Posts tagged ‘brewery’

January 30, 2013

Guest Post: Meantime’s Brewers Dozen – American Quad

Those who’ve read Pub Diaries from the start (there were some I’m sure) may remember mention of Captain English. Not merely a figment of my imagination English was my trusty drinking sidekick and for the first and hopefully not the last time he gets his say. With my move to WA take this as a call out to anyone who wants to contribute to Pub Diaries, wherever you may be. Take it away Captain…

Recently I took a trip down to the Old Brewery in Greenwich, which is basically Meantime’s brewery tap. A place I’ve meant to go to for quite a while but somehow never got round to.
Years ago, I enjoyed the beers that they produced for Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range. I was particularly keen on the Viennese-style dark lager, the Kölsch, and the Wheat. These beers were the first I’d heard of Meantime and were leagues ahead of any other supermarket-branded beers. However, it became harder to find in my local supermarket, until at some point Sainsbury’s and Meantime seemed to have ended the association. Since then Meantime beers have found their way across the capital to pubs both good and indifferent. In some respects Meantime had been a trailblazer for smaller London breweries but with increased competition in the London market from a new crop of hip, young, gun slinging craft brewers, how would they respond?

One response is the Brewer’s Dozen – eleven limited edition beers released once a month from December last year onwards, hence my trip to Greenwich to investigate. The Old Brewery is on the west side of the old naval college and has of an impressive dining room with brewing equipment at one end, and a slightly smaller bar. This bar is in the post-industrial style with exposed brick walls, uplighters and shallow vaulted arches. A mix of low and tall tables, chairs and benches, a collection of beer steins behind the bar, and a collection of bottles on one of the other walls. The bar top bristles with beer taps offering many of the Meantime brews and three hand pumps with guest ales. Being dark outside it felt like being in a big and airy bierkeller.

The first release of the Brewer’s Dozen was the Jasmine IPA, but that had already sold out on our visit. The month’s release was American Quad. From the name I had expected it to be some massively hoppy American IPA but actually it was nothing like that. Dark with a slight spiced prune flavour. Not even slightly sessionable but a good one to finish off with. The beer equivalent of a port at the end of a meal.

The third instalment of the Brewer’s Dozen will be the Cali-Belgian IPA (an IPA/Belgian beer hybrid of sorts) so I will be looking out for that in February and probably returning to the Old Brewery at some point as well.

September 12, 2012

Hiatus, Ham, Hackney & Hopster

So It’s been a while since my last post but as is the way, life takes over and something has to give. Namely this. I’ve always hated posts full of fake apology – as if my absence from the blogging space would weigh too heavily on anyones mind – but i’ll just say that preparing to get wed, planning months of travel, leaving your job, moving home and hemisphere all at the same time isn’t a recipe for having time on your hands.

That’s not to say that i’ve not had any chance to indulge, just that i’ve not had the time or mental capacity to string a sentence together. So as I ease myself back in after the short hiatas i’ll just list some of the highlights, which I may expand on in the coming weeks.

copyright: Friends of Ham

Friends of Ham, Leeds

If you follow on Twitter (@thepubdiaries) you may have seen a flurry of Ham related activity as I recently turned porcine fanboy. My visit to Friends of Ham, was much anticipated (bt me, not them). For months there had been talk of its opening and I watched at a distance through social media. The name intrigued me, the logo enticed me and when I finally got to visit the space and the people in it beguiled me. A craft beer bar, come charcuterie where Cheers style everyone knows your name (but maybe that’s @lordofthebeers fault for pre-tweeting my arrival). Quite simply the best bar i’ve been to in years.

Cock Tavern, Hackney

In between the planning, packing and honing wedding playlists, I have been doing more and more freelance writing. Pots of espresso at 5am have become the norm as I juggle deadlines (lets just say i’d never get a job in the circus) and try and remember what the hell i’m writing about. Many of these have been for View London and as much as I love to find a new pub to add to the beer drinkers equivalent of the Knowledge it can start to wear slightly. Until the assignment is the Cock Tavern in Hackney. It’s up there with Friends of Ham, which is why i’ve put the two together and you can read all about it here. It’s places like this that reinvigorate me and make me realise why I do what I do.

