Nutritionist & Life Coach
Meeting all requirements to call myself so (i.e. none)
Published August 12th 2012
Chocolate and beer, enough said
Let me preface this article by stating that my beer palate was developed by my student days of sharing in the $24 slabs of Melbourne Bitter cans that the Royal Hotel in Sunbury would put on every now and then (oh the joy of $1 a can when on the student budget!) so it is far from refined.
More latterly I have developed an appreciation for moderation (usually) and am therefore less concerned with a cost versus volume ratio and more with the quality of the brew I happen to be tipping down my neck (un-Australian, I know).
The beer market in Melbourne is a much more crowded place than it once was. Back in the day it was Carlton Draught at the pub, Victoria Bitter from the bottle at home and Fosters, well, never.
These days there is a huge range of imported beers. Last Anzac Day I enjoyed some bottles of Weisenstephaner Heffeweissbier Dunkel while my brother tucked into some Asahi (if one can tuck into a liquid). It was only after our purchase that I noted we had bought German and Japanese beer - Australia's nemesis (nemesi?) in World War II. If we had have been washing down Turkish bread with our irreverent drink choice on the day commemorating the Gallipoli landing no doubt we'd have been deported.
But why purchase beers that have ticked up a massive carbon footprint when there exists a number of thriving micro-breweries around the country? These days many venues are featuring boutique beers that come from smaller brewers and I've recently been taking as many opportunities as possible to sample them.
It being winter in Melbourne it seems fitting that on these dark cold nights one should be cracking open the darker ales. Below is a list of my three favourites that I have sampled this winter.
Red Hill Scotch Ale A scotch that doesn't come from Scotland? Preposterous! Harking from the southern reaches of the Mornington Peninsula this cloudy brew will put hairs on your chest. 5.8% alcohol content and an honest sediment finish means this beer doesn't take long to give you the warm sense of well-being one seeks on winter evenings. A few of these at the Yarraville Lounge and your cheeks will be as rosy as the hill from which the beer originated.
The other kind of Scotch
White Rabbit Dark Ale An increasingly popular drink choice, White Rabbit widely distribute both their White Ale and Dark Ale from their headquarters in Healesville (visit Healesville Sanctuary, try the shrimp cocktail). On tap at the Prince Albert Hotel in Williamstown this is an ideal beer to pull from your pint as you sit adjacent to a fireplace. Not a stout as such, it's dark finish at least makes you look tough and most importantly goes down very smoothly.
Follow the White Rabbit... with another White Rabbit
Choc Hops Chocolate Stout, Mildura Brewery
As far from Melbourne as possible while remaining in the state of Victoria this beer has leapt to number one on my list. Just recently I paid $23.99 for a four pack of this nectar of the gods (compare that to $24 slab of Melbourne mentioned earlier). With a true stout flavour this beer might turn off all but the most hardened Guinness drinkers were it not for the fact that it has been brewed with raw cacao beans (according to the box "pure, organic, fair trade" cacao beans). This beer leaves you with a most delightful dark chocolate aftertaste that sets me reminiscing about the delectable Dark Chocolate and Strawberry Pizza Dolce from L'uccelino in Yarraville.