You know, every now and then, you have a beer that gives you a “next level” experience, it’s more than just a great tasting liquid in a bottle. Sometimes, it’s about who you are with, or where you are, or maybe the food you have with that liquid, but when you have finished that bottle of beer you have done more than just quenched your thirst, you have enjoyed a craft beer experience!
For me, I had one of those experiences last weekend. But before I tell you about that, please indulge me in telling you a bit about me, as this is the first time I have written an article for SommBeer.com.
My name is Chris Lukianenko, and I love the craft beer industry with an absolute passion. I work in a pretty ho-hum job as a Communications Consultant, but for 7 years I worked for one of the two large beer companies in Australia, looking after local area marketing, and their craft beer portfolio. Since leaving that job, due to my role being more about punching numbers than engaging drinkers, I have struggled a bit with being on the outer in the industry. So, I took up home brewing and started a beer blog that led to a variety of social media pages, and now producing video content to share with my slowly growing group of interested onlookers.
Via one of those social media channels, I got a message out of the blue from a follower that suggested I do guest post on Sommbeer…so here I am.
Now, back to my recent beer experience…
It was last weekend down at the shack (holiday home for you non-Aussies) with my family. It’s a great place we have by the beach and it is perfect for enjoying a few beers with friends and family after long days in the sun, fishing, swimming and generally having a great time. A few pale ales as the sun went down lead into a meal of roast lamb on the weber barbecue, followed by a few after dinner night caps.
My Dad and brother both love to drink dark beers, as do I, so I had loaded up the fridge with a few different ones to share with them. As I said before, beer drinking occasions aren’t always about the beer. For this experience, I was in my happy place with my family, sitting on the couch watching Australia beat the South Africans in a Day/Night cricket match, playing 3 handed cribbage, and drinking dark beer with my Dad and older brother…how good is that. Apologies for those of you in other countries that have no interest in cricket, or have never heard of the card game Cribbage…look them up, they are both great past times!
Anyway, we were onto our third dark beer, having already drained a bottle of the “Tank 6” 9.2% Imperial Stout from my friend’s brewery, Batch Brewing Company in Marrickville, NSW. The second, a few bottles from a local brewery here in Tasmania, the Stack’s Bluff 5% Oatmeal Stout from Van Dieman Brewing. Both stouts were magnificent, but were entrees to the main event, the majestic Oak Aged 10.2% Imperial Stout from the great Moa Brewing Co. in New Zealand.
I love sharing dark beers with my Dad, he really enjoys them…my brother on the other hand “likes” them, but doesn’t really share my passion for dissecting the aromatics and subtleties of the taste. He gives me that “you’re a beer snob” look when I start talking about roast notes and the mahogany hues of the beer in the glass as it laces down the side. But Dad, he nods his head and pretends that he is as interested as I am, and for that I thank him.
The Moa Imperial Stout is a beer that you can get all beer-geeky over, it’s pretty complex and most of all delicious. I won’t get too beer-geek on you, because my enjoyment of this beer was just as much about spending the quality time with family, as it was about the roasty dark liquid in my glass. Aged in French Oak, this beer, while strong and bold, it is also quite mellow on the palate. It’s apparently 100 IBU’s, but having been aged in oak seems to have reduced it from being punchy and bitter to really nicely balanced. You have all of the aromas of coffee and mocha to entice your senses, and much like a fine Shiraz, you get a few spicy notes to tantalise your taste buds. In a word, this beer was “Outstanding”.
Suffice to say, this was the beer of the night, and after a big day in the sun and a couple of big after dinner beers to relax us, the three of us were very much ready for bed. So off we went upstairs, our heads hitting the pillow as we dreamed of silky smooth liquids, cascading into tulip glasses and billowing roasty aromas. And then, according to our wives, all three of us proceeded to shake the foundations of the house as the famous Lukianenko family “snore-chestra” belted out a few random melodies from our nasal passages!
Cheers to great beers!
Chris Lukianenko, otherwise known as the Beer Healer, lives in Tasmania, Australia and writes his beer blog on beerhealer.com purely for enjoyment. Always keen to try new beers and share his thoughts, he has recently branched out into creating videos on his Youtube and Facebook pages, with his “How Not To Homebrew” series proving quite popular, as he attempts to film his brew days and remember to pay attention to the brews in the kettle.