temple Brewing’s Oatmeal Stout launching last Friday. Despite the fact that I continue to regularly visit Melbourne, it has been very rare that I’ve been able to coincide a visit with a Melbourne craft brew event – but by hook and by crook I was going to make this work.
According to one of my Melbourne insiders a detour via Temple Brewing on the way to Tullamarine from the city was not a big deal. Grab a cab at 3pm, pull in to Temple Brewery and Brasserie, have a pot of Oatmeal Stout, jump back the cab and be on the 5pm back to old Sydney town. Sounded easy. The cabbie wasn’t so sure, but took on the challenge. Despite having the exact address, we actually drove straight past it, because Temple is in an unlikely building in between two light industrial factories. Once you swing open the black door though, you are in craft brew heaven. I only spent time downstairs in what is a modestly sized bar, but the backdrop is terrific. Gleaming brewing equipment is visible through floor to ceiling glass windows.
With the cab driver revving, I grabbed my Oatmeal Stout. I wasn’t the first beer blogger there – having been beaten to the punch by @JustBeer_NoBull – though I think I was the first Sydney based beer blogger. Great traditional stout – really solid. Nice coffee flavours and a lovely smoothness. Definitely worth the visit. I was so impressed that I decided to slip in another before the trip to the airport. I opted for the Smoked Weizen, which I sipped whilst waiting for the barman to grab three takeaways. The Smoked Weizen is top shelf. I don’t recall this combination before and it actually works. There was the brightness of a fresh Weizen with the smokiness of a mild rauchbier. Next time, I’ll be back for a run through the entire taprack.
A roadie is normally a beer before one hits the road. I ripped into a Bicycle Beer in the back of the cab on the way to the airport. The cabbie – a very tolerant chap – advised that it was illegal to drink in a Melbourne cab. That sounds similar to my regular mode of transport. The Bicycle Beer, whilst still good, was the least impressive of the three. Maybe the Smoked Weizen had made such an impression that the subtle Bicycle paled in comparison. I reckon this is a perfect summer beer – and hopefully it’ll be available in bottles in Sydney in about November (hint, hint). I subsequently enjoyed a Soba Ale and a Pale Ale a couple of days later at home – and they were quality. So, all in all get thee to the Temple.
The postscript to this tale is that all flights to Sydney were delayed by a number of hours and I ended up spending a ridiculous amount of time in the Qantas Club – when instead I could have actually had a run at the Temple tap rack.