London Fields Brewery, Hackney

I am a late comer to the charms of this East London brewer, but have fallen for them in a big way. When I discussed the beer list for the wedding I wanted some relatively cheap bottles of well known beer for the guzzlers amongst the guest list. Asahi was the choice. We then had a mix of Meantime and the other usual suspects. It still didn’t grab me and while I was tempted to just let it go, Clerkenwell Kitchen’s manager Ciaran came through with a suggestion of London Fields. It fitted the bill in terms of being locally sourced and with a craft angle. There’s nothing better than looking round and seeing people eskew their normal habits, holding a big bottle of Hackney Hopster or Love Not War (apt for the event I thought) and more importantly enjoying it.

May 24, 2012

Q&A: Tom Byng of Byron

We mix beer and burgers this week as we have a chat with London’s true Burger King, Tom Byng.

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What is the Byng – Byron ethos…

Do a simple thing properly

First beer experience…

Nicking a couple of Double Diamonds out of my Dad’s fridge as a 10 year old and drinking them with my brother behind a bush in the garden. Terrible beer, but it tasted pretty good at the time.

Best beer find of the last year…

SKA beers, we managed to get True Blonde and Steel Toe Stout on to our latest list pretty much exclusive to us

What sounds are to be heard in the office…

I spend quite a lot of time in the restaurants so the sizzling of grills, bubbling of fryers and gentle tapping of ketchup bottles is ever present. In a nice way obviously.

If I wasn’t running Byron I’d be…

About 10kg lighter for sure

Before Byron…

I had a couple of restaurants in Notting Hill for 10 years. The rents doubled so I sold up and started Byron

Favourite thing about what I do…

Getting paid to eat burgers and drink beer is tough to beat.

What drew you to Camden Town Brewery to brew Byron Pale…

Camden not only supply Hells but act as a quasi consultant for the whole list. We have a great relationship, so having them brew our own beer was a no brainer. We wouldn’t have had anybody else do it to be honest.
What have you learnt from working with CTB and vice versa… They’ve pretty much taught us everything we know. We started out as enthusiasts with a relatively low knowledge base and in a year they’ve turned us into something approaching experts. From their perspective, they certainly know a lot more about hamburgers than a year ago! I think also having a big volume customer has been a good test for them in terms of how they set up their infrastructure to support growth.

Greatest achievement to date…

Byron Pale Ale becoming our top seller within 2 weeks of launch. For it to outsell Peroni in a chain restaurant environment was as satisfying as it was unexpected. For Byron generally I think we’ve been instrumental in instigating the burger revolution which has swept London in the last 5 years, the result being that if you like hamburgers there is a now plenty of quality options available irrespective of taste and budget

Brewers I look up to…

Camden Town Brewery, Kernel and Brewdog in the UK. Sierra Nevada, Bear Republic and Lagunitas in the US

Pub heaven…

Big range of craft beer on tap and in bottles with some decent food coming out of the kitchen

Pub hell…

Wetherspoons

Favourite local pub…

Anglesea Arms, Wingate Rd, W6

Favourite non local pub…

Craft Beer Co, Hatton Garden

Advice for an aspiring startup…

If you’re not shitting yourself you’re not being brave enough. Back yourself and go for it.

What’s on the horizon…

We have 5 more restaurants to open this year (including our first out of London in Oxford), a new burger van for street food events, a full summer festival season for our Shack, a Chilli Queen burger special for the Jubilee and a new beer list for September.

Next week the Q&A takes a techie turn with Greg Avola, the beer brain behine Untappd

April 18, 2012

Q&A: Kelly Ryan

I think that this weeks Q&A will be a firm favourite across the beer world, as we catch up with possibly the busiest man in beer. Formerly of Thornbridge, Fyne Ales and Epic; and now moving onto new prospects, we hear from Kelly Ryan.

