Good Beer Week: why cookies and zombies mixeth well

Luke Nicholas of Epic Beer owes me a beer.

How freaking cool is that? Though it’s perfectly obvious that I’m more than willing to pay for it anyway. In fact, me, Tris and bestie headed up to Cookie in the city to try out his newly released ‘Hop Zombie’ an imperial IPA – it took forty minutes for the one keg Cookie had to sell out. My ‘epic’ Google-fu tells me that this is 124 US pints.

The tale of why Luke owed me a beer and a chat was a simple one: at one of the more internationally focussed beer tasting events at the Atrium in Federation Square, I lined up all eager to pump the fellow serving for info on the Epic range. My eyes widened at the mention of numbers of hop flowers used in particular brews.

Alas, when it came time to serve me the serving lad didn’t seem as interested in sharing the knowledge he’d been so generous with his brethren. I seem to cop that a lot, eh? Either that, or seem to take it to personal offence.

In any case, I updated on Twitter what had happened and Luke direct messaged me with a promise that next time he was in Melbourne, we could have a chat and he’d buy me a beer.

I got my wish. It’s documented too – courtesy of a fellow who made his claim upon Tristan’s camera and subjected us to his regurgitation on a study about the crumbs and bottom contents of potato crisp packets and somehow likening it to beer. Uh-huh…

Epic Beer Hop Zombie launch at Cookie

And not before sampling the wares of Cookie’s Asian-influenced yummies: taro dumplings with chilli soy:

tapioca dumplings with pickled turnip, pork and peanuts:

wild mushroom salad with coriander, mint, chilli and lime:

stir fried pork belly with red curry, kaffir lime and beans:

The winner out of all these was the tapioca dumplings, though I didn’t think the taro ones too shabby either. The pork belly was a little over-fried (I keep going to spell ‘fried’ as ‘friend’ first: how telling!). I’ve dined at Cookie and the food has always been ace – too bad I can’t use any of my previous dining photos (quality of them is appalling) because the duck jungle curry, whilst being hot enough to make you see through time, is really, really good.

I still keep telling my mate Luke (who incidentally homebrews, even brought some in for me at my old work) that friends do not let friends eat jungle curry. But oh yes, oh yes they do. Cookie is not just a great venue for some good nosh, but they do have a great range of craft beer too.

If you missed out on sampling the Hop Zombie at Cookie as many punters did indeed, the Epic rep in Australia informs me that there are two kegs at The Local Taphouse in St Kilda (as well as two more at the sister venue in Darlinghurst), and one at the Royston in Richmond, just opposite the Mountain Goat Brewery, which you really should be checking out on Wednesday and Friday nights when you can.

Though Ben Kraus’ duplicitous new baby which goes by the name of either ‘Dog’s Breakfast’ or Brew 500 Rauchbier which I think I should have let warm up a bit to get its true flavours shining through. Still, if you were bereft of Hop Zombie, check it out too.

As for Epic Luke, I’ll see you at the Kiwi SpecTAPular and yep, I’ll be claiming that free beer. So damn starstruck right now.

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