I mentioned in one of my first posts that there is story behind how I ended up wanting to home brew. Over the next few weeks I’ll share that story with you.
Unlike the stereotypical Aussie male, I didn’t get into drinking beer for a long time. I grew up in a household where wine was by far the first, second, third, forth and fifth choice of drink. Oh, and there was tea. The focus on wine was so important that family holidays tended to be based around visiting wine regions. At home there was a good small range of spirits, but no beer.
It wasn’t until the end of my first year of Uni that I really started drinking beer. I only had a few beers here and there in my first year Then I went on an Archaeology dig in Cyprus for two months from start of November to end of December. The wine was horrible. The spirits weren’t akin to paint stripper. And beer was amazingly cheap, especially when you return the empty bottles. There was a lot of beer consumed.
After that, there were many Archaeology digs where beer was the drink of choice. I remember one dig at Port Arthur in Tasmania. We worked out that between a small group of us we drank about a pallet of beer in three weeks!
Apart from that, beer still wasn’t my first choice when going out, or staying in, for a drink. I wasn’t excited about the stuff. Every beer tried seamed to be pretty much the same, mass produced tasteless lager.
Over a period of 8-9 years I would slowly learn about things other than lagers. Guinness, Kilkenny, Coopers and Mountain Goat were some of the first adventures into non-lager beers. Little Creatures and some of the more obscure ones would pop up from time to time.
A turning point for me was the very first Harvest Picnic at Werribee Park, maybe 2005 or later. There were a few micro breweries with stands, including Grand Ridge and Red Duck. It was here that I tasted for the first time, and feel in love with, Red Duck’s Golden Dragon, a Celtic ale.
Then in 2008 on holiday in Europe I met up with a friend in Bristol and discovered the amazing world of real (English) ales.
The following year I met a guy through work who was originally from England. Ian would become a great friend. Over the next couple years we would discover the wonderful range of quality beers in Australia.