In celebration of Good Beer Week, The Crafty Squire created a five-course beer and fine food pairing entitled Loch, Stock, and Barrel. Apologies to Jason Statham fans, this event was not paying homage to the classic cult film. Instead the theme references the full spectrum of ingredients listed on the menu. ‘Loch’ signifies foods harvested from the water. ‘Stock’ refers to livestock animals. ‘Barrel’ denotes the craft beer samples all aged in…duh…barrels.
Crafty Squire manager Joe Baily was joined by special guest brewmasters and an elite beer judge, sharing funny anecdotes and educational introductions before each beer. Over plates of smoked salmon and an impressive selection of seafood, we sampled amber ale and the honey-hued 150 Lashes Pale Ale. Our host explained how seventy percent of a beer’s flavor comes from its aroma and that pouring beer into a glass brings out its flavor and releases extra gases responsible for bloating. Ah ha!
Between the third and the fourth course, we were taught how to properly pour a craft beer. Immediately a friendly but heated debate broke out over how much head a craft beer should have. The takeaway lesson was that strong international and personal foam preferences exist.
Beer lovers rejoiced as we sampled several limited edition and award winning ales, lagers, pilsners, and IPAs. The craft beer and food pairings impressed both beer aficionados and novices alike. The food pairings were thoughtful, well executed, and delectable. The Chancer Golden ale and the Jack of Spades porter stood out.
The unexpected highlight of the event was the discussion about the raw ingredients of beer. We sampled malt grains and sniffed hop pellets. Luckily, we were warned in advance against eating the hop pellets. Newbie mistake averted.
The pleasant atmosphere stood out as much as the beer. Sitting side by side at two large wooden picnic tables everyone chatted away happily. The event was fun, relaxing, and unassuming. ‘Tis the beauty of beer.
Vanessa is recent Melbourne transplant from California and a great enthusiast of all of Melbourne’s fun, interesting and delicious events.
For more information about future events at The Crafty Squire (127 Russell St, Melbourne) visit their website.