Night of the Goat
It’s a Wednesday night in Perth. While the Flying Scotsman on Beaufort Street is offering $10 jugs of VB and Carlton Draught to the masses, Five Bar is welcoming the beer aficionado to a night of splendor. If you want your taste buds to be treated like royalty, then this is the place to be (or really was the place to be…because it’s not Wednesday night in Perth anymore…). Why is this where you want to be? Well there’s a craft brewery called Mountain Goat and they’re from Melbourne, Victoria. They are truly one of the best micro-breweries to come out of Australia at the moment and they just happen to be at Five tonight.
Back to the Night of the Goat. Dave Bonighton, head brewer of Mountain Goat, just happens to be in Perth, and hosted an event at Five Bar, making available the much sought after collaboration between Mountain Goat and gypsy brewer, Mikkeller - Gypsy and the Goat Black Pepperberry IPA - the recently released Rare Breed Surefoot Stout, as well as the Rare Breed Rye IPA. Being just down the road from where I lived, I gave up studying for the night, gave in to the lure of awesome beer, and invited a few mates.
Apart from the Mountain Goat team, a fair few of the International Beer Shop boys made an appearance, as well as the Pliny the Elder-hoody-bearing brewer from Feral Brewery, who actually did a stint at the Pliny brewery itself (lucky bastard). Each showing their appreciation for true Australian craft beer.
On to the beers, and I do have to apologise for the average quality of photos tonight… while being inconspicuous, the iPhone isn’t the best in low light environments…
Mountain Goat Rare Breed Surefoot Stout
First up was the Surefoot Stout, a regular Rare Breed for the Victorian brewers. This baby was on tap, and poured a rich dark browny-black with a dark tan head. The aromas gave way to chocolate with a hint of roasted malts, being a teaser for what was to come in the taste. Having my first drink, the milky warm smoothness of the beer just took over straight away, boasting a big, yet sweet espresso roasted malt, giving way to a more subtle chocolaty aftertaste.
For $9.50 a schooner, you really can’t complain. I’m just glad I went into the IBS earlier today to pick up a long neck of this stuff for $12, because I’m definitely going to be wanting more!
Mountain Goat Cross Breed Gypsy & the Goat Black Pepperberry IPA
This collaboration has been hot off the press. Unfortunately I missed out while it was available at the IBS, having to listen to JG and YM rave on about how amazing it was. So when I saw this towards the back of the bar fridge, I didn’t care that it was $19 for a long neck, I just had to give in to temptation and splurge.
Am I happy that I spent what would normally buy me a Beer Geek Breakfast and a Hop Hog IPA? Fuck yeah. This really does live up to the hype that surrounds it. Mountain Goat and Mikkeller have hit the nail on the head with this one. It truly is a gem.
Again, the beer poured a dark coke hue, with a creamy coloured head. As you would expect from the name, it smelled exactly like berries. If you closed your eyes, blocked your ears, and held this under your nose, you would almost assume that you were standing in a pit of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries squishing under your feet. And the flavour was no different. Berries galore. This was carried on by a smooth, yet mild body, which gave way to a lingering bitterness. Along with the berries, there was a certain flavour I just couldn’t put my finger on, and therefore can’t describe, but in no way did it detriment this amazing beer. All I can say is I’m bloody glad I got to try this one!
Mountain Goat Rare Breed Rye IPA
Finally, we arrive at the Rye IPA. Unfortunately it didn’t live up to the other two. It was commendable, yes. But nowhere near the level of quality and flavour that the others portrayed so sophisticatedly. It poured a cloudy dark golden, along with a white fluffy head. The aroma was full of grassy and grainy notes, which transpired to the flavour, giving a really earthy feel to the beer.
This is the second Rye IPA I’ve tasted (the first being the epic Ruthless Rye), and comparing the two is like comparing Heinz Canned Spaghetti to a traditional Spaghetti Bolognese… No comparison what so ever. While it was a very drinkable beer, it didn’t portray a repertoire of flavours. There was almost no creativity in the beer. But that said, it could always be because the two beers before were so flavoursome, that it completely wrecked my palate, making what could have been an excellent beer just an average one…
Anyway, I have to say thank you to Five Bar, and Mountain Goat for an excellent night of flavour and enjoyment, and I look forward to the next Rare Breed/Cross Breed that comes out of the Victorian Brewery’s doors.