So I'm just putting the final touches on my recovery from what was a massive day on Saturday.
It was biggest simultaneous SpecTAPular yet and a huge day was had by all, with a special mention to one dedicated spectapularite who managed to attend both the St Kilda and the Darlo event! It was a truly dedicated move and I can't help but think it may have been inspired by the great American, Chuck Norris... Chuck, I would imagine, could proabably attend 2 SpecTAPulars in 2 different hemispheres in 2 hours should he put his mind to it.
Always a great day, the logistics of this one had the coolroom in St Kilda at bursting point during the week as most of the beers arrived here en route to Sydney. Changing a keg required risking life and limb. Then came Friday night and the traditional SpecTAPular-eve switcharoo when all 20 regular beers come off and the beers for the following day go on. The same goes for the bars where the branded glassware disappears out the back and the backup supllies are stuffed into every nook and cranny in the bar for the day.
On Saturday morning we got in, bleary eyed (and perhaps a trifle hungover), at 10am to star- spangle the joint with flags, streamers and the Statue of Liberty cardboard cutouts. For probably the first time ever we had everything looking SpecTAPular in time for the doors to be flung open bang on time and away we went - with a quick call to the Darlo crew to wish them a good day.
Waiting at the door was, of course, a brewer - and the first beer poured was for Dig as he embarked on a SpecTAPular journey in fine style. I say first beer poured but for the purposes of quality control, there may have been one or two very important tasters carried out by Evil Kineval pre opening, just to make sure everything was ok.
The brewers kept coming - the likes of Ben from Bridge Road, Simon from Hargreaves Hill, Dave from Goat, Dave from Malt Shovel, Sam from True South (if you haven't heard of this brewery yet you will soon), Dave and Karen from Red Hill and proabably others who I didn't bump into. On top of this there were other industry people including Tom from Goat, John from Better Beer, Mik from Trumer, and crew from Beer Deluxe and the Cherry Tree.
A steady stream of punters followed. Probably the best thing about a SpecTAPular apart for the ridiculously great range of beers, is the mix of punters. And this one was no different - from the brewers to the beer nerds, to the expat Americans, to those that just wandered in off the street for a quiet drink and got more than they bargained for.
The tunes had people tapping their toes early to the Stockton Duo playing the blues - all the way from New Orleans, and then singing along later as 'Indpendence Day' belted out some all American favourites.
And then there were the beers... 14 Aussie beers, 6 Rogue's - 20 taps of hoppy, malty, alcoholic goodness to explore. Opinions were spread, the Goat Steam Ale was the first keg to go and then slowly but surely they started going with more regularity. There were some serious conversations about whether Murrays Icon was in the same class as the Rogue Imperial IPA, whether the Holgate Nut Brown stood up againts the Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar, and many more. There were also some just as serious conversations albeit with less technical jargon ... questions about whether a particular beer was indeed shit hot, or just pretty good. The Rogue Chocolate Stout was described as ... very chocolatey. Best name would have to go to Mt Brewing's Yippy IPA I reckon.
At 1am the lights went up and the music went down, and the staff were smelly. So we cleaned the place up and had a few quiet ones ourselves, exhausted but rapt that the day had been such a success.
A huge thank you to all who were here - or in Darlo (their story to come) - it really was a fun day to be a part of and we are already looking forward to the next one.
There are photos and vids to come - my laptop has swine flu and as a result it may be another day or two until I can get some Flickr stuff happening. Feel free to post your comments on your favourite beers for the day - all comments welcome.
Cheers, Evil Kineval (aka Justin), James, Beccy and the St Kilda Smelly Crew