I like beer but it doesn't like me much. Something to do with the yeast causes me to make most unladylike noises - nuf said. However thanks to Brisbane's beer guru Matt Kirkegaard, along with other Brisbane bloggers I've been seduced by beer in a way I never imagined.
We were gathered at Michael Dalton's Fino Food and Wine, a wholesale distributor of gourmet food and wine based in Bulimba, Brisbane. Michael filled a table full of his finest beer food matches and we all helped ourselves while tasting the beer.
Matt started us off with Deus which came in a tall bottle with a champagne cork. Described as the champagne of beers, Deus undergoes a lengthy and costly maturation in the Champagne region of France in a process designed to remove the yeast. Matt describes the beer as almost impossibly complex with flavours of thyme, anise and cloves and perfect with oysters or as an aperitif.
Burleigh Brewing's Hef, a classic Bavarian unfiltered wheat beer was also on the table. This beer had the aroma of banana and clove with a creamy texture and a slight citrus tang. It's a great combo with pork belly, seared scallops, chevre and feta cheeses. And it's brewed right here on the Gold Coast at Burleigh Heads.
Loved the cute label on La Chouffe from Brasserie Dachouffe in Belgium. This blonde ale goes well with smoked salmon tarts, charcuterie and soft cheeses.
The Natural from Murray's Craft Brewery in Port Stephens is a beer conceived to honour Cadel Evan's Tour de France triumph. It is styled after rustic, yeast-driven French country ales with heaps of character.
My favourite of the night was the very unusual flavour of Seeing Double from BrewBoys in Adelaide. This Scotch ale uses peat smoked whisky malt and has a thick mouth feel with caramel and toffee on the palate and relatively low carbonation. We matched it on the night with a great blue cheese but it also goes with dark, bitter chocolate.