The Tasmanian Taste Festival

Caroline: It was a beautiful weekend for the Taste Festival down by the waterfront! Everyone came out to support local food/beer and wine! It’s so awesome having events like this that make it easy to try so much, all in one place!

Kris: Beautiful weather, great food, beer and company. What else could you ask for? The Taste Festival is week long event, celebrating all there is to love about Tasmania.

Kris: First stop, Observatory Hill for some Riesling and next door is one of our favourite Hobart Restaurants, Vanidol’s. We decided that a glass of 2008 Reserve Riesling would be a great match to a Thai beef salad. The wine is showing some aspects of it’s age; honeycomb etc.. but still has some lemon/lime flavours and some crisp apple/pear character as well. A great wine to drink with the Thai salad. We also tried the Crispy Quail, which would have been a great partner with the Observatory Hill 2011 Pinot Grigio.

Caroline: Every time we’ve been to Vanidol’s it has been delicious, and their food at Taste was no exception!

Caroline: The thai beef salad was full of delicious contrast, warm and cool, sweet and sour and spicy, tender and crunchy. It was the perfect snack for a warm afternoon. Plenty of chili and lime and zip! A cold, crisp riesling washed it down beautifully…

Kris: Our next mission was to match a selection of cheeses from Thorpe Farm in Bothwell with some of our favourite Tasmanian craft beers.

Caroline: We got a ‘taste’ (a healthy taste) of (from left to right) the Ironhouse Porter, Moo Brew Hefeweizen and Seven Shed’s Paradise Pale.

Kris: I matched the Camembert style cheese with the Paradise Pale from Seven Sheds.It is a refreshing English style summer ale, brewed with barley, malted wheat and Styrian Golding Hops. A classic match for Chevre is Wheat Beer, so Moo Brew’s Hefeweizen was an ideal accompaniment to this amazing cheese. This current batch is quite clear, but still maintaining the classic flavours and aromas of the style. Our third cheese to match with a local beer was a cow’s milk blue. I decided the Ironhouse Porter would be an ideal match with the rich, creamy blue.It is an English style Dark Ale with chocolate and caramel characteristics.

Caroline: If you want to read/learn more about matching beer and cheese please check out our older posts: Chimay Blue and Cheese and International beer and Cheese Matching. Happy cheesing!

Next up, our friends at Josef Chromy

Kris: I also really enjoyed sampling the wines from Josef Cromy, from the Tamar Valley. The Brut Rose was a great wine to match the raspberry tart Caroline discovered at the Christmas Hills Berry Farm stall.

Caroline: It was a long, hard day full of research for me and Kris, but hey, somebody’s gotta do it.

Moo Brew Stout Tasting

We had some friends over a few weeks ago to have a side by side tasting of the Moo Brew Oak Aged Imperial Stouts from 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Scotty is a brewer for Moo Brew and Kate is a chef; both love to eat and drink so we get along very well.

It was on the 4th of July so for Caroline and Scotty (also American) I made pulled pork, potato salad, and Bruny Island wallaby kranskys. Kate and Scotty brought over an awesome mexican street salad and some NorthCoast IPA from California.

I fell in love with pulled pork whilst visiting the U.S. American BBQ is awesome and is a classic beer food too. It tasted really good with NorthCoast Pale Ale, which is a malty English style Ale.

2007: This was still drinking really well. It had a rum and raisin character and a great subtle amount of vanilla and coconut from the oak.

2008: Unfortunately, this bottle was oxidized, so we had to tip it down the drain. (It had gone sour and lost all carbonation)

2009: This one was still tasting pretty good with a lot of the same characteristics as the 2007. Our bottle was over-carbonated, but this doesn’t necessarily mean others would be .

2010: This is going to be awesome in a year or two. It is really rich and has a massive amount of oak character. I can’t wait to try it when its been cellared a bit more; this beer will age really well. It has just been released, so if you can get your hands on some I recommend it.

My Pick? 2007. It really shows how well this beer can age. I wouldn’t age it much more then 3-4 years. Imperial Stouts, and all of these stouts, would go really well with a rich dessert, something chocolatey, sticky date pudding, or rum balls.

George's Pick

George’s Pick?

2007! We’ve trained him well.