 

Your brewing ethos…

Passion, Pride, Fun, Flavour, Quality

Beer epiphany…

I don’t think I’ve had just one beer epiphany, but sitting in a Flavour Chemistry class with my old professor, Jean-Pierre Dufour (who was instrumental in the development of the brewing division of the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium) here in NZ and tasting through Duvel, Chimay Red, Chimay White and Chimay Blue was definitely a big part of it. JP was ridiculously passionate and taught me loads about beer, brewing and fermentation science. It was his palate, however, that never ceased to amaze me. He inspired me to taste everything I could and to describe as much as I could. I still remember that first sip of Duvel. The effervescence and that Champagne-like mousse coupled with the delicate spice of the yeast. So damn good!

Best beer find of the last year…

Anchorage Love Buzz Saison – A heady mix of peppery goodness, the delightful tartness of the Saison yeast, a hint of Brettanomyces for good measure all tied together with an undercurrent of light oakiness from the French oak Pinot Noir barrels that it’s aged in. An elegant and fascinating beer and the type that should be served up to beer and wine lovers alike.

Sounds heard in the brewery…

If I’m mucking about doing trial brews, it could be anything from some good NZ reggae (Katchafire), Fat Freddy’s Drop (NZ Reggae/Dub/Jazz/Roots) or something a bit more out there like some crazy industrial Skinny Puppy or KMFDM or even some Tool, A Perfect Circle or Pink Floyd. A bit of everything really! The Beatles often pop up on the playlist.

If I wasn’t brewing I’d be…

Dead! Either that or teaching brewing :)

Before I was brewing I was…

A student on the road to being a brewer… I was studying Microbiology and Food Science degrees and got into a trainee brewer programme with a big brewery straight out of university. It was meant to be!

Favourite thing about what I do …

I think it’s probably similar to most brewers… I love recipe development. Envisaging a beer and a culmination of flavours and aromas. That mixing together of diverse and interesting ingredients and that point when it all comes to fruition and you taste the finished product. I love that.

Greatest brewing achievement to date…

A tough question! I enjoy the fact that people have had enjoyment out of what I do for a living. The odd award here and there is always exciting as well.

Things you miss about the UK…

This could be a long list! I miss being able to go to a local market or supermarket and get incredible cheeses for a decent price. I miss the snow. I miss foraging. I miss the pub we used to run and live in, The Coach and Horses in Dronfield. I miss Mark Taylor’s incredible food (the ex-chef of the Coach). I miss Loch Fyne up in Scotland where I started my UK brewing experience. I miss the Peak District. I miss our great friends. I miss the huge choice of beers that are available in the pubs of Sheffield. I miss Thornbridge Kipling. I miss the friendliness of the Yorkshire and Derbyshire folk.

What could we learn from NZ…

Be more proud of your local fare. It’s fantastic. I think the cuisine of the UK is awesome, so many interesting dishes and flavours beyond the usual roast meat and fish n’ chips.

Which brewers do you look up to…

Thornbridge (of course!), Dark Star, Hawkshead, Brewdog, Lovibonds, Fyne Ales, William Bros, Fullers, Adnams, Sharp’s, Brooklyn (US), Odell (US), Dogfish Head (US), Sierra Nevada (US), Russian River (US) Sprig and Fern (NZ), Feral (AUS), De Molen (NED), Birrificio Italiano (ITA)… in fact this list could go on forever!

Pub heaven…

That’s easy! The Coach and Horses in Dronfield. Surrounding by the hum of conversation by the locals and sitting down to a leg of rabbit done in a cider and mustard sauce and matched with a bottle of Maredsous 10 from the fridge. It would have to be snowing just a bit as well.

Pub hell…

A cold, empty pub with nothing good on tap, a menu from a freezer bag and bar staff that spend all their time on their phones and glare at you icily when you order a drink.

Favourite local pub…

I’ve just moved from Auckland and am currently working out of a great craft beer pub in Hamilton called House on Hood. A good beer selection on tap and friendly staff, so it’s an easy one!

Favourite non local pub…

I’m a big fan of The Malthouse in Wellington. Awesome beer selection, knowledgeable staff and it’s nice and relaxed. The pizzas are pretty tasty as well!

