Published on 13 February 2020
The last three delicious things I drank were a beautiful Maidenii Martini, served wet, at Old Palm Liquor, my new favourite local. The first bottle of wine my partner and I cracked post-childbirth, a Salo chardonnay, which we had with perfectly roasted chicken (if I do say so myself). And then a Grifter Big Sur IPA: it might not be from Victoria but it was fresh, clean and bright and had such lovely hop notes.
As far as I’m concerned, the defining place to get a drink in Melbourne is Mountain Goat. I was a brewer before I owned my own brewery and, back in the day, any visit to Melbourne was not complete unless you could fit in a Wednesday or a Friday session at Mountain Goat in Richmond. The vibe of the place was mind-blowing back then and is still awesome today. Drinking fresh beers right in the middle of the shiny tanks and underneath the offices covered in beer cartons in a red brick warehouse situated in an industrial laneway. It was pretty much the first place of its kind in Melbourne and inspired a lot of my ideas for Molly Rose.
If I were to choose a Victorian drink purely on the strength of its label, I’d go for Fixation's new release Dreamseeker. The design on the can by local Oli Ruskidd just makes me want to pick it up and stare at it while I drink the delicious contents.
The Victorian brew I’m digging the most right now is probably Colonial Pale Ale. It’s consistently delicious, well balanced and packs a bunch of flavour for a 4.4 per cent beer.
What’s Beer by a Winemaker all about, and what have you got in the works for punters? This event first started when we were looking for something to do in Good Beer Week 2019. My partner Callie of Pacha Mama Wines had many times taken issue with the fact that brewers get to make beer every day of the year and we get to use whatever spices, fruits, sugars we like. She wanted in on the fun, too! So we designed an event where we can team up brewers with winemakers to make delicious beers. To make things interesting (and also because I’m interested in it) we also feature wines made by brewers and even some wine-beer hybrids by awesome brewers like Wildflower. For this year’s event we have a few cracking beers on their way, with one coming from a collab between 3 Ravens and their new neighbours Jamsheed.
If I could take one Victorian bar czar with me to a desert island, it would be Josh Hodges from Mr West for his dreamy beach vibes.
When someone hands me a wine list in a restaurant, I generally hand it back and ask the person serving to suggest something they’re loving right now.
There’s no better value on a Victorian wine list/in a bottle-shop in this state than Pacha Mama. I may be biased as the wines are made by my partner Callie but they’re cracking examples of grapes from all over the state that punch way higher than their price tags would suggest. If I had to choose just one of their wines it would probably be the Yarra chardonnay.
For me, the most inspiring person in the Victorian drinks world is probably James Smith, the founder of The Crafty Pint. The way that he’s shepherded beer journalism in Australia is incredible and we (the small breweries of Australia) owe him a lot for his tireless efforts at unbiased and positive education of the public around all things beer and breweries. He was also a founding member of the Good Beer Week team – say no more.
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