Tag Archives: Two Birds Brewing

feck yeah females all the way

Yeah wow, went to hell for a bit and only just emerging. I’d put on Julie Ruin while writing this, reading a zine that features female-identifying talent, and drinking beer by a female-run brewery, but because I’m always late to the party, I’m listening to M.I.A.’s album Kala (it is soooo good! but all of you in the noughties already know that huh?) because my roots are Anglo-Indian, and Kathleen Hanna (who is quoted in the intro to the zine I’m reading) would totally fucking be for it – I like to imagine. Good thing my Le Tigre album is in my car’s CD player (it’s great for getting your arse into gear on days when you’re not feeling life generally).

zine: Paper & Ink 12 ‘Girls To The Front’ by various authors

drink: Two Birds’ Brewing stout (Melb, AUS)

Katie Doherty, the guest editor, has an intro to explain her coming to writing, and also to keep up that call to arms:

It’s 2018 and we have the internet. It has been a wonderful tool to bring women together, it is inspiring and this is how it should be, long may it continue.

I’ve just finished a fantastic dinner of dukkah-crusted chicken breasts and roast veg, and dark beer is where it’s at! The weather in Melbourne is awful, but it’s also the perfect excuse to get comfy, wear lots of warm layers, cuddle cats and mates, and hold your hot drinks for longer than you need to. A lot of Australian breweries have been putting out some fab sours and goses (no, really, the taste combos and ingredients are just grown-up-sweets!), so it’s nice to have an excuse to hit the stout and um, not become too stout…? (I’m currently overweight, so that’s a dig at me, not anyone else. YOU – yeah, YOU, reading this, don’t hate on your body the way I’m hating on mine. I’m working on not hating mine less, honest).

Anyway, Two Birds being a Melbourne brewing stalwart in an industry that is still quite male-dominated is fucking fantastic. For women to stand out, it’s hard – you pretty much have to be flawless, work harder than your male counterparts who will see you as a bunch of shitty things they shouldn’t see you as (try being a woman of colour in ANY industry here in Australia, and the microaggressions are pretty depressing. This is one of the reasons I hadn’t been blogging here regularly, despite achieving some cool shit in my personal writerly life). Seriously, this stout is just ticking so many boxes for me – it’s not sweet, but not salty, so it’s washing away that savoury dukkah hint left in my mouth. It’s silky and sippable – after a mouthful, the roast malts linger on for a while. The taste sensation that keeps on giving. I’ve stretched it out to about the halfway mark of the zine I’m reading.

Don’t make me single out any contributions from this issue – there’s poetry, short fiction, sequential art, and general beautiful artwork, from creatives from North America, Britain, and Australia After reading it all, I felt full in that way you feel after eating one of the most notable meals you know you’ll have for a few years and not wanting the full feeling to disappear!


Totally listening to The Julie Ruin now, not to be confused with Julie Ruin – which I do confess to having on a burnt CD but would lovelovelove to buy a legit copy of it if it’s ever available again #feministwishlist

It’s also taken me two sittings to read; when I started this, the plan was to read a zine in one sitting, but this one is long, and good, so it really deserved the proper amount of time to read it. I’ve finished it the day after I started this post, chugging down my ol’ faithful, big mugs of my regular looseleaf Earl Grey tea. ‘Girls Like Us‘ chimes as I finish writing this post. I’m glad there are so many awesome women in the world. Maybe one day it’ll become a regular thing to actually acknowledge and appreciate that.


Speaking of which! If you want to support this female-identifying creative, I will not say no to a few bucks to cover zine or drink costs! I have one of these: paypal.me/eatdrinkstagger/5

2017 book and beer chums

While I continue to finish up filling in gaps as hinted at over here, and partially filled here, 2017 book-and-beer matches! I embarrassingly keep a spreadsheet of this sort of thing, because it seems like a good idea when you read, drink and then have to remember or retrace your steps a lot.


issue #15 (Feb 2017)

BOOK: Books vs. cigarettes by George Orwell

BEER: Mountain Goat (Melb, AUS) Rare Breed ‘Pulped Fiction’ blood orange IPA

notes: the ‘Romance’ issue, so pairing good lit with good booze seemed pretty romantic to me. Learnt way more than I wanted to about the hygiene in French hospitals during early twentieth-century warfare, as well as a cool (or not, ha, ha, ha…anyway) unit to measure temperature that wasn’t the Kelvin (think it was this one), and Orwell did not have a happy childhood. His experiences at boarding school, and of being a partial scholarship recipient sounded awful – though, perhaps that’s testament to his skill in describing and conveying human behaviour.

issue #16 (Mar 2017)

BOOK: Ablutions by Patrick deWitt

BEER: TWO, gasp! Doctor’s Orders (Sydney, AUS) ‘Fleshwound’ & Brasserie Fantôme (Wallonia, BELG) India red ale.

notes: As of late last year, I just read Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential and feel like this novella is the dive bartender companion in that it describes some of the clientele and professionals in the industry in the late 80s-maybe early 90s. Both books are hilarious, and reading deWitt’s barman narrative makes it hard to ignore speculation on just how intimate he is with their way of life…it’s also a quick read. I’m not sure how on earth I managed to stretch out two good bottles of beer (not exactly small ones either…500mL and 750mL respectively!) to cover my reading period. I gobbled up this book.

issue #17 (Apr 2017)

BOOK: The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham

BEER: Sierra Nevada (USA) ‘Narwhal’ barrel-aged imperial stout

notes: I’d somehow managed to find myself a new sharehouse to live, and completed this B&B way before things started to get awful. Froth ed gave me a bottle of the ‘Narwhal’ and trying to ignore that various beer sirens were singing, I read Wyndham’s classic with it. The book is scarily not as dated as it should feel. One of my favourite memories of growing up in England was watching Chocky, which is based on Wyndham’s book of the same name. Most of his famous titles are on booklists as examples of excellent speculative fiction – which I’m hoping to read more of this year (2018).

issue #18 (May 2017)

BOOK: Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

BEER: SPARKKE (Adelaide, AUS) ginger beer, pilsener, hard lemonade, cider

notes: Had started reading this late for a WMN book club meeting, and due to deadlines and a performance I was rehearsing for, didn’t actually get to read and drink at the same time. At the time, no one knew that I was going into hospital for depression (I went straight after the performance wrapped up, and given you can’t drink booze in hospital, there was no B&B for June).

