Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Beer shorts from around the traps . . .

Mash Bunbury - First visit down there, and it appears to be a great move for both the brewery and the town alike. Unfortunately they are still to receive the local council's green light to start on-site brewing from their micro-plant behind the bar, however, they are carrying a solid range brewed at the Swan Valley HQ. Mex, Haze, Pale, Black, Honey Pils, and the easy drinking Bunbury Blonde (4.9%) currently grace the bar. Same great value $15 lunch deals as at the Swan Valley site and in a great waterfront location in a small complex (next to Dome Coffee/Bar-Bados) on Bonnefoi Blvd overlooking Koombana Bay. For Reservations Ph:97216111. Whilst on the subject of Mash, the Swan Valley site has undergone a bit of a facelift. Gone have the images of cricketing heroes, to be replaced by a sleeker paint job. The bar area has had some large display boards installed carrying tasting notes and the furniture has had a bit of a freshen up. Our latest tour group were fortunate to be the first to taste the latest seasonal brew, an Irish stout, with thumbs up all round. Special thanks to Mark who took time out to give the group an extensive brewery tour and answer all of their questions. A final note, and it's probably too late for you to take advantage of it, but they also had cartons of the first run brew of 'Mex' available at a very special price of $30's.(See previous post for details on beer dinner) Feral Brewing, Swan Valley - Get in quick to sample the sensational hop showcase that is 'Tusk'. Weighing in at 9%abv and 90 IBU's, this is a beer not to be taken lightly. This imperial IPA is one for the serious hopheads, high bitterness and aroma, with a fairly low malty sweetness. Also, check out the new menus
Elmars in the Valley, Swan Valley - A relatively new addition on the bar is the 6.1% Maibock, replacing the dunkel. Light golden in colour, low hopping and pleasant malt fruitiness. Would probably prefer it in a Munich biergarten at this time of the year, but you cant have everything! Mad Monk, Fremantle - Big improvements as time has gone on. Service levels have improved and table availability is better, however, they do at times look a little stretched with the numbers on the floor. A previous gripe was the ambiguously titled 'large' & 'regular' servings - this has been rectified, with a 660ml serve of in-house brew available for around $9 - seems like great value. Funky new designs seem to have appeared on the large street facing wall (or maybe I had been there too long?!), there is an expanded non-dining drinking area, live music sunday arvo, the beer range has expanded to six, with an IPA and Porter the latest additions. Founding brewer, Richard Moroney has moved on, and it appears that local brewing legend, Hugh Dunn, currently controls the mash tun alongside Justin Fox. Food has always been excellent. Its great to see a new operator seemingly getting to grips with their market. Essex St Organic Cafe, Fremantle - Have been receiving some good local press lately on the organic eats and were stocking Richmond brewer, Mountain Goat, IPA at $8 per stubby. Lyrebird, Fremantle - New addition to the dining scene Freo, based down at Fishing Boat Harbour. Menu unfortunately didn't really live up to the press hype, delivering fairly standard pub/tavern fayre. Grolsch & Peroni available by the stubby, Becks, Heineken, James Squire Golden and the usual uber brands on tap. Wot no WA craft beers Lyrebird? Sail & Anchor, Fremantle - Sad to hear that head brewer Mel Secourable has moved down to Margaret River to head the brewing team at Colonial, hopefully new head honcho Fiona can continue the good work. Pleasantly surprised on a recent visit, when actually receiving the kind of attentive service that we were used to 4 or 5 years ago. Ive always enjoyed the brews on offer, however, recent times have seen a drop in interest and knowledge of bar staff, it was great to assisted by someone displaying the opposite - hopefully a taste of things to come. Clancy's, Fremantle - Wonderful paint job and general tidy up are just the tonic for this beer lovers haven. Rarely can I say anything bad about these guys, and this time is no different! Northbridge Brewing Co - Awaiting further news on developments at the new city centre site proposed by Mustang Bar owner Mike Keilor’s Clearview. Other than 'The Brass Monkey', it's fairly tough to find a decent pint in Northbridge, so this has to be a winner. Drink Better, Drink Local!

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