foresters hall

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. 

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

Crafty Spirits

Whether it be whisky from Queensland, sloe gin from Tasmania or rum from WA, more and more people are discovering the new and interesting artisan liquors made here in Aus.

Boutique, hand-crafted local spirits are definitely worth your time and effort to seek out. The craftsmanship is second to none, and some of the gentle tweaks of technique used to introduce a modern Australian twist to small-batch spirit production are making waves both here and overseas.

At Forester’s Hall, we love supporting our local producers and we especially love drinking their delicious product. So, without saying too much, we’ll be hosting our first craft spirit event later in January. It will feature some particularly amazing Victorian and inter-state distilleries plus all sorts of other fun.

Here’s a taste of what’s to expect…

Four Pillars Gin

Produced in the Yarra Valley in very limited batches, this gin captures the flavours of both Asia and the Mediterranean with a mix of local and exotic.

Starward Whisky

Victorian barley is sourced to begin the bespoke process which ends up being aged Australian Apera casks. All of which help create a Whisky of smoothness, sweetness and unparalleled complexity.

666 Vodka

crafted in Tasmania from local Barley and Cape Grim water, believe us when we say there is no purer Vodka on the market. 

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! 

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