Local purveyors of craft beer, Mane Liquor, recently decided to run an in-store beer and food degustation in conjunction with Roxanne from Better Beer and Mitch from Beersine, a company that produces cheeses and other foods incorporating beer related ingredients (amazing, right?).
Being the craft beer fanatic and lover of food that I am, I naturally had to attend. Also food and beer pairing has been on my mind of late as my idea of pairing is basically pair all food with heavily hopped beer.
We kicked off the evening with the 8 Wired Extra Pilsner. I don’t tend to enjoy pilsners, however with the addition of Riwaka and Nelson Sauvin hops, this was a much fruitier and flavourful number than I would typically expect from the style.
Mitch then brought out the first of the food – a little tasting plate for each of us featuring pork and date terrine, beef/beer jerky (or beerky), spanish lomo (cured pork tenderloin) and some pickled cucumbers and kimchi.
The first course was accompanied by a delicious black IPA named One Autumn Sunday Morning Somewhere Three Hours North of Melbourne. Roxanne candidly told the story behind the name, how the three brewers, Bridge Road; To Ol; Birra del Borgo, all fantastic in their own right, got together to brew this malt driven black IPA.
Our next theme was red. A red curry pork belly and greens accompanied by two red IPAs, Epic’s Carolina and Bridge Road’s Fat Man, Red Suit, Big Sack.
On first taste my favourite beer was the Bridge Road, I’ve never had a red IPA so deliciously sweet before, however the more I ate of the red curry, the more the Carolina appealed to me (it was brewed to accompany the hottest chili in the world, the carolina reaper).
With barely enough time to wipe the sweat from our brows after the deliciously spicy curry we were on to our next round: dessert.
Our delicious duo was the Liberty Darkest Days oatmeat stout and a chocolate hazelnut mousse. The stout is the second of Liberty’s beers that I have tried and if the rest are of the same calibre they will fast become a favourite. Darkest Days is much hoppier than an average stout giving it a mix of those piney flavours you would expect of an IPA and delicious biscuity and chocolate malts. Highly recommended.
The mousse was the perfect accompaniment with a nice bitter hit of chocolate from Bahen & Co chocolate – of course, being Beersine it had some schneider weisse in the mix as well which kept it light and airy.
Following this there slowly grew a sense of excitement in the room because coming up next was a pretty special beer that the boys at Mane had been saving up for a special occasion, a beer that has been aging in the keg for the last two years…
Bridge Roads & Nogne O – Aurora Borealis I. A belgian quadrupel brewed in Norway and bottled in Beechworth, Victoria. Coming in at 14.9% this is a big beer and well deserved of the hype.
This big, boozy beer has a huge dried fruit component to its flavour and so for the final food pairing there was no better partner than my absolute favourite kind of dessert…
If you’re wondering what the brown liquid is poured over cheese… well, in the general theme of ultra decadence it’s more of the Aurora Borealis! Yeah, the top rated beer in Australia just casually poured over some cheese because that’s how we roll.
After a second filling of the Borealis I was certainly feeling pretty cheerful – at near on 15% it’s surprisingly easy to drink and catches up with you very quickly.
A big thanks to the boys at Mane Liquor, Roxanne from Better Beer and Mitch from Beersine for putting on an absolute cracker of a night. In my partially inebriated state there may have been talk of a Gusface/Mane beer-degustation at some point in the future, so stay tuned!