Saturday, June 5, 2010

Quick trip to Murray's Brewery

Just returned from visiting a new family member in Port Stephens. A quick visit to Murray's was on the cards, of course.

Since moving from Taylor's Arm to Bob's Farm, Murray's has become more accessible, and more familiar to the mug punter. I think the cohabitation with Port Stephens winery is spot-on; I can't see any market cross-cannibalisation here, as you're either there for the beer, or for the wine (maybe both, but if so someone else is driving and it doesn't matter).....

Saturday lunch is jumping. Coach-loads of Chinese tourists, engagement parties, and beer wankers alike (ahem) make for a busy cellar/brewery door. Most people head to the wine tasting, which is fine by me, as I get easy access to the beer, and to Murray as well.

He's such a laid-back bloke, taking the brewery's success in his stride, and maintaining his steadfast principles of brewing good, tasty beer..... that he likes. Bugger what the style categories demand. And most drinkers are aware of this. Murray's had modest success at the AIBA recently, but this is due more to the straight-jacket style categories, and (as Wig & Pen would have you believe) Old Codger judges.

Stuff 'em.  Murray's beer is some of Australia's best.  The Icon double IPA is outstanding. They changed the keg while I waited, and the first pour of a fresh keg is something to behold. Big hops, big caramel, seductive red/brown hue, dense offwhite head, lingering bitterness..... superb.... absolutely superb.

And I availed myself of the growlers (right).  $25 for 1.9 litres of beer, $15 refills (although the stronger ales such as Icon will cost more). We'll be heading back to Port Stephens next month for a week's holiday, and the two empty growlers will be the first things I pack.

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