Chronology getting a bit tricky at this distance, but I went to Mrs Parmas, Melbourne’s shrine to the Parmigiana and craft beer, at least twice in 2010 and took notes. Here’s the list from visit one, exact date unknown but probably in February so hopelessly out of order.
66. Northern Rivers Stout. Wow.
67. Stone and Wood Pacific Ale – passionfruit pale. Not bitter. 4. Something
68. Mrs Parma’s Temple Special Bitter malty but dry. Slightly spicey, perhaps a hint of citrus 4.7 per cent.
69. Gippsland Gold malty but sweeter. Less interesting but v drinkable.4.9 per cent.
70. Holgate Temptress Chocolate Porter – choc, vanilla, smooth, belies it’s 6 per cent strength but too cold!
A mixed bag, with the dark beers obviously the winners on the night. I wish I’d said something a bit more descriptive about the Northern Rivers Stout, which I’ve not had since. The Holgate Temptress is a bit of a classic and now comes in bigger than standard bottles with a rather expensive price tag.
Five beers and a parma in, it appears I was not ready for the night to end. I decided to go to Beer Deluxe. Here’s the new beer I drank that night.
71. Holgate Double Trouble 8 per cent dubbel. Bit thin.
I went back to Mrs Parmas on 6 June and tried some more…
72. 3 Ravens Dark Smoke – similar colour to Schlenkerla but head not so big, prob cos colder! Aged in smoky barrels(?) delicate smoke taste, barley taste prominent too. 5.2% exclusive to mrs p’s. Nice.
Charming barmaid proms ahead to my next drink, 73. 3 Ravens Ale Noir. Aged in Pinot noir barrels. More subtle . Unbidden, gives me taste. I am sold. A slightly reddish tinge, soon disappearing head. Brandy- like taste, or whiskey? Perhaps that’s the result of the grape and grain tastes meeting. Full on anyway . Warming on a wet Melbourne winter night.
And both tasted better after being allowed some time to warm. Chilled glasses too!
At some point around this time Louise’s friend Ruth left some beer at our house for reasons now lost in the mists of time. This allowed me to add 74. Hahn Premium to my list but it doesn’t really need a description. Standard.
On that June trip I spent the Saturday in Brighton, the posh Melbourne suburb that Percy Grainger spent much of his early life in, making recordings for a project that I still haven’t quite worked out yet. While I was there I bought a couple of bottles from the excellent Cloudwine Cellars, 75. Prickly Moses Otway Stout and 76. 3 Ravens Black Stout. What did they taste like? My recollection is that they were both good enough.