Brew Review: Rodenbach Grand Cru

Brew Review: Rodenbach Grand Cru

The Belgium brewery, Rodenbach, is entirely devoted to making one particular, very different type of beer. It’s not a lager or a pilsner and it is by no means an “easy drinker”.

The flavour can be described as almost “winey” with a tart acidity. This is due to the way the beer is aged: Not in your conventional casks, kegs or barrels, but in huge wooden tuns that are as high as the halls that they stand.

The Perfect Negroni

The Perfect Negroni

The Negroni: festive in colour, herbal in aroma, citrusy in taste and absolutely perfect for summer afternoon drinking.

The story goes, Count Camillo Negroni, asked his bartender to strengthen his favourite cocktail, the Americano by adding gin rather than normal sodawater. The Bartender then added an orange garnish rather than your typical lemon to signify a different drink. 

Is Pizza Making Getting out of Hand

Fanaticism surrounding the sanctity of the Neapolitan pizza, better known as the Margherita in Australia, has reached new heights in recent years. Chefs around the world have been known to spend tens of thousands of dollars on specialty pizza ovens in order to achieve international “Vera Pizza Napoletana certification”.

Last year one particular pizza chef from New York bragged that he had dropped $25,000 on a wood-burning pizza oven that had bricks made from the ashes of Mount Vesuvius to try and recreate the “traditional taste”.

In Los Angeles, some other pizza lovers have been paying $1,650 for three-day courses on how to “slap” dough and grind plum tomatoes to make the perfect traditional margherita.

At Forester’s Hall, we don’t care so much for all this pizza snobbery. We’re just concerned about making the best and most delicious pizza we can. We also don’t care so much for sleep: We make pizza for the good people of Collingwood and surrounds till 2AM every night.

So give us a call, order a take away and grab one of Collingwood's finest pizzas at home or enjoy it with us in the Hall!

Ph: 8415 1104

The Biggest Tap Takeover in Australian History

Feral Brewing, Australia's craft brewing golden child, is WA’s largest independent craft brewery. 

Based in the heart of the Swan Valley, they've received more than their fair share of awards including: The best Australian craft beer (2012, 2013, 2014 Hottest 100 Beers) Best Large Australian Brewery (2013 AIBA), Best Australian Beer (2012 Beer and Brewer), Best Western Australian Brewery + Best Commercial Brewery (2010 Perth Royal Beer Show) and the list goes on and on and on... 

Since launching 11 years ago, Feral's flagship brews; Feral White, Smoked Porter, Sly Fox, and Hop Hog have gained both local and international acclaim. Don't let these beers fool you though, Feral also aren't afraid to get a little strange and funky with their brewing - brews made with freshly picked local watermelons, jasmine or green tea leaves?

So I guess you probably want to try some of this stuff now right? Well on the 27th and 28th of March, Literally every single one of Forester's Hall' 50 taps will be turned over to 32 of Feral Brewing's multiple award winning brews... That's right, 32 different Feral beers all on tap, some never before seen in Victoria before. 

Join us on Friday when we tap the glorious kegs and dance the night away before returning for a good ol fashioned Ho Down on Saturday: we've got food courtesy of Collingwood's favourite smokehouse: Bluebonnet, hillbilly bands, line-dancing, games, giveaways + more

For a small price you can also meet the head brewer, Brendan Varis, in a VIP Q/A and tasting session whilst sampling his favourite beers.

Grab your tickets here

Stone Brewing is Coming

For those who are unacquainted with Stone Brewing Company, let us give you a bit of a rundown: It’s the Largest brewery in Southern California, the tenth largest craft brewery in America and (according to Beer Advocate) is the #1 all-time top brewery on the planet!

To many, Stone is the forefather of the modern craft beer movement. Few people are as enthusiastic about craft beer as the CEO and co-founder - Greg Koch, who has committed his life to preaching beery gospel around the world.

After opening in 1996, the brewery churned out their first brew: the Stone Pale Ale, which is still considered to be an all time classic. Since this time, they’ve gotten pretty experimental with their hops, their alcohol content and their late additions (think rose hip, kaffir lime leaves and New Mexico chillies)

Hopefully you can understand why we are literally buzzing with excitement at the news that that Stone Brewing will be launching in Australia… at Forester’s Hall.

Mitch Steele, the head brewer of Stone is coming to Forester's Hall with five, super fresh, cold-airfreighted kegs of his finest brews.

Join us on this momentous occasion for delicious beer, North American rock, Californian cuisine (house made tacos and pizza) and of course, some of the best beer in the world.

Beers on offer include:
- Stone IPA
- Sublimey Self Righteous
- Arrogant Bastard
- Go To IPA
- Stone Delicious

You can also grab a VIP ticket to meet Mitch Steele and partake in an intimate tasting and education session at 6:30PM


Stone beers will be available to the general public for purchase by the pot after 10PM

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.

Picklebacks Anyone?

If you’ve managed to find our little upstairs dive bar, Woody’s Fine Liquor, you might have noticed a few strange drinks being served to some particularly unruly customers. What was that coloured liquid that people were chasing their shots with? And since when did shots get served with pickles!?

We give you… The Pickleback: a shot of whiskey, quickly chased by a shot of pickle brine. The basic idea is that the brine works to offset the taste of the whiskey and the burn of the alcohol.

It is fabled that this bizarre practice was born in Brooklyn, USA. Reggie Cunningham, the father of picklebacks, originally used Old Crow bourbon and an accompanying shot of brine from a jar of McClure’s spicy dills. It was shockingly good. Not the Old Crow part, exactly, but the pickle brine, which washed that away, leaving a snappy, savoury tang that curled about the last remnants of the smoky bourbon.

Here at Forester’s Hall, we make our pickle brine in house. We’ve gone slightly overboard and decided to offer no less than 8 jars of pickly goodness upstairs at Woody’s Fine Liquor. They have been artfully created in our laboratory and have undergone rigorous taste testing (whisky included). Think Apple and cinnamon, lemongrass and chilli, Watermelon and mint, Beetroot and many others to come. We also proudly serve the original pickleback with imported McClure’s pickles and Old Crow Bourbon.

So in summary…

  1. Find Woody’s Fine Liquor, upstairs at Forester’s Hall on Friday and Saturday nights
  2. Ask for a pickleback at the bar
  3. Do the pickleback
  4. Repeat