Barley What?

The Forester’s team have been pretty excited about a particular Belgian keg that we’ve just received. Let’s just say it’s not your average beer…

Aside from being aged in Muscatel Barrels, To Øl’s “Mine is Bigger Than Yours” is a strong barley wine that clocks in at 12% ABV.

So what is barley wine? (Or Stingo or Wee Heavy as it's been called in other parts of the UK). For a start it's got nothing to do with wine.

These things are usually dark, full-bodied, rich and fruity. But what really defines them is the strength… With an ABV of anything upwards of 7%, it’s not something you swig in pints, or schooners for that matter. There’s a good reason it was once named the sitting down beer (less far to fall).

The style of barley wine has been around as long as beer itself. In the days before refrigeration, summer-brewed beers could easily turn to vinegar so these sorts of big, strong ales were brewed to help preservation.

Here in Australia, the style has seen somewhat of resurgence with local brewers including Moondog, Mountain Goat, Feral and more dabbling in barley wine production. This Friday during our Prohibition Party, We’ll be tapping another highly regarded Barley Wine from the United States: Clown Shoes Brewing's Crunkle Sam.

Despite its relatively low production, barley wine is not about to vanish, so order a pot and enjoy! 

Funny Beer Business in New Zealand

So, what do we know about New Zealand? The people speak funny, Lord of the Rings was filmed there and they’re pretty good at rugby. 

What fewer people realise is that there is also a booming craft beer scene and some pretty incredible hop varieties being grown down there too...

Garage Project is a particularly interesting and somewhat wacky little brewery based in Wellington. The two guys behind the business are Jos Ruffell and Pete Gillespie, friends who share a passion for pushing the boundaries of brewing to the limit.

Their "Death From Above" is a self proclaimed “Indochine Pale Ale”. It uses aggressive, high citrus character hops and then adds mango, chilli, Vietnamese mint and lime juice. All the ingredients you’d expect to find in beer, right?

Prefer something with a bit more of a local flavour? How about ANZAC biscuits? The "Pan Pacific" is brewed with golden syrup, oats, toasted coconut and a combination of New Zealand Motueka and Australian Galaxy hops.

The most absurd of all could be the “Umami Monster”. It uses sea water, seaweed and fermented fish to create a monster of dark savoury smoke and rich umami complexity.

If all this is appetising to you, watch this space because Forester’s Hall might just have a bit of a surprise waiting around the corner.

The Worlds Oldest Brewery...

Weihenstephaner Brewery can be found in the Bavarian beer-drinking heartland, about a half-hour drive from the Oktoberfest hub in Munich. 

There, in the beautiful town of Freising, brewers have been hard at work since 1044, when Benedictine monks at the Weihenstephan monastery decided they needed something to wet their whistle after a hard day at the office.

Although the brewery makes several classic German styles, including a helles (light-coloured) lager, a dunkel (dark) lager, and a doppelbock (a strong, malty brew), it's best known for its Hefeweissbier. 

This traditional Bavarian-style wheat beer has an amazing golden hue and hints of clove and banana in its aroma and taste. These are classic features of Bavarian wheat beers, and come from the brewery's yeast strain, which it has been using since the 1980s. There's also some tartness that comes through, thanks to the wheat. 

Come and try some of Weihenstephaner’s finest beer and learn even more about the art of German brewing from 7PM during our Oktoberfest celebrations. 

Introducing... The Delmont IPA from Mt Goat.

A very special keg release this Friday night at Forester's Hall, with only a handful throughout the country, the Delmont IPA will surely be one for the history books.

Named after one of the great characters and all round nice guys of the Australian Craft Beer industry, Mountain Goat's own, Tommy Delmont.

This 7% West Coast style IPA is big, dry and very drinkable, much like Tommy himself.

It lies within the vain of some of the great West Coast IPA's such as the unmissable Ballast Points Sculpin IPA and Russian Rivers Pliny The Elder.

Join the man himself, big Tommy D, between 6-7pm when he jumps behind the bar to have a chat and pours you some of his very own beer.