Slow Beer

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Well, it's been two weeks since our last newsletter and much progress has been made with our bricks & mortar Slowbeer store. Walls have been knocked down, numerous coats of paint applied and the shelving has finally arrived, albeit in pieces! Its been a busy few weeks but things are finally starting to take shape! 

Despite all of this commotion we have still managed to bring you fresh stocks of Nogne O among others, complete with their 2 NEW releases! 

Nogne O Tiger Tripel $16.00
Nogne O Brun $13.00 
Emersons JP Belgian Ale 2009 $9.00 (Belgian Dubbel made using Chimay yeast and star anise) 
Brewdog Paradox Isle of Arran $13.00 
Red Hill Weizenbock $5.50

Nogne O #100 $16.00 
Nogne O Imperial Stout $16.00 
Nogne O IPA $14.50 
Nogne O Imperial Brown $14.50 
Nogne O Porter $14.50 
Nogne O Brown $12.50 
Nogne O Havre Stout $12.50 

Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA $7.00 
Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale $6.50 
Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter $10.00 

Rogue XS Old Crustacean Barley Wine $38.00 
Rogue XS Russian Imperial Stout $38.00 
Rogue XS Imperial Porter $38.00 

Brewdog Punk IPA $5.50 
Brewdog Physics Amber $5.00 
Brewdog 77 Lager $5.00

Epic Armegeddon IPA 
Epic Pale Ale 
Brewdog Dogma (Strong ale brewed with heather honey, kola nut, poppy seeds and guarana)
Brewdog Zephyr (extremely limited! Imperial IPA aged on Strawberries in a Whisky cask)
Brewdog Trashy Blonde

If you haven't had a chance to try any of these brilliant brews, I suggest you give them a go this time around. With winter upon us these rich & robust ales are just the tonic for the cold! 

If you wish to place orders for any of the above beers email: 

We will keep you updated on how our Slowbeer store is progressing and if your lucky we may even post some photos!!

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Slowbeer Comes Alive!

Now, Slowbeer is usually buzzing with fresh stock and new arrivals but while it may seem like we haven't been up to much, I can assure you we have been very busy! On Monday we are set to enter our new shop. Whats that you say? "Cloudwine recently closed their Camberwell store, so why are they opening a new one?"

Well, there is a twist. Stewart & myself are embarking on a new venture independant of Cloudwine. As you know Slowbeer has been functioning as the beer retail arm of Cloudwine for the past year. In that time we have seen interest & enthusiasm in craft/specialty beer grow exponentially. Hence the need for a dedicated retail destination, with which beer takes pride of place.

Slowbeer will continue the philosophy of stocking hand-crafted brews from home and abroad at the best prices in the country. Our website and blog will remain with Slowbeer and operate independant of Cloudwine. The benefit of this is that Slowbeer's range will expand drastically (more than 600 beers in store!), resulting in beers being more readily available & faster order turnaround. We will run regular tastings with brewers as well as delving into our own cellars for rare & unique brews.

The new shop is located in Hawthorn, with fitout commencing on Monday. We expect to be operational in about 3 weeks. So this should be good news for our former camberwell beer lovers and provide Melbourne with the best beer destination in the country!

Stay tuned for more Slowbeer store updates in the coming weeks. Until then, business as usual!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Old World Classics - Belgium

Rochefort 10
Bottle dated 2014, so pretty fresh. Pours murky dark brown with a nice beige colored head. Nose has great balance, raisin esters supported by choc/caramel malt with some spicy phenolics as well. Palate is full and creamy. Raisin, choc & caramel malt all have great synergy. Nothing sticks out of place to dominate. Finishes with significant belgian yeast spice. Brilliant balance and mouthfeel despite big abv! Hops and alcohol an afterthought. The yeast character actually reminded me a bit of the Unibroue beers, which is certainly a compliment to the Quebecoise! This sample was quite fresh and in top nick. Easy to see why this is a classic, but to be honest i think i prefer the 8. Regardless, awesome beer! Should probably get a stack of this batch for the cellar!

St Bernardus Abt 12
Bottle dated 2014 so pretty fresh. Upon opening this was a gusher! Had to leave for a good 10 mins before i was able to get a decent pour. No matter, i was more than happy to wait! Eventually poured a murky red/brown with mahogany highlights and a substantial tan coloured head. Aromas of rum & raisin seem most evident with figs, nuts and big yeast spice. Palate is brilliantly balanced as well as being smooth and creamy, despite drinking at room temp. The mid palate brought some sweetness with honey, caramel and dark fruits. The finish displays a heap of both abv & yeast spice. The rather high ABV never crossed my mind, impeccable balance! It is said that this brew is the closest to the prized Westvleteren 12. Having had both i can see the similarities.

Bush Noel
Special Christmas brew from this Belgian brewing stalwart. Pours red with a quickly dissipating beige head. Nose has detectable sweetness, most likely from candy sugar and perhaps some munich malt. Also has dark fruits and spice. Palate has a touch of sweetness with yeast spice & abv dominating, maybe a hint of oak detectable...(oak aged? i know some of their other beers are) Finishes long and slightly sweet with abv popping up again. Perhaps the abv (12%) is a little to high/evident, at about 10% i think the palate would really shine. I tried the St Feuillien Noel @10%abv just prior and was a little less robust and more subtle. Regardless, great beer!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Brouwerij 't IJ Tasting Notes

New arrivals from one of the Netherland's best craft brewers, 't IJ produce belgian style ales.

