in search of Beer!
Well Lil Mocha and I decided it was time for a weekend away from the big smoke, so we decided to head south to get away and visit the olds. They just so happen to live in WA’s wine central. So a weekend away at Hester for 2 was in order.
Straight after work Friday we packed the beast and headed off, traffic was ok but i’ll be glad when the new freeway south & bypass are completed. We made good time and got in at a decent hour. The plan was to have a good sleep then head out to find a Beer for the non beer drinker.
WHAT?!? I hear you say. That’s right I’m not a beer drinker i enjoy a good Scotch or Whiskey after a nice glass of red. But Lil Mocha and I had been contemplating the merits of coming home to a beer, or the cliche, enjoying a beer on a hot summers afternoon. Unfortunately neither of us like that golden ale stuff, not 1 that we have found yet.
Saturday morning came and we slightly overslept, but was much needed. A spot of shopping was to be done to grab items for dinner (no late or extended shopping hours in this state – but we’ll leave that for another post), then off we went.
The plan was to try and hit all 5 Breweries in the Margaret River area. This would be a mission with time against us.
First port of call was to be Bootleg Brewery, they are one of the big supporters of mountain biking in this state, and supply many of the prizes at local events. Michael “Brookesy” Brookes is the head brewer and an avid mountain biker. When we rocked up the place was “rocking”. It was a full house with Buck’s, birthday parties and the Eagles getting a smashing from the Crows. Making our way towards the bar we ran into a few of the locals we knew and checked the menu. After hearing the wait time for a feed was over an hour (we had a lot to fit in) we decided to put the tasting on ice, I prefer to have the whole experience food and drink. I said a quick hi to Brookesy and we headed out.
Next stop was to be The Colonial Brewing Co, but due to the navigator misunderstanding the map we ended up at theCowaramup Brewery instead. We had been here once before just after it opened and really enjoyed it. By now we were hungry and keen for some food and lubrication. Having tried all the beers here I knew what I prefered, the Cowaramup Hefeweizen. I don’t mind this beer, its good for 1 with a meal but its not a long afternoon drinker. The food at Cowaramup Brewery is top notch, we went with some wedges with sour cream & sweet chilli sauce + a antipasto platter of local fare, featuring meats and cheeses, with other bits and peices. The menu varies thoughout the year but all food is a good complement to the beer. Staff are very friendly and helpful, with no qualms answering my mother’s list of questions.
Our 2nd attempt for The Colonial Brewing Co was up next, this time we got it right. (just so happens the AUDAX PAP 2010 goes past its front door). Here we were welcomed by a bit of live entertainment, some guy doing covers, but added to the atmosphere. The ol man and myself went the tasting paddle here, a collection of their 4 most popular beers. The standout here for me was the Weit Beer, not too bad, but again i think its like the Hefeweizen, ok for 1 with a meal. Although beer lovers will be happy with the purchasing arrangements, a 2L beer jug (flavour of choice) $30 and you can bring it back for refills.
By now the day had gotten away from us and the last 2 Breweries on our list (there are many more boutique micro-breweries scattered around the area) Duckstein Brewery & Bush Shack Brewery would have to wait for another day.
But on the trip back to Busselton there was just enough time to drop in to an
old favourite The Grove Vineyard. This is ‘the’ place to go for Port and Liqueurs. We basically dropped in to see if the 2009 Port was ready (unfortunately still a few months away) but had a quick taste of some new liqueurs while there. The Grove has grown a lot in the last few years and have even added a nice deck out over the ‘croc infested’ waters of the pond.
Finally we were back home and the Lil Mocha whipped up an awesome serve of homemade fish ‘n’ chips with calamari rings, washed down with a nice glass of red.
Really today’s mission was not achieved, we didn’t find a beer for us non beer drinkers. That said we probably didn’t put in a very good effort. I feel a lot more research is needed in the area and I believe I should also take along a 2nd opinion or 4 on the next trip…..