Ok, I know I’m falling WAY behind with the recap of my North America trip, but I need to take some time out to mention some local noise that I heard over the weekend. Noisy, yellow, beer fuelled noise that could be heard echoing through the streets of Milton, Teneriffe, New Farm and West End. Noise that, I’m proud to say, I was a part of – the launch of South East QLD’s latest brewery, Noisy Minor.
Noisy Minor is the smaller, more extreme arm of the new Fortitude Brewing Company located on Mt Tamborine. The awesome crew are headed up by Gerard ‘Ged’ Connors and Jim O’Connor (founders/directors) and Ian Watson (head brewer, who you may remember from Murray’s) The Noisy Minor name comes from the fact that they’re a MINOR brewery that plan on making lots of NOISE (see what they did there?). They also take inspiration from the Noisy Miner bird (yep, a double entendre…they’re clever like that) since it’s a loud and sometimes aggressive little critter that ain’t afraid to take on the bigger beasts. You can get the full low down at their website.
Now I’ve never been to a beer/brewery launch before, so had no idea what I was walking into. I imagined that it would be a rather reserved event, with beer aficionados sitting at tables, quaffing ales from small glasses while discussing the malt and hop composition, with plenty of note taking all round. That wasn’t what happened…
This event was a party!
As per the invitation we all gathered at the Scratch bar, where we were given our bright yellow t-shirts branded with the brewery logo and the hash tag of the day (NO FAUX MO FO’S!) as well as a yellow megaphone to hang around our necks. There were eight beers being poured for the first time through the day, shared between four of Brisbane’s favourite beer venues, with a party bus supplied by Brisbane Beer Tours to take the yellow crowd from place to place. At 2pm sharp, the festivities began.
The first beer to be unveiled was the Saison Froment (5.2%), a 100% Wheat Saison. This is an impressive achievement – I’m still not savvy enough to understand exactly why this is so impressive (something about wheat being a bitch to brew with) but those in the know were suitably impressed. It was dry as a bone, with enough spice and ‘mineral’ flavours to keep things fresh and interesting. This light and fresh beginning was soon interrupted by beer number two, the Grim RIPA (7.4%). This one is a big black rye IPA i.e. a beer that was brewed just for me! It smelt friggin’ amazing, with the hops taking ownership of the beer, allowing some spicy rye to mingle with the bitterness at the end to leave the tongue buzzing.
The bus then took us across Brisbane to see how many yellow shirts we could cram into the tiny Tippler’s Tap, and to try the next two beers. Beer number three for the day was the Red Rye’ding Hood (4.9%), probably the most clever beer name of the day. I was stoked to have another rye beer on the list, and had the words ‘hop bomb’ flashing in my head. Unfortunately for me it wasn’t the hop bomb I was hoping for, instead being…easy, kind, and tasty…just like red riding hood I guess! We were also told to watch out for the big bad wolf coming soon (a DIPA…can’t wait). The politeness of the Rye’ding hood was shattered by the next beer, Yastrebov (9.4%), a Russian Ukrainian Imperial Stout. According to Ian it had a heap of roasted malt in it, and it’s got a heap of alcohol in it, so it’s obviously a pretty intense brew, right? Actually, I was surprised by just how balanced, and sweet, and drinkable this was. I’ve never been a huge fan of stouts, but I’ll be searching for this one during winter.
The now MUCH noisier bus then travelled to Bitter Suite. The looks on the faces of their customers, witnessing this tidal wave of rowdy yellowness approaching to end the peacefulness they’d been enjoying, was priceless. Two more beers were on tap here, the first of which was the Three Dragons Burton Ale (6.9%). I barely remember having this beer, because at this point in the night I found myself talking to two men who I hold in high regard; Dr Brett Stubbs and Mr Matt Kirkegaard. Hence all of my concentration was going into trying converse in a coherent and intelligent way, which was being hindered by my not so slow slip into inebriation (I think I handled myself ok though). This was followed by the Doppleganger (8.1%). Labelled as an India Dopplebock, described as ‘a traditional German Dopplebock, with the shit hopped out of it’…yep, that sums it up perfectly. It just beat out the Grim RIPA as my favourite beer of the day, but it easily won the most clever beer STYLE name – a Hoppelbock.
The final stop for the party bus was across the river at Archive, where we took over the Next Door Cellars. By now the crowd had descended into near anarchy, and the bartenders simply lined up full glasses of beer on the bar top for anyone with a yellow shirt to grab – I’m sure some conveniently dressed punters probably got in on this. The second last beer for the day was the ANZUS IPA (6%). Admittedly I was getting a bit sideways by this stage, but I remember this being a very drinkable IPA, exactly what you’d want in your glass on a hot summer day. I also learnt a few interesting beer facts, thanks to Scott from Stone & Wood; 1) The Simcoe hops are what gives this beer it’s great pine forest aroma, and 2) The copious use of hops gave the beer an awesome head retention, because the hop oils actually coat the carbon bubbles and help to prevent them from popping! I was then presented with the final beer of the day, the RSVP (6.2%) a Rum Smoked Vanilla Porter. Since this was the final beer in a day full of BIG beers, I honestly can’t recall the flavours out of this one. All I know is this: my untapped comment was ‘This is how you do a porter #nofauxmofos’ and it was tasty enough for me to have a second one…that fact in itself says a lot.
Needless to say, I had a fantastic day. It was the first time that I’ve really stepped into an event like this, and even though I initially felt out of my league (I’m just a blogger after all) in no time I was enjoying beers alongside the brewers who brew the beer I love, the bartenders who pour it, and my fellow bloggers who write about it. It’s true that people who enjoy good beer are good people in general. To those I met on the day, it was great putting faces to names, and real names to Twitter handles. I’m sure it won’t be long between drinks.
A big thank you needs to go to the four host venues. They opened up their doors so that a rowdy bunch of beer folk could fill their venues and drink, more or less for free, during their busy Saturday evening business. Again, this goes to show how happy the beer community is to come together to help each other out, even at their own expense.
And to the crew at Noisy Minor, a massive thank you for inviting this curious blogger to be a part of the day. It was a great event, and you should all be proud of what you’ve achieved so far. I’m looking forward to the Fortitude.
As I mentioned earlier, my intention was to take detailed notes about the eight beers so I could pass that on to the community. That didn’t happen – I was having far too much fun actually drinking the beer and meeting new people. Just know this; if you’re a fan of extreme, unusual and rare styles of beer, then seek the Noisy Minor range out. You won’t be disappointed.