The Beer Diva, Kirrily Waldhorn, came down from Sydney to launch a Melbourne chapter of what I didn’t realise is a world-wide women-only beer appreciation club – the Barley’s Angels. Even more inspiring, the session was packed to the gills!
Who says women don’t drink beer, huh? Don’t make me thump you with my choice of dark lager…
I single-handedly credit Kirrily for being the person who first got me interested in beer and food matched dinners. I attended one she ran at The Local Taphouse in 2009 and I can still remember Steve and Guy, the owners thinking me mad for taking photos of the food. What food wankster pioneers we were.
Though sadly I missed a few of the starting beers and especially matched nibbles and despite Kirrily giving Tristan permission to ‘sit in’ and not participate, management overruled this decision. Very disappointing given that at the end of the evening, Kirrily said it would be fantastic to have photos of the event. Poor Tris just sat there at the drawn curtain, waiting for me and handed me his camera.
So, pictureless post. Here’s the rundown of what a score of beer-loving lasses came down to sample for a mere $20:
1. Oude Gueuze, matched with a cheese and radish salad.
2. BrewDog’s Punk IPA, no food match given
3. BrewDog’s 5AM Saint, with liver parfait (I got my beer but unfortunately missed out on the food match even though I’d snuck in at just the right time).
4. BrewDog’s Trashy Blonde, at a 4.1% ABV served with a lovely prosciutto-topped flaky pastry. Chosen to complement the tropical fruit notes of the beer.
We were extremely fortunate to have James Watt of BrewDog take us through his beers and while this was an excellent treat, I question just how this decision (nothing personal James, honest!) fits in with the ethos of the women-only beer chapter. I feel passionately about this because there were a fair few female brewery bigwigs actually at Barley’s Angels aside from Kirrily – Sam from True South in Black Rock, Jayne from Mountain Goat in Richmond, Karen from Red Hill Brewers.
I don’t think we necessarily had to sample their beer for the session, but wouldn’t it been an inspiring women-only lovefest (minds out of the gutter, you lot) if we’d had one of these amazing women chat to us about what they do as brewers? It also sets up a precedent for how future sessions are run: so my male photographer wasn’t allowed but it’s all good if you’re male and a brewer? In case you’re wondering, I’m arse at using his DSLR but if I want to do the sessions justice, I might just look at taking a course on how to use the damn thing!
Women with knowledge on varied topics are wonderfully dangerous *wink*.
No matter, we had Kirrily back for our last beer:
5. Moondog’s Cock-sockin’ Ball-knockin’ Chipotle Stout, matched with a chocolate truffle with cayenne pepper. What a note to finish the session on! I’d been dying to try this beer and it didn’t disappoint and matched the peppery choc sweetie we had perfectly.
The Melbourne chapter of Barley’s Angels has so much promise and last night was an excellent exhibition of that. If you’re interested in joining, feel free to ‘like’ the Barley’s Angels Australia Facebook page and keep ‘abreast’ of future events organised. Cannot wait for the next one.