What advice would you give any aspiring brewer…

Work hard, be prepared to start at the bottom, work even harder, clean everything that you can see or reach in the brewery and then work hard some more. When you’re not working hard, read everything you can on brewing, expand your horizons and taste as many foods and beverages as you can, build up your palate and your understanding of flavour and aroma combinations and never be afraid to innovate. Have fun along the way and talk to as many brewers as you can!

What’s on the horizon…

In New Zealand, usually the ocean (see what I did there!). Doing some brewery consultancy work at the moment which sees my go from NZ to Canada to NZ to Fiji, then off to judge at the World Beer Cup in San Diego and check out the awesome Craft Brewer’s Conference there. After that it’s back to NZ to install and commission a new brewpub in Hamilton that I’m going to be plying my trade as a head brewer. Exciting times ahead!!

Finally, can you tell us a joke about beer…

Did you hear about that brewer who didn’t like Brettanomyces in his beer? He said it tasted Orval! Yeah, I’m pretty crap at beer jokes.

February 27, 2012

Q&A: Flo Vialan, Purity Brewing Co

Pub Diaries Q&A has a Gallic twist this week with words from Flo Vialan, head brewer at Purity.

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Your blurb…

I was born in Lyon into a family of butchers and the eldest of three children. I studied in France, starting with agronomy then finally graduating in bio-technologies and fermenting processes. After two years brewing in the French Alps I decided to spend some time in England for a change and new challenge. What began as a few months work experience brewing cask ale ended up with me staying for the past eight years. Along the way I met my wife Sarah, a beautiful Cornish lady, and we have two wonderful children. When I’m not brewing I play rugby for Stratford-upon-Avon – I’ve been playing rugby for the past 22 years. I’ve been the Head Brewer at Purity Brewing Co for 5 years.

Which 5 words sum up your brewing ethos…

Passionate / Focused / Perfectionist / Artistic / Craft

Beer epiphany…

I had some terrible early experiences with beer, but at the risk of sounding clichéd my most memorable beer experience was when I first came to England and had a pint of Timothy Taylor ‘Landlord’. It was a beautiful pint.

Best beer find of the last year…

‘Postman’s Knock’ porter from Hobsons Brewery – it is outstanding in its category.

What sounds are to be heard in the brewery…

Pumps, barrels banging and brewer’s whistling.

If I wasn’t brewing I’d be…

A farmer.

Before I was brewing I was…

A typical student. Beer, rugby, women.

Your favourite thing about what you do …

When the whole team comes together in a feat of harmony to brew the best beer we can.

Your greatest brewing achievement to date…

Mad Goose winning the gold medal in its category at the SIBA National Awards 2009.

Which breweries do you look up to…

Timothy Taylor and St Austell for their consistent, flavoursome beers.

Pub heaven…

Warm welcome, no music, a log fire and a good range of quality pints behind the bar.

Pub hell…

No real ale, loud pop music, flashy lights and fruit machines.

Favourite local pub…

The Hollybush in Alcester

Favourite non local pub…

The Merchants in Rugby

What advice would you give any aspiring brewer…

Listen to your customers and don’t cut corners.

What’s on the horizon…

Building a bigger brew house.

Finally, can you tell us a joke about beer…

A French brewer, a Scottish brewer and a German brewer are in the pub having a few beers. They all go to the toilet together. When finished, the Frenchman goes to wash his hands and takes lots of soap and paper towels proudly stating “in France we are very hygienic”. Next the Scotsman walks up to the sink, takes a tiny bit of soap and one paper towel and says “in Scotland we’re hygienic but we’re also cost efficient”. Lastly the German finishes and marches straight past the sink and out of the door saying “in Germany we don’t piss on our hands”.

January 24, 2012

Q&A: Sid Boggle

This weeks Q&A brings us back to London to speak to Egomaniac and exposer of Spoogebeerians, Mr Sid Boggle.

