Tag Archives: Renaissance Stonecutters scotch ale

Good Beer Week: when our sheepish friends came to visit

Full to the brim with good cheer, great beer and even better company (though sad at missing Yeastie Boy Stu’s breakdancing in quail blue trousers), it was time to jet off to the Kiwi SpecTAPular at the Local Taphouse.

SpecTAPulars normally mean there are twenty special beers on tap, a bell is rung once a keg is drained and there is an opportunity to taste all the beers on offer in paddles of five. Me, Tiff (fellow #beergirlrager), Tristan and bestie K had decided on our gameplan very early – we’d all buy paddles of all twenty beers and each have a sip of every beer.

After being spoilt rotten at the beermen.tv Hair of the Breakfast, it seemed like the logical and responsible thing to do.

If the idea of twenty beers to choose from seems very daunting, fear not! The Local always have a ‘passport’ to make your journey a good one – not only does it have a list of all the beers, but notes and general advice on beer tasting.

Kiwi SpecTAPular passport to goodness

Steve, the owner of The Local Taphouse, and I directly quote, was very heartened by the success of the day:

Of the 20 or so SpecTAPulars we’ve held across both Taphouses, there have been some big ones but the Kiwi SpecTAPular was the biggest yet in both venues.

Quite an achievement! I remember the last one I was able to attend, the Aussie SpecTAPular had punters lining up at the doors pre-hour of establishment’s open.

But onto the beers, eh? I suspect I might’ve had palate fatigue but my personal highlights were the second half of the beer listed in the passport – from Yeastie Boys’ Rex Attitude (which you guys already know I love from previous post at the breakfast) onwards.


There were oddities, like my palate preferring Renaissance Stonecutter in the bottle over it in the keg?! Sacrilege, I know. 8 Wired’s Hopwired couldn’t displease if it wore its dirtiest underwear – that was fab.

The Three Boys Oyster Stout and Mike’s Imperial Porter absolutely hit the spot for the weather (though it was nice and toasty inside the Local given the amount of punters).

One of the earlier beers sampled that I liked though advertised as hoppy, I preferred its maltier characteristics – the Moa Five Hop. Again, could be my palate crack talking.

Every one of these SpecTAPulars is an absolute treat to attend. The staff do a phenomenal job, the patrons are always so polite and you end up exchanging tasting notes with absolute strangers and on top of that, it’s a great way to sample beer from a specialised place – in this case New Zealand.

I didn’t see him at the Local in costume but co-owner Steve got into the sheepish spirit of things too.

Till next SpecTAPular…see you at the next one?

The Local Taphouse on Urbanspoon

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…by giving you a fantastic selection of craft beer!

The Royston Hotel is located in Richmond and is a mere hop, skip and a jump from the Mountain Goat Brewery, many of whose brews we’ve discussed on the blog aplenty, and imbibed even more.

It therefore made perfect sense to hold the second meeting of the Australian Beer Writers’ Guild at the Royston where we could not only have awesome local craft brews, but some damn fine pub grub too.

It was bloody freezing the night we went and I hit the stouts early under the notion that it would warm me up a little. On tap, was the delicious Mountain Goat Surefoot Stout (though if you wanted, they did also have longnecks of it in its Rare Breed incarnation, yum!).

As soon as we moved into the dining room, we pored over the menus and even more imbibing began – this time, mainly going with what was available in bottles. It wasn’t easy to choose what to have for dinner but I went with the braised lamb shanks with mash, barley and vegetable jus. Just perfect for the chilly winter’s night! The meat fell off the bone as it should have and it was a very generous serving. Indeed, I didn’t end up finishing my mash.

braised lamb shanks

To drink, I chose a Renaissance Stonecutters scotch ale – a brewery from across the waters in New Zealand. Haven’t had a bad drop from this lot once. Mmm. Really, really sorry about my crappy mobile phone pics – my phone had just enough charge to take bare minimum of photos required.

Renaissance scotch ale

The T-dawg ordered a very satisfying looking seafood claypot. It was humungous!

seafood claypot

Both him and I agonised over a good beer match with his dish – he eventually decided on a passable Emerson’s 1812 pilsner. Nothing to write home about, I’m told. Fellow guild member Jourdan supported this assessment, having drunk it on its homeland New Zealand.

Emerson 1812 pilsner

Personally, I wish the weather had been warmer so I could try out some of the ciders they had on offer. An excellent excuse for a repeat visit. The other diners went with the burger and the big-arse steaks on the menu. While the menu has many delectable options, I was a little disappointed to see that there wasn’t much in the way of vegetarian options that looked as equally delicious as the meat and seafood ones.

Then the ABWG got down to business, not before The Crafty Pint and probably Beer Blokes‘ Prof Pilsner managed to get us all a round of Stone and Wood’s draught ale with their beer gravitas. There was a glint in every punters’ eye at tasting the oh so familiar passionfruit note that the S&W draught ale is famous for! All Ale The Big V was indeed a most excellent secretary, reigning in us young roustabouts and unfurling the guild’s official logo.

The night finished with a blissful pot of Moo Brew’s stout for just about all of us. Well, when we could finally get Crafty and Prof out the door, those old timer beer folks do love a good natter. And rightfully so, as the staff are very sympathetic to the craft beer cause, and know quite a bit about it. It’s a wonderful pub and worth the trek even if you don’t live in the area.

Royston Hotel on Urbanspoon

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