Thursday, February 24, 2011

If you don't have one get one - The Australian Brewery

Following on with our undistilled whisky conversations recently The Grey Bush and myself The Baron made the pilgrimage to our own local brewery. Yes you heard it "our local brewery". As we do not have a local distillery, a brewery, infect any brewery is a great alternative.

We had read about The Australian Brewery in the recent issue of Beer and Brewer Magazine and thought this is too good to be true. After a ever so brief agreement "we must get there", 2 days later we found ourselves strutting into the breweries rather large foyer, perusing the bistros menu of $49 steaks, and then proceeding to the bar to check out what was on tap. A quick glance around we quickly discovered, through a 2 storey floor to ceiling glass wall the brewing halls complete kit of stainless steel mashing and fermentation vats. Like lepers to a passing prophet the urge was too great to resist not to go and touch immediately.

Inside the brewing floor
As we stood taking happy snaps and fogging the glass the kind chap inside opened the door, popped his head out and asked did we want to come in and had a look? And did we what!

To our good fortune this was Daniel Shaw the assistant brewer. "Have a look around" he said as we conversed on how the process worked, what they brewed, the types of grains, temperatures, balances to the water, quality, quantities and weights and so on (brew talk). What a treat! Dan explained he had only been in the game about a year and half starting when the brewery opened. The head brewerNeal Cameron had worked previously developing the Fat Yak and Red Angus brews (I think that is right from my notes taken anyways).

Inside one of the vats. Note sure if this was for cooking or fermenting,
After about 30min of poking around Dan asked had we tasted anything yet and when we said no he promptly took us to the bar for a sample of the full range. Nice!

Dan the man lines up a wee tasting, cheers.
Lined up before us was the Mexican (Cervesa maize style), Galaxy Pale Ale, Saaz Dark Larger, and the 3.3 Rye Mid Strength. On tasting all had some similar virtues that certainly grouped them as a family but I would have to say my favourite was a the Galaxy Pale Ale. This baby was full strength with a lot of body and hops less the bitterness. The Mexican had a much thicker note to it verses the famous Corona but with a zesty finish while the Mid Strength (though not appealing to me and yes you can taste the Rye) would probably be right up the alley of a XXXX Gold puppy. The Dark Larger was nice but fell short of where I like my dark brews and certainly lacked the chocolate cocoa bitter notes so enjoyed but delicious none the less.

Relaxing in the bistro after we indulged in a schooner or few and a rather large bowl of fresh cut potato fries and a delicious ginger and sweet chilli relish dip. The $49 steaks looked awfully tempting but with only a few gold coin in the purse that would have to wait another day. Coming from Rockhampton I know what a good steak is and what it should cost so anything sporting a price tag like $49 needed to be pretty handsomely dressed and come with a gun incase the chef stuffed up you could shoot him.

The Saaz Dark and The Mexican

Overall an excellent experience and I urge anyone in the local area to get on out to The Australian Brewery for a few cold brews. The services is great and the environment very open and relaxing. I must say though I wish there was more seating outside the BIstro area but you will see this for yourself. On exiting I did spy a well used BBQ at the door so I can only hope if you other there in a late night there is a burger fry up to purchase and consume on the way home.

On that note Dan was very obliging and offered for our little party of DTWC members to come on out as a prearranged group and tour and tasting will be put on. I will need to email in advance and ensure a time is appropriate but with their busy schedule of also brewing for independents (approx 80% of their volume currently) we would need to make sure in is on a wash down day like a Friday afternoon or potentially a Saturday if no events were on.

Who's up for a trip?

The Baron

As a side note the fortunes could not have been better as just prior to leaving I had settled another batch of German style larger for fermentation and it is look good. Real good.