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.
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.
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.
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.
Quote from the Holgate Brewhouse website:
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.
Robert (founder and ceo of Gift Of The Month Clubs)
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