25 July 2014

Mikkeller Bangkok!

Well guys its been a while but this is a major craft brew moment in history! Finally Proper beer on tap in sunny Bangkok!

Ever since I got the news via beerbeer.org last year that the Mikkeller guys were opening their first establishment in Asia I started saving my pennys for a Bangkok properbeer trip!

I have had quite a few of the Mikkeller range of beers American Dream, I beat U & Single Hop Sorachi Ace are among my favies. Mikkeller brews never seem to disappoint -wonderfully crafted and inspiring to the inner homebrewer in me.

So off I went to Ekkamai to check the place out!

After being wowed of finally being at Mikkeller Bangkok and the fantastic layout of the place I proceeded to the bar to be greeted by the friendly staff and 30 taps of crafted goodness. Started off with a pint of chill Pils Orange: a bit of orange lolly on the nose and faint noble hops along with some good ol  place pilsner malts. Went down a treat as a good pilsner should after a stroll from Thonglor the next suburb over from Ekkamai.

I was lucky enough to meet the owner Jacob who really knows his brews and introduced me to the sour lambic brews on tap brewed by Dutch brewery Boon which were amazingly good! One brew was aged for two years and had a uncanny winey characters to it!  Jacob kindly explained the  brewing process of the lambic style to me and really opened my eyes to a style that I hadn't really put much attention to in the past. I'm gonna stock up on some saison yeasts when I get back home for some experimental sour homebrewin!

Then I moved on to some tasty IPAs and pales including a fresh pint of a 200 IBU DIPA from Danish brewer Amanger Bryghus - Gluttony
Big piney hops on the nose with the malt in the background fantastic full mouth feel and bitter going down. The bitterness of this brew really hits you on the aftertaste. Great (PROPER!) beer.

Ended up grabbing some take away brews too. One that was recommended by staff member Taey was Dangerously close but no cigar Double IPA by To ├śl brewing was a fantastic little beer which is a drier IPA with a massive but not over whelming hop presence along with the addition of ceder wood to the boil which takes this beer to another level. Went a treat with the smokey satay I had the following night!

Really fantastic stuff thanks heaps Taey!

And also a big thanks to all the staff for a fantastic experience at Mikkeller Bangkok Kong, Pete and Fame. You are all doing a fantastic job bringing proper craft brews to Thailand and Asia. Well done!
Too-sin-d tak (Danish- a thousand thanks) to Jacob for your hospitality mate! Hope to see you guys in Australia for some brews soon!


09 March 2013

White Chocolate Pilsner -Bacchus Brewing

Another Great Growler review! This Growler fill comes from the Prince of Wales Hotel Bottlelo in Merewether Newcastle Australia. An awesome unique brew to review a White Chocolate Pilsner!

This brew hails from the Bacchus brewery up in Brisbane Queensland Australia which is situated at the Homebrew shop  where I got my Basic Keg set up from. Great bunch of blokes to deal with if you are into home brewing by the way.
Anyways on to the brew review!

Pours a wonderful bright golden hue with a fluffy white bubbly head which hangs around for a while. On the nose a big vanilla essence aroma along with some noble hop spice.
Had this one nice 'an cold goes down smooth as with a quite vanilla bean ice cream/custard flavor on the front then towards the end the slight but present bitter bite that is expected from a decent pils.

Quite refreshing and abit sweet but with that bitter finish this is a awesome example of experimental brewing at its best. Not overdone at all. The grains used and hops work well with the white choc.

For a food match this one is quite hard perhaps Mexican food would work with this one. Tangy Salsa and soft tacos come to mind when having a slightly sweet pils at hand.

I used to like white chocolate quite alot when I was younger (Herseys cookies and cream bars hmmm) and now I have found the PROPER beer equivalent and its does it's job well.  

25 November 2012

1942 Dark Lager A Murrays Craft Brewing & Hunter Beer Co Collab Brew!

A special brew created for Newcastle Craft Beer week by two of Australia's finest brewery's Murray's and Hunter Beer Co.  It no secret the favorite beer style here in the Hunter for generations is good 'ol dark ale, described as mothers milk to some especially on tap! I'd like to think brewers Shaun Sherlock (Murray's) and Keith Grice (Hunter Beer Co.) considered this fact when crafting this tasty brew for this beery week.

