Insights on beer marketing & PR by a beer-war vet

15 July

Local and fresh: welcome back!

Fresh cloudy beer with a green swirl of fresh hop particles. Crikey! Just the thought would once see beer drinkers avoid a pub like the plague.

Fresh Alpha Pale Ale with a swirl of green hops to prove it!

A bit heady I know – but this glass underlines a shift in Australia’s beer market. Some call it a revolt. Where once the nearest brewery was only the big one in the state capital, now we have smaller breweries: local breweries. In Melbourne, for example, we now have many new, interesting and tasty brews from city-based craft breweries: Cavalier and Thunder Road Brewing to name just two standouts.

Local and fresh: words that beer drinkers are reacquainting themselves with.

I dropped in to Matilda Bay’s new Port Melbourne brewery yesterday with a fellow beer fancier. Within walking distance of home: it’s local and, as you can see, fresh. (And ‘yes’ I know it’s owned by CUB.) The treat of the visit was a glass of Matilda Bay’s Alpha Pale Ale straight from the fermenter. It was cloudy; floral; a bit raw; and delicious. To underline this there was a green swirl of fresh hop particles at the bottom of the glass as the top pic tries to show.

Fresh from the Bay.

There were three taps offering Matilda Bay brews straight from the fermenter: Alpha Pale; Double Stout and The Black Thong. We sampled them all. What a treat. Our fave was the Alpha. Read more…

02 June

Matilda Bay’s new home gets off to a growling start

Two things beer that I love: draught beer and porters. So this post is a great way to launch my new beer blog: beerlines. So welcome! Here goes ..

Dark beers – like porter – are great especially here in Melbourne in winter. And Matilda Bay has created a beauty.

I tried it first on tap at Matilda Bay’s new brewery home in Bertie Street Port Melbourne.

On tap it’s currently called Bertie Street Porter.

The Growler
Matilda Bay’s Bertie Street brewery now makes available take-away draught beer in a growler bottle. Not the most flattering of names: but whatever gets the beer home I reckon.

It’s about 1.8 litres of beer and costs $22 including the deposit on the bottle. But check that as I get the impression I was one of the first to ask and there was some scratching of heads behind the bar.

Despite years in brewing PR I’m not that familiar with growlers or takeaway draught beer in Australia for that matter.

I took home a growler of the Bertie Street porter on Friday night to share with a beer-loving friend. Most of the growler was consumed: the little that remained the next day was still perfect.

Tasting Notes: Bertie Street Porter

The porter is a delight. I’m not a fan of a dusty after-taste with porters: there was none here.

Smooth and chocolatey. It’s quite bitter but balanced and easy to drink, as a porter should be in my view.

I’m not sure of the ABV but will find out and report. Cheers!

Covent Garden porters: no wonder they got thirsty! Picture from Strandlines

PS: History of Porters

I’ve heard and read a number of reasons for how the name ‘porter’ came about. Most relate to it being the preferred tipple for the porters in London: at the docks and at the Covent Garden markets.

I’ve also heard that the beer came about as slops of all the other beers from the pub on the day that were combined to sell cheaply to the porters. Not sure if that’s true. I’m sure a brewing historian will advise me. The same tale includes a version that these porters demanded something more stout giving rise to yet another style. Influential drinkers clearly.