Monday, 8 July 2013

Melbourne Trip Part 5: Moon Dog and Mountain Goat

Day 5 of our trip, we got up mid morning for some quick coffees before heading off to the tram. Waited 20 minutes for a Number 25 tram before examining the schedule and realising it doesn't run during the day... Oops. Swapped to a 109 and 10 minutes later we were in Abbotsford at the Moon Dog Brewery

The Moon Dog Brewery in all it's Glory
Inside, we met Josh and Carl, who were hard at work in the office. Introductions done, we headed through to the back of the brewery to check out the setup. Chandeliers adorned the roof, starkly contrasting their industrial surrounds. 5 Stainless steel fermenters, all filled with various brews filled the majority of the room, with an area down the back for the mash tun and kettle. In the kettle, we got to see a sneak preview of a new 'dark lager with chipotle'. 

Moon Dog, in all it's glory

Next up, we moved to tastings. First cab off the rank had to be the Love Tap double lager, the only non 'limited release' beer they do. A strongm hoppy lager with a good amount of hop flavours out of the bottle, tasting it straight of the fermenter was another thing entirely. Huge hop flavours, and a slightly reduced ABV from 7.1 % down to 5.9%, in order to make it a more sessionable beer. Overall very enjoyable.

A couple we tasted, a couple we didn't

The next few tastings we went through their Mr Mistoffeelees, a sour, fruity wild ale, The Black Lung III, the latest release of their Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout and the Great American Challenge, a "Shiraz-barrel aged funko-trappist beer", which was at once funky like a belgian pale, and also distinctly reminiscent of a nice Shiraz... strange combo yet an exceptional beer.

The final beer we scored for tasting was a bottle of their newest (not in stores yet) release, their Nogne O collaboration that had previously served as their GABS beer, the Selvmordstokt, a "100% Wheat Porter with Sour Cherry Wine". Wow. The closest flavours I can describe to what I tasted in this beer were Cherry and Coconut... Something like a Black Forest Cake. Just exceptional, and totally unexpected from a beer. Completely Obscure.

Black Forest Cake: The Beer

After a couple of hours at Moon Dog, we said our Thankyous and our Goodbyes, and we set our to grab some lunch. Not 10 minutes later we found ourselves at the Royston Hotel, for some light grazing and a couple more beers, including a fantastic Three Ravens English Ale on Hand Pump. Ace.

Next stop, we made our way down Bridge Rd to Slow Beer, Australia's first dedicated Craft Beer store. We were after a couple of Moon Dog's rarer brews, and they definitely didn't disappoint. Left carrying armfulls of Moon Dog, as well as a couple of other notable beers such as the Bridge Road Aurora Borealis, more a liqueur than a beer.

The entrance to Slow Beer
Our last stop for the day was the Mountain Goat Brewery, which was just around the corner from the Royston Hotel. An unassuming warehouse from the outside, the inside was quite the shock.

Warehouse Outside
Awesome Bar Inside

Tried a couple of Seasonals, the "In Randy", an Eastern Brown Ale with Nutmeg and Cinnamon, and "Mike's Third Nut", a delicious Nut Brown Ale. Grabbed a couple more to go, and headed back to the apartment to call it a night.

Next Time: Into the Country we go!

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