I got my growler/s filled at Murray's Brewery here in Beaut Port Stephens Australia yesterday afternoon and didn't even consider having a taste test as I am.... as many of you know now I am a massive fan of dark lagers and  have a lot of faith in these brewers to create something spectacular!

And I tell ya they haven't let me down at all!

Pours a sensational dark brown body with awesome creamy white head!  Served this abit colder than my regular ales due to the style.

On the nose a delightful hoppy aroma along with some malty notes- definitely the best of both breweries on showcase here! NZ hops come to mind and some chocky malts.Yum!
Going down very creamy head and quite a full body for a lager very satisfying almost like a porter style but with the drinkability of a lager  -Malty goodness followed by a somewhat subtle bitter dryish finish with a slight hoppy hit. Very refreshing--- I likey!

I must say very well done to the Brewers on this special one off brew it really is that good! Keith's passion for German style lagers and Shaun's expertise in using New Zealand hops really is well displayed in this brew for the good people of Newcastle and visitors alike! Grab one while you can!

05 October 2012

Newcastle Craft Beer Week 2012

Newcastle Craft Beer Week

Yeesss fellow PROPER BEER lovers. This years Newcastle Craft Beer week is almost upon us! The events will run from the 18th of November 2012 till the 25th with the week concluding at the awesome Warners At The Bay Beer Festival 2012! Check out the QR code below to get on the official Newcastle Craft beer week site to check out the fantastic events this year! Always remember check back to your favorite PROPERBEER blog for updates on the week of beery goodness too!

19 September 2012

Anchor Liberty Ale

A big thanks to Lee and Tanya for bringing this tasty brew all the way from San Francisco- USA for me to try out along with a cool Hula Girl Bottle opener from Hawaii......Cheers guys!

Pours a awesome golden colour with a fantastic creamy head which- by the way lasts all the way as the beer goes down. An aroma of zesty citrusy hops on the nose that are not overpowering at all and a hint of the sweet ale malt is also pleasantly present
Going down it is quite sparkly and the flavour of the malts really do remind me of good 'ol Coopers Sparkling Ale . Nice and balanced malts with a hint of sweetness on the end of the palate along with some slight citrus coming through as well. Very refreshing.

I would personally categorize this brew in style of a English Special Bitter or a English Pale Ale and not a American Pale Ale as it is known, Probably due to the many more recent American Pale Ales that I have had the pleasure of drinking have been much more aggressively hopped and give you that hop hit many expect from a "APA". This is not a bad thing at all this brew has everything going for it and would be a great entry beer for people who are scared of hops!

All in all a very satisfying brew but again not a massive hop head experience by any means. I would pair this brew with some spicy Tex-Mex style Nachos or a tasty home made Burrito.

Hope to see more of Anchor Brewing Brews over here in Australia.... Coopers Brewery apparently have the distribution rights here as Anchor distribute Coopers brews in the USA so it could even make it to Asia too!    


26 July 2012

Stouterik with cookies!

Got this tasty Stouterik Stout from Kenny at beerbeer.org Cheers Mate! The brew hails from the Brasserie De La Senne Brewery in Brussels Belgium ...

Thought that I would review it with my favorite cookies from Malaysia: Famous Amos  double chocolate chip with pecans! Now PROPERBEERMATE doesn't have much of a sweet-tooth but I really like these cookies!

Unfortunately we can't get these cookies in Australia so every time we head over to Beaut KL I make sure we pick up a pack or two from our favorite Famous Amos outlet at Sungei Wang Plaza near Bukit Bintang.

Beer with cookies... what the...  You say?  You bet! If ya have a quality Stout like this Belgian beauty and something chocolate for instance brownies, chocolate cake or even chocolate itself  they can match quite well.
The trick is to eat the cookie first and drink the Stout after running over any chocy bits left over ya mouth to bring out the chocy qualities of the dark brew and sweetening up any bitterness from the beer too!
Works really well if you have any friends or family who love chocolate (or even yourself) give this method a go it really does work well!

The stout I have here has a good malty aroma on the nose extremely smooth going down, slightly robust- finishes dry and doesn't have any candy sweetness at all despite being from Belgium. A great brew kinda reminds be of a good Porter styled brew and to be honest my first from this little brewery.

I really was expecting some Belgian candy sugar quality to this beer as pretty much all the Belgian brews I have tasted in the past have that sweetness included bar the lagers and Wit beers.... But again I  was pleasantly surprised it didn't and thus went awesome with the cookies I chose for this review.  

