Beer Of The Month Club Goes to The Holgate Brewhouse

Well it’s that time of the month again folks where we search for the latest and greatest craft beer for members and gift recipients alike. So we started the search this month by first looking at previous beer of the month club selections and came to the conclusion it was about time we featured a beer of the bitter variety. But it had to be an award winner (a prestigious or multi award winner, either one, we’re not fussy) and after much deliberation decided to head up the Calder Freeway to the Holgate micro brewery in Woodend Victoria.

Woodend Sign on the Calder Freeway

Woodend Sign on the Calder Freeway

The Holgate Brewhouse was founded by Paul and Natasha Holgate after seeing the specialty craft beer industry thriving in the USA and Europe while travelling in the 1990′s. And as a direct result they decided to bring their love of craft beer to Australia and started brewing their own in 1999 in a small town called Woodend in Victoria. And after a few successful brews the Holgates decided to take over the old Keatings Hotel and called it the Holgate hotel where today you’ll find them brewing their own range of craft beers, serving it on tap and cooking up some wonderful gourmet food using the best local ingredients.

Holgate Brewhouse

Holgate Brewhouse

We arrived around lunchtime on a Sunday and found the Holgate staff busy pouring pots and taking food orders. And while we waited to speak with Colin (aka ”the manager”) I took the opportunity to take in the atmosphere and get to know the pub a little better where I saw families, couples and friends seated at the bar and inside tables enjoying a beer or two with matching gourmet food being ordered by what seemed like the majority of customers. And then it appeared (drum roll please); the famous Holgate Brewhouse tasting paddle with not 4 but 8 different craft beers on offer. But be warned if you’re driving folks because it’s equivalent to four standard drinks which meant I could safely taste about half of each but by no means left disappointed.

Holgate Brewhouse beer tasting paddle

Holgate Brewhouse beer tasting paddle

And after much deliberation (even though we knew what we wanted, but it’s safe to try before you buy and someone’s got to do it) we decided on the Holgate Extra Special Bitter for the April Beer of the month and will be back for more in the not too distant future. Watch this space.

Rob loading beer cases

Rob loading beer cases

Quote from the Holgate Brewhouse website:


ESB
Extra Special Bitter
5.0% AV / OG 1.046 / IBU 40 / EBC 20
Gold Medal – AIBA 2000, 2001, 2006;
2010 Gold & Trophy Royal Perth Beer show 2009

Your new best friend. A long-standing favourite among beer enthusiasts and our most awared beer. A classic earthy English bitter you meet in the pub and invite home for a round of snooker and darts.

And that’s what we did (except without the snooker and darts unfortunately), but enjoyed the journey just the same. So thanks Colin (the Holgate Brewhouse manager) and team for your hospitality and would highly recommend the experience for all beer lovers.

Cheers,

Robert (founder and ceo of Gift Of The Month Clubs)

Are you on Facebook? Tell us what you think about the Holgate Extra Special Bitter.

 

Drink Ron Burgundy Scotch And Be a Man

Ron Burgundy (infamously played by Will Ferrell) first had his own brand of ice cream called Ron Burgundy Scotchy, Scotch ice cream. And now thanks to Riviera Imports there’s a new Scotch in town called the “Ron Burgundy Great Odin’s Raven Special Reserve”.

Ron Burgundy Scotch

Ron Burgundy Scotch

The Scotch is bottled in Scotland with a 40 percent ABV and blend made with whiskies from Speyside, Highlands and Islay.

Riviera are selling their new Scotch for around $25 per bottle and say  it’s “Not just for Anchorman fans because the Scotch is perfect for anight of jazz flute or just sitting at home pouring it in your Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch ice cream”.

Long live the anchorman of anchormans, Ron Burgundy.

Looking for a gift? Try a Gift Of The Month Club, the gift that keeps on giving month after month when other gifts are gone and forgotten. Great for corporate gifts as well.

Unique Gift Ideas for Mothers Day

Did you know Mothers Day was first called “Mothering Sunday” but was later changed to Mothers Day?

Mothers Day gift ideas

Mothers Day gift ideas

Mothers Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May every year in Australia and was reportedly first proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in the year 1914 in the United States. And was set for this day in May after a campaign by Anna Jarvis (in America) whose own mother had passed away on May 9. However the history of Mothers Day in England is quite different.

The history of Mothers Day is actually a complicated subject and will depend on who you are talking to or your reference points; so we’re going to stick to the fun part (or at least make the shopping part easier and a lot more exciting) of trying to find a unique Mothers Day gift this year.

The following gifts ideas are unique to Australia and were recently introduced by Gift Of The Month Clubs. But res assured they are gifts every Mother would love to receive and are something Mums in America (or Moms) have been receiving as gifts for years. And now thanks to Gift Of The Month Clubs they’re available in Australia.

1. Does your Mother like flowers? Of course! Everybody does and it brings sunshine and happiness to all.

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.” – Luther Burbank

So why not give Mum the Flower Of The Month Club this year for Mothers Day, where members receive a different bunch of the seasons best flowers delivered every month for 3, 6 or 12 months! A truly wonderful gift idea for Australian Mums.

