As mentioned in my previous post, a recent busy patch at work has resulted in some tardy (okay, extremely slack) blogging. Consequently, this post has been sitting in the drafts now for well over a month now – since that last spell of very hot summer weather we had in February and is very, very overdue. Anyway, enough rambling excuses.
To make the most of the last of the few weeks of uni holidays, The Brother in Law came down to visit us a self-declared long weekend
. While The Brother In Law is not much of a talker, he certainly enjoys a fine brew – particularly on one of those truly hot summer’s day - so we used his visit as an excuse to drive out to the Yarra Valley and stock up on supplies.
Everyone knows that the Yarra Valley is a fantastic Australian wine region, however a lot of people don’t realise that there is also a thriving craft beer and cider scene out there. In fact one of my absolute favorite beers – the White Rabbit White Ale – is brewed in locally in Healesville (which is just over an hour’s drive outside of Melbourne).
The White Ale is produced using an open ferment method – which results in a ‘cloudy’ appearance (similar to a Hoegaarden). On the website, the experts describe the flavour of the White Ale as follows “White Rabbit White Ale delivers refreshing hints of coriander, juniper berry and bitter orange, with fresh fruity aromas and only a gentle amount of bitterness. A touch of local honey naturally conditions the ale, with a final abv of 4.5%”. I am not sure if I could taste the juniper berry, but I can say that the beer was icy cold, had a distinct fruity aroma and was very refreshing.
If you want to sample the beer straight from the source, the White Rabbit Brewery is open to the public for tastings each day 11:00am to 5:00pm. The Brewery can only be described as the ultimate man’s shed. The cavernous space is filled with gleaming stainless steel brewing equipment, tables fashioned from shopping crates and the all important pyramids of beer and cider on every available inch of floor space. You can even by beer themed underwear if that sort of thing floats your boat. For a mere $7, you can buy yourself a refreshing pint of beer, sink back into a green velour, uni-student style couch and kick back. Buy some local olives for $5 to snack on while you sip on your beer for a wonderfully refreshing afternoon snack.
If you like what you try and don’t want the afternoon to end, for $65 you can take a carton (24 bottles for non-Australian readers) home. If you ask nicely, the guys who work at the Brewery will even carry your carton out to the car for you!