20 July 2012

Stone & Wood

On our way back home from our trip to Malaysia and Thailand via the Gold Coast we pulled in to Byron Bay on NSW's north coast to check out one of Australia's most innovative Breweries  in terms of beer Style, Stone & Wood. This visit would also turn out  be one my best beer experiences ever!

Being a Saturday afternoon the brewery was actually closed for business but just by chance we were greeted by Ross Jurisich one of the founders of Stone and Wood Brewing  at the gate as he was there with his mates doing a father and son brew day.... and after a quick chat he kindly offered to show me and the fam around!

Stone and wood produce one of my favorite beers ever Pacific Ale which was formally known as Draught Ale which is hopped with a fairly new hop to the brewing scene-Galaxy- a hop that produces an awesome fruity passion fruit aroma and taste- which also in fact is an Australian hop!

It has become one of the PROPERBEERMATE staple of beers (which is very rare these days as I am always looking to try something new)  awesome off tap and great out of the bottle too as long as it's poured correctly for example slowly pour half of the bottle into the glass first then swirl the remainder round for a bit and again pour the rest in!

Awesome passion fruit aroma on the nose, sparkly almost wheat beer and very well carbonated mouth feel going down with the accompaniment refreshing taste of fruity hops going down. The after taste is awesome on this brew again with the Galaxy hops playing center stage with basically no bitterness linger coming into play at all. Great for hot day at the beach!

This brew is a really good converter beer for people not really into craft brew- it really is that approachable! A good food match would be a basic Chicken Schnitzel with heaps of lemon and salty chips or a serve of tapas style Garlic Prawns would also go great!

Back to the brewery tour ......

As Ross showed us around the fantastic but simple set up  the main center piece were the two newest members of the Stone and Wood Brewery the twin 10,000 litre tower vessels stood out in the centre like beacons of triumph in the craft brewery  and could tell Ross was very proud of them.  Looks like there's gonna be alot more of Stone and Wood's brews out in the wild soon!

It was great to listen to Ross explain the brewing process at the brewery of basically keeping it simple and user friendly to achieve at the end of the day a tasty brew. We had a smell of the hops including some great fresh Hersbrucker which is a spicy noble hop used in Stone &Wood's  Jasper Ale~ a kinda German alt/Amber ale styled brew.

Another great brew from these guys, Enticing red hue and a dark amber colour on the pour  along with with some spicy hoppy aroma paired with the smell of rich maltiness. Goes down smooth as while giving a ever so slight hop bitter bite on the aftertaste. Pretty much a to me a all seasons beer with would pair great with a spicy Beef Rendang or a hearty hot pot stew!

But I must say the best part of the tour was having a cheeky taste of the beer straight out of the fermentation tanks above.... Above: Oooh fresh Pacific Ale just about ready to be bottled an kegged! So fresh and tasty a little on the warm side from ale fermentation temps but definitely one of my best beer experiences ever! Cheers Ross!

A great innovation by stone and wood recently is the Mash Collective-rather than going down the well trodden path of doing collab brews with other brewers,  The Stone & Wood guys give the everyday beer lovers and homebrewers the chance to come and put together a style of beer and brew it together.  I Present to you the Amasia Rumweizen!

A very interesting brew.... hints of strong sweet maltyness on the nose and pours a cloudy dark amber with good carbonation. It tastes sensational extremely smooth going down with a big rum raisin ice cream flavor and a tiny rum burn/bite paired with well placed sweet malt on the finish. A absolute cracker of a brew! Reminds me of a good German Dunkle but... with balls! Get it if you see it in your local.....Goes great on a cold rainy night!

Stone Beer is another brew that the the guys bring out once a year which is brewed by a more traditional way of brewing by grabbing some stones and heating them in a wood fire at the brewery. A very tasty brew that from what I hear ages well.

Their 2012 release is out now and I plan to grab some to review!

A German styled Pale Lager is also a flagship brew by the Stone & Wood crew which I have had the pleasure indulging in a fair while back..... I plan to pick up a case or two this Summer!

Again Cheers to Ross for taking the time out to show us around and good on the rest of the Stone & Wood crew at beaut Byron Bay for making truly approachable and tasty brews for the average punter and beer geek alike!