Flowers delivered

Flower Of The Month Club

2. Does Mum like a glass of wine (or two :) on Mothers Day? Why not surprise her with a membership to the Wine Of The Month Club where members received a new bottle of boutique wine delivered to their home or office every month for 3, 6 or 12 months!

Wine Of The Month Club

Wine Of The Month Club

3. Does Mum or Dad own a coffee machine? Well here’s one of the best gift ideas for coffee lovers. Give Mum a membership to the Coffee Of The Month Club where members receive a different pack of specialty coffee beans from around the world every month! Ahh, we can smell the beans from here, cant you?

Coffee Of The Month Club

Coffee Of The Month Club

Gift Of The Month Clubs are the gift that keeps on giving when other gifts are gone and forgotten. Thanks for stopping by and..

Happy Mothers Day Australia!

MICRO BREWING CRAFT BEER COURSE

Have you ever wondered how you could turn your passion in to a career?

Ballarat Micro Brewing Course

Ballarat Micro Brewing Course

Well the Federation University of Australia in Ballarat has designed a course for students with a passion for beer. And for some reason we don’t think they’re going to struggle finding new applicants, do you?

The micro brewing of craft beer goes way back from brewing lager, porter, ale, pilsner and more and continues to be refined. And students can now bring their passion also known as weekend activities in to the classroom and make a career from it.

A Graduate Certificate Diploma of Brewing is on offer and focuses on students developing a sound knowledge of the core concepts required in the malting and brewing industries. Plus there’s a short course in the art of brewing craft and boutique beers covering the basic science behind the art.

And if the craft beer receives a pass it gets sold at local Ballarat bars, providing there’s still some beer left after students have thoroughly tested the end product for quality control purposes.

So keep a look out Carlton Cold, XXXX and VB drinkers for the latest craft beer on offer at local Ballarat pubs.

Have you been looking for a beer gift? Give someone a membership to the Beer Of The Month Club 

Rob’s Beer Of The Month Club Adventure

This is the story about my journey down to the Mornington Peninsula to visit the Mornington Micro Brewery for the March Beer Of The Month Club selection.

Mornington brewery

Mornington brewery

I had previously called Matt (Mornington Brewery Managing Director) to talk about the Beer of the month club who was happy to arrange a meet and greet at the brewery. So I travelled down the highway towards Portsea, turned right to Mornington and met with Ben (one of the Brewery Managers) who showed me around, poured some beer for tasting, snapped a few photos and had a good old chat about the breweries different craft beers on tap. And found the experience lived up to their motto of, “Be true to the Beer & those who Drink it”.

Mornington micro brewery entrance

Mornington micro brewery entrance

When I arrived at the Mornington Micro Brewery my immediate thought was “it doesn’t look like much” but when I went inside I could see the time and money invested in building such a traditional rustic micro brewery experience. It was like walking in to another world and discovering it was better inside than out and could see it as all part of the charm of a local micro brewery done extremely well.

Mornington micro brewery tanks

Mornington micro brewery tanks

It was around 1pm on Sunday and the brewery would be open to the public between 12 midday to 7pm. But if you plan on visiting this hidden gem on the Mornington Peninsula and want a table make sure you arrive early because every table (inside and outside) was taken with groups of friends enjoying the different varieties of beer on tap, boutique wine and gourmet pizza made next to the bar. I asked Ben, “does it get a bit rowdy as the day goes on?” and he replied, “it can” and paused, “when the band gets going”. And people were there with their wives, girlfriends, husbands, boyfriends, Mums, Dads and friends happily enjoying the place as one big happy group and I’d recommend it to anyone with a taste for premium craft beer, wine and pizza and the atmosphere of a band.

Craft beer on tap at the bar

Craft beer on tap at the bar

Every Sunday the Mornington Brewery features a live band and today the Tail Draggers were playing (see below photo), followed by the Good Morning Blues on the 28th of March and the Backyard Brew the following week. So if you plan on doing something a bit different on Anzac Day, head on down to the Mornington Brewery to catch the Pierce Bros playing. Cant go wrong.

Taildraggers band

Taildraggers band

The Mornington micro brewery brews a wide range of craft beer including an American Pale Ale, Brown, Porter, Witbier, IPA and Specialty batches designed and crafted by AG (also known as the Mornington Brewery head brewer). And after much deliberation, advice and recommendations from the brewery we chose the Mornington Pale Ale, an American style Pale Ale with an Alcohol by volume (ABV) content of 4.7%.

Rob enjoying a Pale Ale at the bar

Rob enjoying a Pale Ale at the bar

As soon as I had my first taste of the Pale Ale I said to Ben, “nice” with a big grin and it just got better from there. And the best way I can describe it is to say it’s a craft beer so deep in flavour and craftmanship yet light enough to be enjoyed time and time again.

So there we have it, the story of how the Mornington Brewery American style Pale Ale became the March 2014 Beer of the month! Highly recommended.

cheers,

Robert (founder of the Beer Of The Month Club)