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Your blurb…

Londoner who moved seamlessly from lager lout in late teens to lover of good beer by middle age. Nowadays, a retrosexual scruffy bastard who is thankful London re-joined the world of beer at just the right time, or I’d have a lot less to blog about.

Beer epiphany…

Ooo, good one. Went to work in Germany in 1989 as a Guinness drinker, came back two years later with a love of German beer and desire to learn more about our native ales. I can still be transported with a few sips of altbier. The next bit of foundation-shaking happened on the first US trip in 2002, when I drank my first American IPA. I woke up dreaming hops for months after.

Best beer find of the last year…

In a broad sense, Brodie’s. I didn’t know them at all before the 2010 London Brewers Showcase, but this year I’ve tried loads of their beers and enjoyed pretty much all of them. They’ll win this year’s Boggle Award. For a one-off beer, and this will give ammunition to those people who think I’m an extreme beer fanboy, but Oakham Untouchable Double IPA was fantastic.

What sounds are to be heard while blogging…

Flatulence, BBC News Channel, occasionally I listen to music, usually something electronic or industrial. Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle are favourites.

What brought you to blogging…

Egomania. And to warn the world about spoogebeerians.

What have you taken from blogging…

Some nice comments from friends, the occasional compliment, a few knocks, and of course a month as Number One Beer Blogger thanks to my musical idol Frank Sidebottom.

Are beer bloggers frustrated brewers…

Well, since blogging seems to provoke invites to brew, there might be something to that. Personally, when I have time then I mean to eventually homebrew. That’d probably do for me.

Which brewers would you hold up as the way it should be done…

Controversial. I’m not sure whether I’d say one brewer was an exemplar over another. I remember visitng Cantillon a few years back. A couple of months before that I’d been at Victory Brewing in Pennsylvania. One was a virtually a working museum, the other a brand new shiny brewhouse with computer control and heat recovery systems. But as brewers, how far apart would they be in attitude? I suppose if you mean setting the bar high for quality, then Kernel. I also really like their ‘non-brand’

Pub heaven…

No bloody kids.

Pub hell…

Bloody kids.

Favourite local pub…

Zeitgeist in Black Prince Road.

Favourite non local pub…

Tricky. I love The Rake, The Harp, Cask… London’s doing really well for good pubs so choosing places to go is a happy problem.

What advice would you give any aspiring blogger…

Pick a distinctive name that is easy to remember so you come top in a Google search.

What’s on the horizon…

The Shard. It’s nearly finished, you know…

Finally, can you tell us a joke about beer…

Beer isn’t funny. However, Johnny Depp did this one on the telly the other week. Skeleton walks into a bar, says to the barman, I’ll have a beer and a mop.

June 2, 2011

The Search Continues… Country Pubs

Last weekend was spent camping Thameside. Lou and I headed for Rushey Lock in Oxfordshire for a Bank Holiday of grey skies and occasional rain. Well it wouldn’t be proper camping otherwise, would it? The plan for the weekend was no plan. Just a few days of reading, wandering down the Thames and of course the odd pub. The Lock Keeper gave us the lay of the land which mainly consisted of his pub tips. Directions are easy on the river our choices being 4 miles one way and 1 mile the other.

First up was the Swan at Radcot. A large union flag flies riverside and the garden is taken up with ducks and geese. If the picture needed to be anymore British an E-Type Jag revs at the lights. The pub itself doesn’t live up to the promise. The interior lacks the warmth expected with prominent flatscreen tv, set dining tables and an uninspiring choice at the bar. Lou asks about the Rev. James. “It’s a strong dark ale.” There is a definite full stop. No more information will be shared, no further questions asked, just an unblinking stare that comes with years of practice.

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Sat in the near empty garden we watch the boats pass and the geese chase the ducks. A YouTube classic in the making, but it only raises a brief smile. A group arrive and sit on the nearest table to us, despite there being an entire garden to choose from. As they salute and shout ahoy to each passing barge, guffawing each time, it’s a sure sign that there will be no second pint.

