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

19 June

Kooinda porter gets its growler on

What is it with growlers? They’re popping up everywhere. Kooinda Brewery in Melbourne has put it’s milk porter into a cool one litre growler. My earlier post on Matilda Bay’s venture into growlers pictures a larger 1.8 litre growler.

Freshly growled off Kooinda milk porter

Porter in a growler: how could I resist? I stumbled on this lovely combo at the Swords Select outlet in the South Melbourne market. Always a great place for craft brews, the small team there led by self-confessed ‘beer tragic’ David Vass @vulgarbeerman has growled off (that’s the beer equivalent of decanting) Kooinda’s milk porter into these one litre growlers from a 30 litre keg.

David informs beerlines that these bottles and their special caps are often used in the wine industry and are great for storage.

Kooinda milk porter
Good luck if you can get some of this porter. I really enjoyed it. Not sure about the ‘milk’ reference. It was certainly milk-like in its smoothness with a coffeeish complexity that maintained interest.

David Vass nurses two freshly growled one litre growlers

It delivers a firm bitterness and, as I’ve mentioned, no dusty taste which I dislike in porters and dark beers generally. Despite the depth of colour (for those wary of dark brews) Kooinda milk porter is easy drinking: which brings me to my only recommendation. I believe this rare treat of a porter would deliver greater depth of flavour if it had a higher ABV: somewhere a tweak north of 5%. But that’s picky .. don’t let it put you off trying to track some down if you can.


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.