It wasn’t a good month, but Emily and Clint getting a copy of Froth and the piece about Difficult Women signed by THE AUTHOR got me so excited, I had to get sleepers to properly knock me out that night in hospital (they didn’t know I was in, that’s why it’s so funny. Also first time in my life I’ve nearly puked in excitement!).

I wrote a funny bit of dialogue about how my mother, in unintentional Asian tiger mum mode, completely doused my excitement with a metaphysical wet blanket when I told her about what Em and Clint had done. She is, however, being a Magpies supporter, very proud of my brother driving the hearse for a former footballer who was granted a state funeral around the same time. But seriously, it wasn’t a good time of the year and photos of Roxane even holding Froth…it felt like an amazingly surreal and wonderful thing to happen and cling onto. We all have our s/hero/i/n/e/s! <3

(NB. 1. I don’t want to drive anyone’s hearse, famous or not. It does actually sound quite nerve-wracking & 2. Sparkke have since added TWO beverages to their core range, f*ck yeah! 3. I clearly need to up my game as an Asian daughter)

issue #20 (Jul 2017)

BOOK: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

BEER: 4 Pines (Syd, AUS) cherry coconut brown ale

notes: Another WNM book club selection, which I’d read way after the meeting. It’s been on my to-read list for years, and still haven’t seen its TV adaptation, which is apparently really good as well as quite different from the book. I knew it’d be full-on, so chose a beer to get me through its darkness (it did). Also loved what Clint did with the colour scheme of the woman’s garments.

issue #21 (Aug 2017)

BOOK: The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins

BEER: Bright Brewery (Bright, VIC) ‘Stubborn Russian’ imperial stout

notes: It was so much fun writing this, and getting to hang out in Bright despite the fact that it was actually freezing (one morning the hot water system froze over so it took a while to get it going!). Met some faithful Froth readers, who I again bumped into on New Year’s Eve last year, and keep trying to invent reasons to go back up to Bright. and they do kickarse things like raise awareness of important issues, whilst having fun! James & Jenn were fab hosts, as were their two kittehs!

issue #22 (Sep 2017)

BOOK: Wasted: a story of alcohol, grief, and a death in Brisbane by Elspeth Muir

BEER: Shenanigans Brewing (AUS) ‘Flower Power’ grisette

notes: um, risky choice of book when you write for an alcohol mag, BUT both the beer and the book evoked all those pre-summer feels when the flowers are starting to show, and scents of life become more intense. So, a memoir that deals with the death of a family member, and drinking culture in Australia had to go with a beer that is intensely low ABV-wise. It was also the beginning of a three-month stint in Northcote living with two magical creatives, and a cranky-as-fuck tabby. It was the most happy and productive period of my life I’ve had in a reeeeeeeeeeally long time. I love you Danni & Lolly (and Maddy-cat).

issue #23 (Oct 2017)

BOOK: A Horse Walks Into A Bar by David Grossman (translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen)

BEER: Coconspirators Brewing (Melb, AUS) ‘The Bookie’ pale ale

notes: second month of the Northcote sublet, and I found myself starting to go on dates. I met one gorgeous person a while back who didn’t at all like me, and he was mega into film. I’m hopeless with films, but I recall his pretending to sound like a gangster (no, not like an African one that supposedly terrorises Melbourne, whatevs, stupid fucking out-of-touch-with-the-twenty-first-century federal government), and what a hoot this book and beer were! Clint also designs for this Melb-based brewery, who are doing some delish fabbo things. Fond memories!

issue #24 (Nov 2017)

BOOK: A Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

BEER: Two Birds’ Brewing (Melb, AUS) ‘Passion Victim’ summer ale

notes: my last month in Northcote, and my housie Danni was such a sweetie, helping me take profesh photo where the month’s book and empty beer cans are popping out of a showbag!* I cackled out loud reading the book, and chose the beer because summer was coming, and it had Galaxy hops! It also reminded me of how much I miss the sciences. Adams clearly revels in knowledge, in a not-talk-down-to-others kind of way, but in a way that can’t help but infect you with a passion (har har) for the intersections of several disciplines.

*from a Froth launch

issue #25 (Dec 2017-Jan 2018)

BOOK: It’s Raining in Mango by Thea Astley

BEER: Sailors’ Grave (Orbost, AUS) peach melba pavlova cream sour

notes: having found myself in a somewhat oppressive living sitch, I had to lock myself in my room for a day to even read this book, which I totally chose on a whim but is wonderful – why isn’t it better known?! The reviewing beer bit was much easier, though also tricky given I was rehearsing like crazy for a performance. I got asked to leave that sharehouse whilst on a date, sigh. That sucked pretty hardcore. I’m thankfully still friends with the other housemate who is a wonderful human (them and their partner very nearly had to deal with my embarrassed tearful arse after going home from said date).

It was…a character-building year. Got my heart broken a few times, and made some really good, close friends. Hopefully 2018 will mean not having to be hospitalised, and not missing contributing to a single issue of Froth! I might go back and edit these later to reflect the respective themes of each issue (was lax with that, whoops) – this post is already longer than I would’ve preferred.