Getting Down To My Local (brewery that is!)
Last week I was speaking to a good mate of mine about life, kids and beer. I was wrapped up in ugg boots at home in front of the footy and he was on his way home from the pub, well the pub at the local brewery that just happens to be down the street from where he lives…lucky bastard. He was in to me to come and meet him for a beer the next time he went down, sounded like a good idea to me.
On the blog this year, I have spoken about how Fresh is Best and the need to get out and visit a brewery, mentioned that I was keen to try local fresh beer at a brewery in my New Beers Resolutions, and talked of my desire to learn more and improve my home brewing this year. I felt like I could tick off a couple of these things while also catching up with my mate, so I checked the weekly family planner and there was a free spot…happy days!
Anyway, the brewery I mentioned has been there for almost a year and I still haven’t visited it. I run into one of the owners in the local supermarket every now and then and always promise to visit, but I still haven’t. The place is called Last Rites Brewing Company, and it is just 10 minutes out of Hobart city.
Right…so all of that above text was written last Thursday night as I prepared to pull a bit of a story together about heading down to the brewery and wrapping it all up into a piece abut what is so awesome about visiting small breweries…then I get a phone call at 2pm on Friday afternoon.
Me: G’day Josh Connors (yeah, bugger it, I am gonna name him!), are you ready to head down this arvo?
Josh: (In his best “I’m sick voice”) Oooooh, I just spewed all over my vagina.
Josh: Yeah can we reschedule? I just cant do it.
And I hung up and just cried into my hands…I had cleared time on the family planner (not an easy task) and I had been looking forward to heading down all week…why? Cos drinking beer at the brewery is so much better than anywhere else!
So what is it that we as consumers love about drinking at the brewery? I mean, most of the time when you are there you are just in a big cold space with a lot of shiny stainless steel sitting there doing nothing, as the brewing is done earlier in the day. You could just as easily be sitting on your couch with a fresh growler of beer, couldn’t you? No! Its not the same. I had a bit of a think about it and here is why I think drinking beer at the brewery is such a great experience.
Well none of mine were there, anyway. Any time that I can enjoy an entire beer without hearing “Where is my iPad”, or “Can you please come here”, or “Daaaaaaaaaaaaad!!”, is absolute bliss. I got at least two hours of it this week.
Anytime you have a beer in a local small brewery, there is a fair chance that the brewer will be sitting behind the bar or working the floor, only too happy to talk beer with you. Even if you are a kit and kilo home brewer, they will still smile and tell you that they would love to taste your beer some time.
Okay, no they won’t…kit and kilo brewers should never offer to let a real brewer taste their home brew, it’s like asking Bruce Springsteen to listen to you karaoke cover of Born IN The USA…not cool.
What I like about talking to the brewer is you can get the story behind the beer…the name, the recipe, the mistakes made along the way. Stories make the craft beer world go round!
Do you ever pour a new favourite beer when you are at home and just want to talk to someone about how it smells, looks or tastes? I do all the time, half the reason why I like to post them on Instagram and Twitter (follow me!).
I love my wife and kids, but a beer conversation with them is about as much fun as whacking myself in the nuts. My wife is a wine drinker and doesn’t care for the tropical aromas or high IBU’s in my perfectly presented IPA in its specially designed glass, and well, talking to my kids about how great beer is probably isn’t really appropriate.
But, when you are at a craft brewery you are surrounded by like-minded individuals who want to get their beer nerd on and just spew out fact and feelings about the latest beers they have tried. If you want to get a man to talk about his feelings, drive him to a local brewery and put a pint of IPA on his hand!
You can just be you!
You don’t need to dress up to go to the brewery, no one is going to care what brand your jeans are. Go in your trackies, find a seat, hell, put your hand in your pants if you really want to…just get comfortable.
You can have a few beers, get a bit rowdy, and you can’t hurt anything…it’s a concrete warehouse!
There will always be someone drunker than you, so don’t worry, and have another beer!
Beer farts are welcome (look out, I just went highbrow). You are with your mates, drinking beer…beer farts are going to happen. None of your mates will care, they will probably high five you. For others around you, the smell won’t last long with those high ceilings and aromas of spent grain hanging around.
The Food Truck revolution is in full swing at the moment and it pairs up nicely with it’s craft brewery cousins! Most of the time a start-up brewery is running things pretty thin, offering brewery bar sales is a great way to attract people to the brewery for a great experience and a great beer without a lot of overhead costs involved.
As soon as you add a kitchen to the brewery to pump out bar snacks, things start to get complex. It makes great sense for both parties to a pair up at the brewery and tick each other’s boxes…customers, sales and in the case of the brewery, helping to cover off on Responsible Service of Alcohol requirements.
As a consumer, the best things about food trucks is the variety. When you go to the brewery, there is usually something new or interesting on tap, or even if there is a regular favourite pouring, there will always be a new food dish to pair it with…happy days.
Take the experience home with you
What better way to finish off your great night at the brewery, than with a growler of their fresh produce to finish off on the couch when you get home? And…because growlers dont last more than a couple of days, you MUST drink the beer post haste! hehe.
Side note: I had my growler all ready to fill and bring home with me, but yet again that was stolen from me!
Sitting here typing this is making me realise what I missed out on this week, but that’s fine, I will find a spare space on the family planner again seen and head on down for a few beers with the boys!
What did you think of my 60 Second Beer Reviews? I release a new one every Wednesday, my latest one is below.