't IJ Columbus
Pours red/brown with a small fizzy white head. Very odd nose, not at all what i expected. Relatively tart & woody, reminds me of rodenbach and the like: tangy red fruits. Palate is alot more uniform for the style. Some caramel malt with quite a considerable amount of yeast spice. High carbonation serves to dry up the palate and compliment the yeast spice. Pretty interesting, if your a fan of orval the 't IJ range might be right up your alley!

't IJ Zatte
Pours hazy golden orange with a decent, fizzy off white head. Nose is typical of 't IJ beers. Mildly tart fruits: apple/pear in this case, with some belgian yeast spice present too. Palate is more in line with what one would expect from a tripel. Lively carbonation that dries up the palate along with significant yeast spice and some relatively mild citrus fruit notes. Another pleasant albeit peculiar 't IJ beer. Might have to do some research on the type of fermentation/yeast they use as house style is clearly evident on the nose moreso than anywhere else.

't IJ Stuis
Pours hazy, dark brown with a nice tan coloured head. Nose is multilayered, caramel/toffee malt, figs, raisins and yeast spice. Palate is a little more one dimensional with yeast spice and abv dominating the finish. Good beer, actually would have prefered a touch of the slight tartness that the rest of the range have ala orval. Still pretty impressive beer.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

US Independance Day IPA Tasting!!

From what i gathered the Spectapular at The Local was a huge success. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it but decided to get stuck into Mikkeller's great range of US inspired IPAs.

Mikkeller Drikkeriget DIPA
Poured hazy orange with a huge off white head. Nose showed the simcoe and amarillo: masses of juicy citrus fruits. Palate has some definite sweetness, grapefruit, orange & even some apricot supported by some honey/caramel from the munich malt. Finishes long with high grassy/herbally hop bitterness. The high abv is nowhere to be seen. Overall great hop impact, in both aroma and palate. definitely my kind of 2IPA!

Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop IPA
Pours red/amber with a nice off white head. Nose has masses of citrus: orange, tangerine & grapefruit. Palate is light/med in body but full of flavour and hop impact. Orange & grapefruit dominate with a hint of caramel malt giving a very slight marmalade like character. Finish has medium resin/pine hop bitterness. Overall a great beer, seems quite complete despite using a sole hop variety. Easy to see why simcoe is highly regarded in US ipas.

Mikkeller Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA
Pretty familiar with nelson sauvin, given exposure to kiwi beers. But certainly a unique hop variety, regardless of where your from. Pours orange/amber with a huge off white head. Lighter than both simcoe & warrior i’d had prior. Nose has masses of tropical fruit: mango, passionfruit & lychee dominate, with herbacious/grassy hop undertones. Palate follows suite, huge tropical fruit notes that border on sweet. Mouthfeel is a little light compared to the other single hop ipas. Finishes with grassy/herbacious & slightly spicy hop bitterness. Overall, great display of the variety, but probably not ideally suited to an IPA.

Mikkeller Warrior Single Hop IPA
Pours deeper than the simcoe i sampled prior, amber/copper with a big off white head. Nose has a lot of citrus & pine but more pith & rind than bright, vibrant juice of the simcoe. Palate is quite robust, bitter citrus pith dominates with some caramel malt supporting. Finishes with long med/high pine hop bitterness. Defintely higher alpha than simcoe. I love the idea behind single hops beers & this contrasts the simcoe really well.

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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Latest Crafty Locals

Red Hill Imperial Stout '09
Probably their most anticipated seasonal release & with good reason. Pours quite dark, more or less jet black and builds a nice tan coloured head. Nose is quite expressive, as you would expect from an Imprial Stout. Rich mocha, molasses and hints of raisins and vanilla. Palate translates well and has excellent balance, if anything is a little under powered for the style. Oddly enough, almost like a session Imperial Stout, if such a thing exists. I've hidden away a few of the 08 vintage, so am very interested to see how it develops!

Murray's Best Extra Porter '09
A welcomed release after many were really impressed with last years version. Pours a dark, muddy brown with a nicely packed tan head. Nose displays great complexity. Dusty dark chocolate mocha notes present with Madeira cake and some dark fruits in there as well. Palate translates well, displaying some nice brandied characters. Supported well by roast coffee, dusty chocolate and some mild hop notes. I'm becomming a big fan of Imperial Porters and this is a great example!

Red Duck Bengal IPA
Newest addition to their regular range. Pours murky amber with a small head. Nose has a lot of orange with some mild apricot/peach as well. Palate is surprisingly tame given the high abv and that it is an IPA. Caramel/toffee malt & over-ripe stone-fruit seem a little mashed together. Finish has mild hop bitterness and abv rears its head toward the end. Not bad, but expected it to be a little more robust in the hop department (cascade & centennial). Lacks a bit of impact for me.

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