I hate being short. Especially, when at the bar, rude so-and-sos like the following push in and do this:
“I’ll have a Carlton Draught.”
“We don’t have that here.” the bartender answers immediately, a strain of annoyance in her voice.
“Um…” The man looks up at the board. He’s scanning for beers he knows the names of. “Just get me something similar to Carlton Draught then.”
I looked away in disgust. Yes, I was pretty dirty about the fact that this fucker pushed in and not only wasted my time but the staff’s time – Saturday night and the Local Taphouse was packed to the rafters. Unlike Mr Draught-drinker, I looked up at the board of nineteen beers from Canada in glee. Which one to try first? Oh, damn, some of them were already finished. That’s what I get for turning up late.
Two weekends ago, the Canadian Government consented to sponsor a Canadian beer festival held at the Local Taphouse in St Kilda. From midday onwards, you could get your pick of beers from the following breweries: Les Trois Mousquetaires, Le Bilboquet, Dieu du Ciel! and Le Trou du Diable (most of those are in French but Google Translate is your friend!).
A staggering number of social commitments on this day meant I only really got to dip my toe into the proverbial water when it came to sampling the bounty on tap. I didn’t even get to have poutine and it was on the bar snacks menu for the day! Sorry about my mobile phone photos – but slutty drunk twenty-somethings tend to think they’re being photographed when the better half pulls out his DSLR (true story).
My bar struggles aside, the atmosphere at SpecTAPular was fantastic. Here’s a few reviews on the beers I did get to try.
Dieu du Ciel! Charbonnière – a dark, smoky beer. The beer ‘passport’ says it’s an amber ale but I recall it being quite dark though it didn’t look as dark as a porter? Incredibly aromatic and very savoury. I couldn’t taste anything other than the smoke in this – no hops, no malt. It was just liquid albeit beery smoke!
Les Trois Mousquetaires doppelbock – can I have a pint, please! Strong, malty goodness. Dark amber in colour and a hint of sweetness.
Le Trou du Diable Baron Noir – so perhaps starting the evening with a smoked ale was not the most intelligent thing for my palate…because it left this Baltic porter tasting quite lacklustre by comparison. However, it was a smooth, slightly roasty porter. Next time Gem, leave the smoked beer for afterwards, gah.
Le Trou du Diable Impératrice – last beer for the night! An imperial stout. Full-bodied with a hint of choc.
A bonus review! This was on offer on the night, but had tasted it previously at the Australian International Beer Awards showcase.
Dieu du Ciel! Aphrosidiaque – an American stout laced with bourbon, vanilla and chocolate. Absolutely delicious. Yes, you may say it sounds too sweet and may reek of gimmicks but you’d be sadly mistaken. So balanced. Divine, really.
Check back for tomorrow’s post which will include thoughts about two of the other beers featured in the SpecTAPular, one being part of the official Ale Stars lineup.
A votre santé! That’s French for to your health, but you say it like we say cheers. Et merci beaucoup au gouvernement canadien!