Good Beer Week: that time of year again when beer is had with breakfast

Last year beermen.tv did a truly wild and wacky thing: they put on a breakfast and beer event. This year, it was tied to Good Beer Week and was bigger and badder than ever.

Ten beers were served up with five delectable courses. How did they manage to pull it off? It was great value too – $35 a head was a very reasonable price for so much on offer. Upon arrival, everyone was greeted with the Feral Brewery Golden Ale. I recalled that Brendan Varis, the head brewer was keen on Sorachi Ace hops so when I picked out lemony notes in the beer, I was chuffed to see that yes, the hop in question had been employed – such palate epiphanies are awe-inspiring. My palate is not that great and though it’s slowly improving, it has a loooooong way to go. Good excuse for more beer imbibing? In any case, Golden Ace was quite a refreshing start to the day.

The next beer remains a bit of a personal fave – Bridge Road’s chestnut pilsner. Though some may criticise, I actually like that it’s so variable. The first time I had it, I couldn’t taste any chestnut, but the last time I had before this, it was nothing but roasted chestnutty goodness. Autumn in a bottle. This time around, the chestnut was subtle and sweet and it felt less like a pilsner? It could be the first beer colouring my palate, admittedly.

Then the first course came out and all thoughts of beer dissipated: a smoked trout and lemon myrtle quiche. Fantastic match with the Feral but not too shabby with the chestnut pils either. It was great that they served us our beers, gave us one course between the beers and let our taste guide us to decide which beer matched what food best.

Our next duo of beers was the Red Hill Hop Harvest ale and the 8 Wired Hop Wired.

I’m a massive fan of both, but have to say that the Hop Harvest ale matched the veal sausages with caramelised onion beautifully – the beer really accentuated the caramelisation long after the sausages had been polished off! (note: I’m hoping it’s veal – a few staff members serving didn’t seem to be sure about what they were bringing out. A menu along the beer menu would’ve been awesome for us food blog wanksters)

I think the Hop Wired would have worked on fattier sangas – but that’s just a guess. Half a sausage wasn’t enough: take from that what you will…(I wanted two full ones, ha)

Next up, a beer that is an old friend, Holgate’s Temptress, and a brand spanking new one, Yeastie Boys Rex Attitude – the latter causing quite a bit of dissension amongst the ranks: a fair few folks (brewing industry folk and ‘regular’ punters alike) had a a lot of trouble finishing their Rex Attitude because it was one smoky whatsit. Maybe I’m broken or just in want of more good whisky, but I freaking loved it.

Rex Attitude was my official number one beer for the breakfast, however neither Temptress or Rex suited the dish it was served with – steak and onion on bruschetta.

At this point of the breakfast, a bottle of Holgate’s Empress (a limited release beer that is a divine jazzed up version of their Temptress) was auctioned off for Beyond Blue for the princely sum of three hundred and one dollars. Yea for socially conscious beer lovers *heart swells with pride*!

Dessert time! Darren Robinson of Doctor’s Orders Brewing was on hand to take us through his creation to be served with one of the desserts – his Zephyr. I’m not sure that Doc’s beer matched dessert but wow, it’s summer in a glass. Imagine, stinking hot day, horrible day at work, go to the fridge and quench your thirst with a glass of this…almost makes me long for summer and I loathe summer!

Thankfully, we didn’t have to travel through jungles in the Congo or listen to boring-arse stories by a dude on a boat – no horror whatsoever, just reach for the bottle of Murray’s Heart of Darkness stout, thanks.

It’s pictured by the side of the ‘space beer’ by 4 Pines, the Vostok Stout.

Greedily, I scoffed down my share of rhubarb and ANZAC crumble…

…before moving onto the chocolate sauce pancakes. I confess I cannot tell you which of the stouts were best suited to the pancakes because I was too busy stuffing my face.

There were also plenty on non-beery highlights. I absolutely adore this photo of my #beergirlrage mate Jenn and her glee at winning trivia:

Soon-to-be-leaving (pout) Mountain Goat head brewer Jayne Lewis wearing merch of the ‘competition’, so to speak (as you can gather from the photo, it’s not really like that, is it?)

Mark of beermen.tv explaining how Damo lost a bet and ended up in a rather fetching costume. Details of the bet lost were not divulged…

Two punters consenting to a blind tasting – first of some evil cola soft drinky whatsit then the liquid that united us all.

And what happened to the jolly good sport who lost the beer taste-off…

But wait, that’s not all! Clear out you bastards!

And enjoy your last beer, the Stone and Wood Pacific Ale (formerly draught ale) outdoors (Tristan insisted I use this photo. Sorry).

But be buoyed by Brendan Varis and Shandy never looking so damn happy in his life.

Beer Deluxe did an amazing job with the Hair of the Dog breakfast: the staff were phenomenal, always attentive, helpful and just damn hospitality ninjas. Thanks to all involved as it made for a cracking start to the weekend.

Beer Deluxe on Urbanspoon

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11 thoughts on “Good Beer Week: that time of year again when beer is had with breakfast

  1. Allan

    Another awesome brekkie event ๐Ÿ™‚

    Although I did miss the choc waffles with Temptress ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    1. Gem

      noooo! no choc waffly-pancakey goodness? wah! I know I’m biased but the Temptress can never disappoint me. I love her so.

      Reply
  2. The Beermen

    Thanks for coming along & we’re glad you enjoyed it. I’m sorry some of the pairings weren’t up to your expectations. We set ourselves a big audacious goal to match some big audacious beers. It was an experiment of extremes – big beers, side by side and some softer ones with big bold brothers. We weren’t sure everything would hit the mark but thanks for your feedback and kind words. Hopefully we’ll make it even better next year.

    Todd.

    Reply
    1. Gem

      Oh no no Todd, nothing like that at all – it’s like beer – it really is just what one’s palate prefers at the end of the day!

      I think you guys did a terrific job with the beer selection and it was great to see just how much bigger it’s got than it was last year.

      Though sadly Damo’s costume/bet lost will remain a mystery to us all…

      Reply
  3. Tristan

    Another wonderful Good Beer Week event, and as Gem said, a bigger and badder Hair of the Dog breakfast.

    The Beer DeLuxe crew were good – as they were all Good Beer Week -, the beer was delish and the Beermen TV boys were in fine form.

    It was a great event and the tickets much sought after. With the number of beer industry people in attendance I felt very lucky to be there (and a little unworthy :p)

    I really, really hope that we see the Beermen back again next year, hopefully for another Good Beer Week.

    Reply
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  5. Stu as "Stu"

    Thanks for the mad props Gemma. I loved the breakfast – as much a highlight of the week as it was last year. I actually thought the Rex-Temptress match was amazing… it didn’t need food. Beer’n’beer matching is the new future for postmodern concept brewers.

    Shandy was all laughs at our table… something to do with the beer/whisky/techno combination!

    Until next year, keep saying what you think… the people who really think about beer and food, will either take your thoughts on board or they won’t give a shit.

    Slainte mhath
    Stu

    Reply
    1. Gem

      Man, now I’m really wishing I got to meet you, breakdancing Stu. Your comment is easily the best comment I’ve ever seen on this blog – I laughed out loud whilst reading it.

      “Beerโ€™n’beer matching is the new future for postmodern concept brewers.” – dude, make this happen. Please.

      Reply
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