We make our way back towards Rushey Lock, saying hello to those who we pass. It raises barely a grunt from most. Lou reminds me we’re not up North and such things are not wise. She may be an Aussie, but she certainly understands the North / South divide.  The Trout at Tadpole Bridge is our second attempt at capturing the perfect country pub, which when right delivers more than great beer. It’s about local character and a  real sense of where you are. With roses around the door and a Chocolate Labrador stretched out on the stone floor this is immediately more appealing; as is the beer choice. Starting with Butts’ Barbus Barbus we settle into the small bar area. As with the Swan much of the pub Is taken up with the restaurant. Most country pubs wouldn’t survive without a strong food trade and in the case of the Trout this would seem to be it’s focus. The bar, as pleasant as it is, seems like a mere waiting area. Evening service starts at 7pm and at 6pm on a Bank Holiday Sunday we are among only a handful of punters. Service seems oddly schizophrenic with a warm welcome to some and the bare minimum for others.

The menu looks good but we have we food back at the Lock. What is required is something to soak up the beer. We ask for chips. The answer is firmly no. Chips are only served as a side. It is also 6.30pm and we are reminded the kitchen is closed until 7pm. A kind of no and even if we did the kitchens closed, so unlucky and unlucky again. We have a second round, this time of the Ramsbury Bitter which is the surprise of the day. With a smokey ashen taste it’s unexpected but more than welcome to take our minds off food. Orders start to be taken and we decide to go with the local cheese board. Now this would seem simple enough but I’m again told the kitchen opens at 7pm. Thoughts of Michael Douglas in Falling Down spring to mind but I keep the rage under wraps. It’s 6.50pm and orders are being taken in the restauarnt. Added to which it’s a cheese board. Hardly the most taxing of dishes to prepare. I persevere and with a sullen shrug I’m told to choose a selection of 3. There’s no mention on the board that the selection is limited and when raised I get a stare that says it all. A few years practice and it’ll be spot on. The Oxford Blue, Single Gloucester and Bath Soft are served on slate, the edges look like they’ve been cut well before ordering and it suffers as cheese boards always seem to from a severe lack of oatcake. That is unless you want to load half a wedge of blue onto each one.

We leave a little more satisfied than the Swan, thanks wholly to the beer, but still not having found the Country Pub I’ve been craving. It’s proof that bricks and mortar, roses around the door and an idyllic location don’t guarantee a great pub.  So back to the Lock to singe some more grass and uncork a bottle of Lagavulin 16 year old, hoping that in the absence of TV we will be treated to more of the simple joy of watching a goose chase a duck.

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April 1, 2011

Truman’s Ghost

You can see the Ghosts of London’s pub past around every corner. Derelict pubs boarded and decaying, converted pubs stripped of their past and signs of long defunct Brewers etched in stone and glass. It’s rare that once gone these ghosts can pass back but I’ve being seeing apparitions in Vauxhall and Clerkenwell in the form of Truman’s Runner.

Copyright: Truman's

A few years ago I sat with English in a pub having one of those conversations that you tend to have after a few pints. It revolved around reviving names like Truman’s. The beauty of such an idea being that the name already has recognition for many and that name is on old Truman pubs across East London. As with most of these conversations it’s lost in the mind fog that you tend to get by pint 5 or 6. Then years later and I’m reminded of this conversation by the first apparition in Vauxhall’s, Black Dog and again in the Peasant, Clerkenwell.

It passed me by that the Truman story had started a new chapter in 2010 and judging by Runner, a solid sessionable ale, it won’t be the last. For more info see their website.

Copyright: Truman's

March 8, 2011

Q&A Stevie Caldarola: Ladies of Craft Beer / GBGH Brewing

This week we throw the Q&A open to NYC based Stevie Caldarola of Ladies of Craft Beer and GBGH Brewing

What’s most likely to be heard on brewday or when writing?

Honestly? The Brewing Network is the big one, followed by Doctor Who Episodes or Radio Free Skaro, a Doctor Who Podcast. (For both writing and brewdays)

Favourite place to enjoy a beer?

My favorite place to enjoy a beer is anywhere I’m having a beer. I’m lucky enough to get a lot of great beer at home, which is awesome, but nothing beats having some great craft beer with amazing friends.

