So the guests of honour were supposed to be the North Coast Brewing Company…but they never came.
Not to worry as a cute rockabilly 50s dolled up gal turned up to represent ACME Brewing to serve us beer.
After pulling the appalling starving-artist-girlfriend-damsel-in-distress card, I found myself at Beer Deluxe to sample a few of the brewery’s beers nevertheless for a mere $20. I even got to choose a pretty glass as a souvenir. Previously, I marvelled at The Forum’s beauty, before hiding my pecuniary shame in Federation Square’s Atrium.
Here’s my not so golden ticket – due to yet another bad-workman-blames-his-tools incident, Tristan was not cameraless, but without a functioning one. Thus, my Smartphone of Evil™ came to the rescue.
Man, how good were the staff herding quite the crowd of eager beer samplers, both male and female. In fact, me and fellow #beergirlrage chum @tifdownunder tried to explain to an eager ‘trade’ professional that we did know what we were doing beer-wise and that we were quite happy with the notion of drinking stout (is it not the best weather for it ever at present?!). Alas, he could not be swayed – even when I gently…pressed him for his definition of a masculine and feminine beer, he could provide example of neither.
Come on dude, even in my greenhorn days, I would have said hoppy beers are ‘manly’. He did also seek to educate me upon the supposedly fairer sex having a larger fancy for chocolate. James from Josie Bones outright warned the fellow in question to proceed with caution in relation to us beery gals but he could not be swayed from his quest.
Give me cheese over chocolate any day and you will have me as a friend for life (I understand this may or may not be desirable).
Fellow ABWGer Rick (check out his beer-related writing here) actually did provide me with a better gameplan in regards to my tasting ticket and what order to proceed with sampling the liquid breads, as my best friend calls them.
The samples are small, responsible amounts, and patrons were welcome to purchase larger serves of whatever beer they wanted more of except for a shortage of a few. Rick got me started with the Scrimshaw (pilsner) and the Blue Star (wheat beer). I quite liked the pilsner – immediately conjured up sweltering summer’s day refreshment though Rick and Chris said it was an example of a ‘dirty’ pilsner. Boy, do I have a lot to learn as I didn’t quite get what they meant. Beer swotting time for me.
The Blue Star wheat beer was a pretty dull interpretation of a wheat beer: not much of the aromatics I’m used to (clove, banana, coriander and similar such suspects). Just not thrilling.
Things warmed up though – next up, the Le Merle, a saison. Smelt a bit reminiscent of lambic but was everything you want your traditional farmhouse ale to be. Then I moved onto the Red Seal Ale, a deeply satisfying pale ale: not much to say beer-wankster-wise, really, just that it hit the spot. Pranqster, the golden ale, I suspect I should have tried before the Red Seal? Like I said, I struggled with the order of tasting the samples. Because of the Belgian style heritage that Pranqster claimed, I hopped onto Brother Theolonious – a Belgian style abbey ale.
Still labouring over the existential nausea that was my tasting ticket choice, I had the ACME California pale ale and then their IPA in the wrong order because the cute ACME girl misheard me. I rather enjoyed their IPA.
Left for last were the stouts and what cracking weather for them it was – the Old No. 38 stout and Old Rasputin, the latter being the clear winner. Sadly, we ran out of time and it was not appreciated in its ideal conditions – the stouts were served a tad too cold and couldn’t wait for Old Rasputin to warm up though he was a sexy Russian indeed. No. 38 was pretty unremarkable, incidentally. Surprising but then it did seem like cardboard compared to Old Rasputin, the winner of the session for me.
After advising Tiffany to at least get some of said sexy Russian, it was a mad dash to the train station, alighting at another then hopping onto a tram to get us to the Terminus. Damn, for an American, she sure is transport-savvy, more so than our dear native Tristan.