I put in some long, hard gruelling hours on Sunday at the Blue Sky Brewery doing literally hours and hours of quality research. Combine that with several hours of research on Friday night at a function for the Minister for War and Finance’s work, and you can probably start to see why I was having trouble getting my legs to work for me until about lunchtime on Monday.
I was anxious about going down to the Blue Sky Brewery, as I’d heard varying reports of their locally brewed beers. However, once I got down there and tried the first one, the stout, I turned into a child let loose in a lolly shop, “I want one of those, and one of those and two of the red ones please”. Blue Sky Brewery managed to pull 9 medals at the 2009 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA), and managed to do it up against the some of big names from here and overseas including a lot of breweries from Europe, (try www.beerawards.com for a full list of winners/entrants). So you can assume they have some idea of what they are doing. The Brewery has a great idea where you can buy a tasting paddle with either three or six glasses that will allow you to work out which of their brews you prefer. Here are my choices, not necessarily because I liked them, but because they were a little out of the ordinary. Bear with me, after a few hours, my notes started to get a bit messy:
- Reef Blonde – The Blue Sky’s low carb full strength beer. This took silver and bronze medals beating Foster’s bronze for Pure Blonde. I’m not a great fan of low carb beers but this is worth a mention for the interesting “Sauv-Blanc” aftertaste. I later found out that the hops come from the Marlborough “Sauv-Blanc” region of NZ, couldn’t do a session of it, but I could have a few with food.
- Blue Sky Pilsner – totally out of left field. Doesn’t taste like a Pilsner, almost like a lager. Very light colour with a dry crisp malty finish. I liked it, my mates weren’t so sure. It took a Bronze medal.
- Blue Sky Brewers Reserve – I have a soft spot for a good porter. A nice drop that, like the Blue Sky’s stout, got better as it warmed slightly. Nice coffee and a slight chocolate taste. A soft head and a creamy finish. This will sit well with fans of Toohey’s Old, Coopers Dark or James Squire Porter. If you can’t rate this at least well above average, then you need to have your beer drinkers licence revoked and replaced with pom-poms.
- FNQ Lager – a bronze medal winner. This one nearly didn’t make the cut. We had one each of these in our paddles but left them a little too long and it went warm. We realised we had to give it another go when it was cold, and that’s what got it here. Floral and hop aromas, I got a slight honey taste, though my mates didn’t. Clean, crisp and worth a try.
Get down there and try them, without local support they won’t be there.