Hey Doc, I tried it in Sydney a little while back. It was in a pub on George St I think, pretty close to Capitol theatre. I didn't mind it actually, it was something different. Also tried a little creatures bohemian pils there too.
I have seen this around the place but i have been very suspect of its quality and haven't yet tried it, the bottle doesn't even look like a beer, more like marketed at lolly drink audience, With that and the fact that bottlo's that don't ussually sell 'real' beer have it on their shelves i automatically just pressumed it was just swill in a different bottle. Now that it has been mentioned here i proberly grap one just to say i have but iam already in the mind set that i don't expect it to be what it should be.
Blow fly? or just plain blows?
I think you'll find Action Man and Jayse essentially have the truth of the matter between them.
It's a contract brew, sold using a minimalist but extremely effective marketing stragegy.
Virtually anyone on this site (after completing the required paperwork, and of course having enough up-front cash) could contact a micro, order a contract brew to your own specifications, give it a unique catchy name, and sell it on the net.
I'm not saying there is something wrong with this, but essentially that's all there is to it.
Others do it. I am led to believe in SA alone, Oakbank beer is made interstate under contract, so is a McLaren Vale beer (Boars Rock from memory).
Its quite common. Just like wineries, you don't need a full scale brewery to run your own label.
So long as your marketing allows you to make profit after contracting the product, regardless of its quality....
While we are on the topic of little breweries/new labels and stuff.
Who here has tried the Grand Ridge stuff. I tried a few a couple of weeks ago at a free tasting at the bottlo (what was I doing in there -not buying beer I hope). The only one of notable mention was the Blonde (supposedly a wheat beer), it did have some wheat characteristics. They claim to use all malt for their beers and no sugar, however I don't know if their all malt involved a certain level of malt extact because I'm sure I could detect a certain twang in their that reminded me of extract and my old homebrew. Ok, looking at their site it is supposedly all grain based, maybe their fermentation site is a bit ordinary as it really does have a kind of homebrew taste to some of it. Not as clean as it could possibly be. What are others thoughts?
They also had a Pils (hmmm), an ale, a stout and a few others. Basically I was not too impressed with any of them.
I have to say i have a much higher opinion of them than your first impressions.
I have heard this is where mountian goat and holgate breweries first started brewing there beers also. anyway i like grand ridge beers and look forward to one day going to see the brewery.
We have a loose "beer club" at work and a couple of times a year do a buy up.
At Xmas we buy 24 cases of 12 different styles of beer. There are 12 in the club so you get 4 bottles each of 12 styles. A good way to try some new beers and with that buying power you save about 15 - 20% off normal retail, Last year we did a full run of Aussie beers - most from micros but a few larger ones thrown in, (Coopers Vintage, Matilda's Beez Neez)... but I digress.
One of the beers we bought last year was the Grand Ridge Gippsland Gold. It was one of the favourites of the selection. (I then bought a 6 pack a few months later and it did not taste the same. i think it had been sitting in the bottle shop too long). We also had the Grand Ridge Natural Blonde which did not rate highly.
Just out of interest - the beer club "members" give each beer a simple rating out of ten and we tally up the results. The highest rating beer last xmas was the Coppers Vintage 2002.
(This is also a great way to get crown seal stubbys as most of the beers we buy are non twistys. You just ask the members to save their bottles for you.)
Ah interesting reports. Maybe I should give them another go. As I said i only tried the tastings sized (~30mls) for most of them but they didn't excite me much. I really thought some of them had some flaws. Maybe I'll sit down and work through a bottle of each in different sittings and see what I think again. On that day I bought a mixed six pack containing the natural blonde and the pilsner. The blonde was ok, but I still didn't rate the pilsner much. They certainly have won a few medals though for their beers.
They aren't cheap beers to buy either though. I think off memory the bottle shop i bought them from had them for $20 per six pack (and they were a cheap bottle shop chain). That puts them above LC, most german and british imports and all premium beers.
(I then bought a 6 pack a few months later and it did not taste the same. i think it had been sitting in the bottle shop too long).
Aah the eternal problem of the Micro.
It's a Catch-22.
Sterile Filter or Pastuerise it, and its not quite what you actually brewed.
Go natural and the uncontrollable transport/handling/shelf life factors can do you in.
What should the consumer do?
The best thing I think is...... Brew your own!!.
Failing that, the obvious is not to expect a top brew from a Micro to be so good by the time it reaches the other side of the country. Support your local micro instead. Encourage difference, the way it used to be before megaswill became the norm. That way if you do get to travel, you get to sample true regional variety.
Even with a good discount we paid $66 a case last year for the Gippsland Gold and the Summer Blonde. Only 1 beer was more expensive and that was the Coopers Vintage which we paid $70 / case.
Just as a comparison - the last "beer club buy up" we did was a month ago and we bought 16 cases of Mountain Goat, (mix of the pale ale and the hightail ale). Paid $65 / case. I think these retail for about $75.
Apart from the Pils, all the Grand Ridge beers I have tried have been outstanding. Even at the Brisbane beer fest, where it was served in plastic cups, it was great. I bought a six pack of both the Moonshine and the Supershine (very expensive) and they are stand-out beers by Australian standards, IMO. The Moonshine in particular is a very good scotch ale that is perfect to style.
Dropped in to the Grand Ridge Brewery on a lap of Victoria earlier in the year. The brewers were not around, and the food was average RSL style stuff. Didn't get to try the blonde as the bar was out and barman advised that the rest was locked up for the weekend Really enjoyed the Moonshine (abv 8.5%) heavy scotch ale. If you come from the west, the Grand Ridge Road to Mirboo North is a great route, very scenic etc... and fun to drive.
I meant East, forgot that Australia is not at the top of the world :lol:
...anyhoo back to the blowfly, just caught the back end of A Current Affair tonight ( not my usual viewing honest ), and they were doing an article on Blowfly Brewing and how good it was.
Did anyone catch the whole article?
but on the grand ridge thing
i met the main bloke and his mate at food asia in singapore
a chef and i sniffed out the beer from 1000 paces
was great to get a malty hoppy ale in singers!
interesting bloke but i heard one publican say he was too full of himself on the blower and gave him the heave ho i regards to running his beer through their lines, shame.
very pricey but worth a try!
It was a very simplistic portrayal of a couple of blokes who one day on a golf course bet on a putting shot to start a beer company and bingo he sunk the putt. Very light hearted approach with the labels and market research being the key points. Maybe I missed it but I didnt hear one word about the brewery or styles and methods etc. I havent tried the beer but it did sound like a wanna be mainstream mass production production. I still wish it was me though!!