Tag Archives: homebrewing

Bull & Bush offering tableside whole-hop infusions with any of its beers – Denver Restaurants and Dining – Cafe Society

This is a pretty cool concept I reckon! I’ve had single hop beers and fresh hop beers and beers that have gone through some type of randall hop infuser, but using a french press and being able to determine how much hop punch you get is pretty damned cool.

 

Bull & Bush offering tableside whole-hop infusions with any of its beers – Denver Restaurants and Dining – Cafe Society.

 

Till next time, keep the music turned up loud.

 

Luke

Chief Distortion Officer

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Hanging for a good IPA

I’ve always liked hoppy beers, but for a while there I was really leaning toward the british style Bitters and ales and now I’ve suddenly got a real thirst for a good IPA. Since the metal wine project is currently bubbling along in the background without too much in the way of exciting updates around, I thought I would write about beer today! I’ve had some great hoppy beers lately from Epic Brewing in New Zealand. I found a hotel in Adelaide that sells both the Epic Pale and Epic Armageddon. The Pale Ale is a nice hoppy style with loads of great Cascade hop aroma and flavour, but the Armageddon IPA really got me excited for hoppy beers again. Now, on a side note before I go into depth about this beer in particular, I feel like I need to explain one reason why I went off the IPA’s recently and needed a saviour beer.

I’ve been homebrewing for about four years now and I also run a local homebrew competition here in the Barossa Valley. I’ve done this for the past three years and whilst a bit of work I actually rather enjoy it. This year I volunteered to head to the State Amateur Brewing Show of South Australia (SABSOSA) to judge for the first time. I have done judging before for our competition but this was my first time on the “big stage”of judging. I was pretty excited to find out that I would be judging the IPA category with 21 beers in it. That is actually a pretty big category and it takes 3-4 hours to judge that number of beers properly. However, my excitement didn’t last very long. Now, I honestly thought that the biggest problem with judging this class would be that the beers would probably be over hopped or astringent frm too many bittering hops, how wrong I was! This was honestly the worst collection of beers I have ever had to try, there was a complete lack of hops in fact many of them were not hoppy in the slightest (and badly brewed on top of that). So, you can see my predicament, I really needed a beer to act as my hop saviour, to re-invigorate my senses. Enter Epic Armageddon.

Armageddon is chock full of US hop varieties such as Cascade, Chinook and Simcoe, all of which exude that classic citrus and piney hop aroma and flavour typical of US varieties. I have been very impressed by the craft beer scene coming out of NZ, the Kiwi’s are certainly holding their own in fact I think many are better than what we see here in Australia. Epic certainly is front and centre along with Renaissance and the Yeastie Boys. In terms of IPA’s in Australia I do actually struggle somewhat to find good examples. Probably the best is fro Western Australia’s Feral Brewing. Their Hop Hog is quite an exceptional example of the US style IPA being brewed here.

So, thankfully my hoppy faith has been restored by some excellent brewers in the Southern Hemisphere. I think it is about time I got off my butt and brewed a great IPA myself.

 

Till next time, hopefully with some important updates about our wine progress, I can tell you you that we are launching two wines soon.

Luke

Chief Distortion Officer


Some history is required Part 2

Slayer and Megadeth were touring together in October of 2009, it was the must see show for any self-respecting metalhead. However, the day of the show I hear that Tom Araya has voice problems and that Slayer won’t be playing, this is confirmed at the venue, so we get a local metal band and an extended Megadeth set, which I still really enjoyed. The next day at work this guy comes into our tasting room, turns out it’s Slayer’s manager, Rick Sales. We get talking I show him around, talk about the show and the bands he manages, he has a good time and leaves. A few weeks later I get a package from him with some CD’s and t-shirts and I think what a great guy! Fast forward almost a year and Rick comes back to Adelaide with Bullet For My Valentine, we catch up again at their show, hang out, have some drinks and are fast becoming friends. Closer to Christmas of 2010 Rick calls me and he has this idea of making a Slayer wine, he wants to know if it can be done and would I help him out in putting it together. Of course I say yes, we talk for a while and I suggest that we can do a lot more than just a one-off vanity product for one of the greatest metal bands in history.

This, right here, is the start.

From there as time goes on over a few months and we talk more exchange emails and information we start to form this concept of what I call Distorted Beverages. But, there is another side of this story. Whilst all the preceding events are going on over an 18 month period, I’m fast becoming very into home brewing and craft beer. I’ve won a few awards at local, state and even a national second place for the beer I’ve made and I’m dreaming of a way to tie together my experience in the wine industry and new passion for good, craft beer and my love of all things heavy metal.

Where this all ties together is Soundwaves festival in March 2011. Rick arrange passes for my friends Christian and I and we take down some good wine and a also a few bottles of my home-brew, which I had made specially for BFMV and Slayer. The lads from Bullet really like the beer and are dead excited about the possibility of having their own brand of beer, I also meet Rob Zombie and all his band, a great guy, very approachable. His manager Andy Gould is a close friend of Rick’s and he introduces me to Rob and we talk about the Slayer wine concept and expresses interest as well, I suggest beer too, and he says “Yeah, definitely. That would work!” It is really at this point that I start to realise that my dream has a very real chance of actually coming together.

This brings us to the present day….. almost. There is the Disturbed angle which I’ll go over next time, oh and I met Metallica.


Some history is required

To get a good handle on what this blog is about it is important that I provide some backgorund to my new venture. I’ve been involved in the wine industry since 1996 in both Tasmania and South Australia and for the last 6 years in the Barossa Valley. Over the past 3-4 years I have also been an active homebrewer and craft beer lover. I have reviewed over 340 beers at ratebeer.com and enjoyed countless great wines from around Australia and the world. When I was a teenager, around 14-15 I discovered Guns N Roses, this changed my life forever. Suddenly music evoked a lot of emotion in me and I found that I could turn to music to find solace in my teenage angst.

From then on it was a constant rollercoaster of musical discovery, I found bands like REM and Aerosmith then the heavier bands like Metallica and Pantera.It was also at this time that Grunge really took off and I fell in love with Alice In Chains and Soundgarden. Grunge was my new musical taste and I couldn’t get enough of it. However, my heavier side never went away and I was discovering Slayer, Machine Head and others at the same time. Fast forward about 10 years from then andn I was attending every metals show that was touring Adelaide; from Mastodon and Slayer to Machine Head, Trivium, Slipknot and Arch Enemy. One day whilst working at Rockford Wines in the Barossa Valley I met a guy who changed everything.

To be continued…..


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