If I weren’t in beer I’d be…

not me. I was pretty lost and unhappy until I found brewing and craft beer.

What’s your definition of a perfect pub?

Any place with a large selection of craft beer on tap and a friendly atmosphere.Living in NYC, there are a LOT of bars around, which means a lot of choices. I hate getting to a bar that may have an interesting selection of beer but is almost uncomfortable to sit in. A great example of a bar that has everything going right for them here in NYC would be Barcade Brooklyn.  Their biggest issue is that the location is in somewhat remote Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Other than that- they have a tap list of 24 taps (and 1 cask) which creates the ability for a pretty wide selection. They also have a pretty quick turnover rate, which means different choices. The best part? It’s in a large warehouse-style room so there’s plenty of room and the walls are lined with 8-bit arcade games. They don’t have a kitchen but ask the bartender and he’ll give you their binder full of local take-out menus, which you can order from and have delivered to the bar. Sometimes the crowd can be a bit annoying (it is Williamsburg) but the atmosphere is really kick ass. I guess what I’m trying to say is a perfect pub is someplace with a great craft beer selection and a place that I can feel comfortable in.

What’s your idea of Beer or Pub hell?

I see it a lot in New York City, actually- no craft beer. Enough said.

What was the last thing you got excited about?

I’d have to say the last thing I got really excited about was my first ever batch of home brew. It’s a Belgian Black IPA that came out even better than I ever could have hoped for. That feeling is something that I cannot even put into words- toiling over the brew pot to create something so delicious and appealing. I fell in love with brewing that day, and I haven’t looked back since.

Whats happening?

Lee Williams of Hoptopia and I are working on starting a brewery called GBGH Brewing, after my brewing motto, which is “Go Big or Go Home” (hence, Belgian Black IPA for my first ever homebrew). We will be focusing on big and different brews and documenting our journey on Facebook and Twitter. Ladies of Craft Beer is still in full force and growing day by day- thanks to all our awesome supporters and fans out there! Honestly, I just look forward to continuing on this path to making craft beer a part of my everyday life.

Coming up next on the Q&A is Yan Pilkington, of Pivovar..

February 15, 2011

Freo Three: Little Creatures, Fremantle, WA

A visit to Perth without venturing to Fremantle and Little Creatures would, could or should be grounds for deportation. Their citrus packed Pale Ale became my go to beer throughout my time in WA and the chance to visit the mothership was one that I wasn’t going to miss. Established on the site of an old Crocodile farm the brewery has gone from strength to strength. Yes, I said Crocodile farm. Lou, Col and Elise told me of the Crocodile farm they once visited on the site as children. Only a week later they told me of the “Drop Bears”. A marsupial that drops from low hanging trees, biting and and scratching the unlucky sod below. They exist purely in fiction, to torment tourists and in particular Poms.  I looked up into the trees for a matter of seconds, but that’s a minute long enough for its still to be brought up. I’m pretty sure that the Freo Crocs did exist unless that’s all an elaborate conspiracy as well. It’s quoted on the Little Creatures site so I thinks it’s a safe bet that they did exist. Anyway, what is left is a great experience for the beer lover and foodie alike. For the Beer Geek in us all you have the breweries inner working around you and plenty of space to enjoy the finished product, great food and in the heat of WA.

On a weekday afternoon it was busy with a mix of locals, and tourists alike. Service initially was slow but the promise of a cold Pale Ale, a light sea breeze and Lou’s favourite White Rabbit and that can be easily forgiven. I am reminded of a Sunday afternoon at the Brooklyn Brewery with English, which I always thought would take some topping. As the food is served I think it has. It would be easy to have the great setting and beer and fail on the food but the food ranks up there with the beer. The Chilli Squid I could eat all afternoon and writing this from a cold London my mouth is watering with the thought. If there is a perfect chip it’s at Little Creatures and then there is the wood fired Lamb pizza… I should stop before I drool too much!

 

Croc Free Sand Pit

Little Creatures, 40 Mews Road, Fremantle WA 6160

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