Home' Bars and Clubs : BAC MayJun 2016 Contents Beer Menu 101
Australia is getting excited about tasty beer. This is
not just great news for breweries, but also for bars
which are increasingly getting behind customer
demand for well-made beer.
Gone are the days where a menu with eight
lagers, one pale ale (that was probably a lager) and
a light will sufce. It’s poor form.
The good thing is that venues, led by a wonderful
culture of curious bartenders, are behind this
change. A good bartender cares about how
beer is made, where it’s from and will offer apt
When I write a menu or a training plan for a
venue I like to keep the following points in mind.
It’s no use having 200 beers on your menu if none
of them move. I’m always way more impressed by
a tidy menu that churns through fresh beer than
some dusty archive of out-of-date beers.
A good way to start could be two lagers
(including a Pilsner and/or Vienna style), two pales
(an Australian and a USA style), a wheat, something
Belgian, something dark and something weird.
I love Russian Imperial Stouts, but they’re not really
for beach cricket. Beer with a context is always
more fun and quite simple to do. Just start by
matching the favours and culture of your beers
to the favours on your menu or to the vibe in
Staff buy-in is the key. Making time for each of your
suppliers to run tastings for staff is a good, simple
way to build familiarity with the product.
Another fun way for the team to learn about beer
is to share a mixed six pack and run a “style tasting”.
Choose a beer style you want to learn about and
pick several beers within that style. Crack all six and
taste them side by side. Drink from wine glasses
to help the aromas and discuss what is different or
similar about each beer. This is a good way for a
group of people to get their head around what they
expect from a beer within a category.
BY MIRO BELLINI
BRAND AMBASSADOR - BROOKLYN BREWERY
NEW TASMANIAN DISTILLERY OPENS
Huon Valley cider producer Willie Smith's has officially commissioned Australia's first locally
built alembic still. The $200,000 investment will be used to make apple brandy, or Calvados,
and will build on the established reputation of the Tasmanian apple industry as well as Willie
Smith's reputation as a craft beverage creator. Local still maker, Peter Bailly from Knapp Lewer
Contracting, created the still as the first purpose-built alembic copper still in Tasmania and
potentially Australia, according to Willie Smith's owner Sam Reid. He added that it was expected
to become another key element in the state's boutique spirit scene -- taking the number of
distilleries in Tasmania to 15.
"We feel that this will be another boost for tourism in the Huon Valley and Southern Tasmania
and give people even more of a reason to visit our great region," he says. "There are viewing
windows from where you can watch the still in operation along with tours planned for the future."
HISTORY OF THE STILL STYLE
The Charentais-style alembic still was designed in the early 16th Century in the Cognac region
of France, where it is still used for fine Cognac production and remains the still of choice for
Calvados producers in Normandy in France. So it was the obvious still choice for the Willie
Smith's team. Willie Smith's head cider maker, and now distiller, Dr Tim Jones, was pleased with
the initial spirit run off the still, saying "the spirit is smooth and fine, with creamy complexity and
apple aroma -- it expresses the characteristics of the cider we produce for this spirit and is also
the result of this wonderfully designed and built still."
BILL LARK'S BLESSING
The still's commissioning launch was conducted by the 'godfather' of Tasmania's whisky and
spirits industry, Bill Lark, and saw him filling the first 100 litre sherry barrel -- a product that will
be released in three years' time.
"The extension of their already successful cider production is a smart business move, and the
production of a high-quality Tasmanian apple brandy can only serve to strengthen our industry
which has already gained high international accolades for its whiskies and gins," says Lark. "The
Tasmanian spirits industry is now growing rapidly and I know that the very supportive attitude of
the industry welcomes and congratulates Willie Smith's on this exciting development."
WHEN WILL IT BE READY?
The yet-to-be-named three-year-old apple brandy will be available when it has matured, and in
the meantime there is apple schnapps and soon pear and cherry schnapps. According to Jones
the first tastings of the unmatured brandy garnered great reviews.
"Guests tasted the first spirit run from the new still -- a very clean apple-based spirit that still
exhibited strong Willie Smith's characteristics -- and the overwhelming feedback was positive with
everyone excited to see how it will mature over the next three years, which is the requirement for
Calvados in France," he says. "It's a process of patience but we think it will be well worth the wait."
Links Archive BAC MarApl 2016 BAC JulyAugust 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page