Almost exactly mid-way through NOvemBEER and I played the fourth of my self-permitted five joker cards. It was last Saturday, 16th NOvemBEER, to be precise.
The occasion? It was our annual Christmas street party!
250 Beers HQ is located in a quiet cul-de-sac and we’re surrounded by great neighbours. Our closest neighbours are Wayne and Vicky. They live directly next door and they host the event every year. Every household is responsible for bringing a dish of food (a salad or a side dish or whatever), their own meat and their own drinks. Wayne cooks everybody’s meat, the covers come off the other food and we all tuck into a mighty feast. This year was a big one with 24 residents from nine houses in attendance.
I had to play a joker because Wayne always insists on an after-dinner darts tournament that often continues towards midnight. There’s even a trophy. It’s serious shit.
If you’re reading this and you’re young, kid-free but thinking about settling down in the ‘burbs one day then the above is what you have awaiting for you. Good times.
My good time was fuelled by a deliberate choice of Queensland beer; a six-pack of Burleigh Brewing‘s 28 Pale Ale and two squealers each filled to the brim with newly released beers from All Inn Brewing. I figured that I was eating local (you can’t get more local than next door) therefore I’d drink local too.
I was looking forward to copping some flack over my beer choices from my neighbours. Most are a fair bit older than me and they’re all loyal to some big brands. I was keen to point out that I was the only non-Aussie there yet I was the only person drinking beer from Australian owned/Queensland-based breweries. That little bit of Beer Wanker in me makes an appearance from time to time.
The Burleigh 28 needs no introduction. It’s a very approachable and sessionable pale; a perfect quencher for those balmy, Queensland evenings. It sat side by side my overloaded plate of food with ease and provided an emphatic solution to my thirst world problems.
As for the other two, new All Inn beers let me introduce you to Katie and Kala…
Katie is a 5.4% ESB (Extra Special Bitter/Extra Strong Bitter) and, as the style is very British, the beer takes its name from Kate Middleton who is as British as they come. I guess you could say that this ESB also stands for Elizabeth’s Son’s Biatch?
Generally, I have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy a British-style bitter. A malty, biscuity flavour isn’t always high on my agenda. However, young Katie brings a great bitterness to the party (quite literally) which offsets the malt nicely. Magnum hops keep her bitter whilst her earthiness can be attributed to the inclusion of Fuggles.
Kala. Wow, Kala. Where do I start? She is a dark and mysterious black IPA. With an abv of 6.4% she’s the type of girl that’s likely to creep up on you slowly before letting you know she’s yours all night. Boasting Centennial and Warrior hop varieties she presents soft citrus aromas and a very clean, dry bitterness that I go looking for in an IPA. I sensed faint liquorice characteristics too. As dark as the night with a soft, lingering, fluffy tan head this IPA is a cracker.
Rather cleverly, Kala takes her name from the Sanskrit word for black. Sanskrit is one of 22 scheduled languages of India…India Pale Ale…IPA…you get the picture. Kala is also a Hindu unit of time. One Kala equates to 144 seconds which, coincidentally, is exactly how long it took for my first glass of Kala to disappear.
Before last Saturday I hadn’t consumed a single beer for over a week (I know – crazy right?!) so it was no surprise that I made good use of joker number four. I now have to sit on the fifth and final joker and make it last two weeks.
How did the darts tournament end up? Well, I was paired with Alexander from three doors down. He’s a big, strapping teenager. “Alexander The Great” I thought to myself. I was wrong. He was bad but I was worse. I blame those two girls for distracting me.