Monday, December 6, 2010

Another update from St Kilda Ale Star #S27 - all the way from WA

Episode 3: Breweries 8 – 10

This week's instalment involved a couple of very unplanned visits to the new and old of West Australian brewing…

Cruising down the Old Coast Road south of Mandurah on a lazy Sunday afternoon, we just couldn’t drive past the humble little sign perched in a paddock to the side proclaiming “Premium Crafted Beer”. A quick U-turn and a short trip up the dusty track revealed the Old Clifton Tavern, now the home of Brew 42 Brewery.

With the car keys still in my hand and a glance at the clock revealing we were already running late for our afternoon rendezvous, owners Graeme and Andy convinced us that one quick tasting paddle could be squeezed in. Starting with the ‘Thrombolite’ (a slightly misguided saison-ish pale lager) and then the Blue Moon Lager (actually a pilsner), my anticipation had started to seem a little unmerited. The Powerhouse Pale Ale and Bucks Bitter (tagline: “Beer with balls – You’d be nuts not to try it!”) however quickly reinvigorated my interest. Finishing very strongly with the Red Tale Irish Red Ale and the Moorhead Stout, all faith in craft brewing had been adequately restored.

Despite the stumbly start, Brew 42’s style seems to encourage patience and persistence, providing a unique taste that I’m sure can be acquired. For my next visit, I will be certain to enquire about the cheap hotel rooms next door to this quiet country tavern to do just that!

If Brew 42 is the new, then an ad hoc drop in to Little Creatures on Monday evening was definitely the old. Not much needs to be said about Little Creatures really, pints of Bright Ale, Pale Ale and Pilsner by the Freo waterfront in the early summer sun was the perfect after work relaxation.

Later, we wondered over to the Sail & Anchor for dinner – a bastion of Australian pub brewing. Complementing a steak the size of Texas, the local IPA initially seemed obvious, although with 40 different brews on tap the choice was far from easy. With far too many superlatives to be said about this place, best to leave the full review and analysis for a future update (I’ll definitely be back here soon!).

8 weeks in WA and 10 craft breweries sampled! Life is good.

Ale Star #S27

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