‘If I saved all the money I spent on beer, I’d spend it on beer’
(Earl Dibbles Jr)
So here we are. It all started on 11 January, three years ago. I found an app called Untappd and having already spent a large portion of my life tasting and experiencing new beers, I decided this would be a great way to record them. I initially started off very comprehensively writing small reviews and in some cases taking pictures to add to the reviews. After a while I decided that I’d just use the star rating and use it as a vehicle to catalogue what I had but not necessarily to review them.
In just over three years I have tasted 1000 unique beers. I came up with a bit of a plan for how I was going to finish the 1000. I didn’t want to go out with a bang drinking in a favourite venue or with a crowd of people I’d prefer to quietly cross the finish line enjoying the 1000th beer with my fiancé Bee at home. I had a beer in mind to be my 1000th beer and the two preceding ones.
The last three beers represent my past, the present and the future. My first choice was a Prickly Moses beer, this is a bit of salute to the past. Prickly Moses (or the Otway Estate) was one of the first breweries I really fell in love with in Victoria. I still to this day if I see them at beer festivals go over and have a chat and try some old favourites. I particularly enjoyed their incarnations of Saison, Farmhouse Ale and Reserve D’Otway. There was a part of my life where I did spend a fair bit of time in the Otway region and I always looked forward to visiting the brewery.
The next choice is a Hawthorn beer to reflect the last few months of living in Hawthorn with Bee and how much I’ve embraced that change in my life. There have been times over the last few years where I could never imagine living so far outside of the city. Some of you might chuckle at that, Hawthorn is only 8km outside of the city but I’ve always had a preference over the years to be able to walk to Bourke Street Mall within 30 or 40 minutes. I suppose though sometimes the place where you live takes a back seat and the person you live with is the deciding factor. I’m very much enjoying living in the inner east for the first time in my 10 years in Melbourne.
My final choice is a look into the future, a Mountain Goat beer. Next year Bee and I will be married at the Mountain Goat brewery. Mountain Goat represents one of the oldest craft brewers in Melbourne and I’ve enjoyed their beers for many years. There has been many a night over these past three years that I’ve spent in that warehouse eating pizza, drinking beer and surmising about the world of beer. This beer will be my 1000th and a time to raise a glass to what has been and what is yet to come.
So my choices are really more than just beer choices, they represent the past, the present and the future. They are for me, symbolic.
So what now? Having reached a thousand is it time for a rest? In truth I don’t know. Any time I’ve gone out over the last three years has always involved me looking for a beer I’ve never tried before and in my mind I think it might be nice to just go out and drink a beer I know I enjoy. I’m sure though there will always be that desire within me to go out and taste new and wonderful beers and maybe this is a perfect juncture for me to get back to reviewing beers properly on my website. This is something that I’ve definitely let slip as late.
So onto the question that everyone likes to ask. What has been my favourite beer? In truth I can’t answer that. I love the IPA style and I’ve tried a many of them over these three years. However beer really has to suit the climate that it is drunk in and I can think of nothing better than a cold Pilsner in the middle of summer and a nice heavy Scotch ale or Stout in the winter.
Let’s hope the craft beer industry continues to thrive, it’s a great community and the people are always so welcoming. I’ve made numerous friends over the years and its still nice to be able to walk into a venue like Mrs Parmas and have the bar staff instantly recognise you. Craft beer is a passion and like the beer itself it’s a great one to share.