Mid July And Not So Dry

We are half way through what has turned out to be a semi dry July (thanks germs). The silver lining of which has been the chance to spend  time updating my blog with events that are coming up around town, something I have been faintly remiss about of late. Along with all the events listed in the calendar, I thought I’d give you the heads up on other food ad drink related happenings  that may be of interest.

Cocktails in winter are too fabulous especially when you partake at the fabulous Madame Brussels. For the month of July, the Madame has been hosting masterclasses each Tuesday, which sadly means you’ve missed the first two but happily, it means you can make the last two. The 21st will be rum based with our old friend gin showing off on the 28th. Tickets are $55 and you can book here.

Cocktails Brus

Speaking of Madame Brussels, they’re getting ready to bring a little slice of Europe to the city this Winter and will be taking over Madame Brussels Lane every Friday from 24 July – 14 August for their European Night Market. Food, fun and festivities are on the menu as we partner up with Göz City,Frencheese, Cafe Babbo, The Fringe, Bretzel.biz, Cafe,Chooh La La, Eastern Bloc Catering, Frieda’s Flammkuchen plus many more to bring you an event to remember!

Euro market

Oysters and stout are an amazing pair and as the people at Mountain Goat have always loved a great pair, they are hosting an oyster night on the 24th July at the Goat shed. They will be shucking from 5.00pm and matching them with the Surefoot Stout. Don’t fret if you’re not an oyster or a stout fan, there are plenty of pizzas and all the Goat favs.

Stout

One thing you have to love about winter is that it’s perfect weather for drinking whisky while eating stew. Thankfully the fab crew at Them Bones are back again this July, serving up some of their classic stews this time at Carwyn Cellers in Thornbury. They’ll be popping up every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in July so getting on down, buy a drink and warm up with some hearty casserole goodness.

Via the lovely people at Them Bones

Via the lovely people at Them Bones

If trying new spirits is your thing (and why wouldn’t it be), the Top Shelf is the day out for you.  A two day festival on the 8th and 9th July, combining fun, education and sampling of premium beers, wines and spirits. In addition, there’s great food, soft drinks and cocktails created by the best bartenders in the country. Tickets are $25 online or $40 on the door so best to pre buy.

Top

4th of July, Bastille Day, Bendigo Beers and More – What’s on in July

One of the best things about living in Melbourne is the way it’s so willing to embrace other cultures and traditions, especially if there’s a chance of getting a drink out of it. Starting the month with 4th of July festivities with an absolute stunning array of beer, whisky and wine events celebrating some of the best of US produces, from lunches to tastings to BBQ’s, from the south side to the north, it really is going to be a great day for both the ex pats and lovers of fabulous craft products alike.

For all the Francophiles and lovers of French food and wine, Bastille Day is on the 14th July. Being in Melbourne is no excuse not to join in the festivities as thankfully we are blessed with some truly magnificent French restaurants who are pulling out all the stops to make the day sparkle with  joie de vie.

Every Wednesday in July at Hihou Bar, The House of Santory is staging a take over. Simon Denton has prepared a bespoke menu for guests to perfectly balance with Suntory Whisky’s full portfolio. Prices are $55 per person for a 3 course tasting menu, while a 6 course dinner will cost $120 per person. Get your tickets and information here.

The Bridge Hotel is here bringing Europe to you on the 29th July!  Stroll down the famous laneway (mind the snow) and immerse yourself in the many sites, smells and flavours from Europe 12-5pm. And while it may not be quite as warm as the European sun at present, you can warm your belly with a tipple of mulled wine or cider. Entry is free! Food and bev tokens can be purchased at the bar for $6 each.

Heading to the end of the month, Bendigo on the Hop is back for it’s second year with 22 brewers showing their stuff at 11 of Bendigos finest establishments. Get your ticket, your glass and your guide and stroll your way around Bendigo while sampling some of Australias finest beers. Bendigo on the Hop is happening on the 1st August (yes I know, not July) and tickets are $50. Get more information and tickets here.

One of my favourite dinners around town is turning two! Young Guns Dinners, a celebration of Melbournes up and coming chefs and somms, is letting their founding lady, Ms Jerry Mai, lose in the kitchen to put together a feast. Tickets are just $99 a head with more info o how to book here. I’ve been to the last 4 dinners and they have all blown my socks off.

Don’t forget that Section 8 and Gravity Coffee are still running their amazing cans for coffee efforts in July . Go into Section 8 on a Monday in July and August between 9am – 1pm with a can of food (or two) and they will give you a coffee and then pass your can on to charity.

Negroni’s, Coffees for Cans, World Gin Day and More…Whats Up in June

Hi all,

So I was going to write a post last week but to be honest, starting a new job at the same time as doing Good Beer Week while dying from germs threw me a little so I put it off till this week which means I now have twice as much to say as I would otherwise which goes to show that procrastination lays down the seeds of its own destruction…or something like that. I don’t know, I’ve not had coffee and I have a slight hangover from too many beers last night…anyway…on to whats on in June.

Coffee for Cans

Speaking of coffee, the fine folk at Section 8 and Gravity Coffee had an idea to support shelters and food banks in Melbourne with your help. Go into Section 8 on a Monday in June, July and August between 9am – 1pm with a can of food (or two) and they will give you a coffee and then pass your can on to charity.

Negroni Week

Now those of you out there who have actually had to suffer through drinking with me will know that Negroni is not my favourite drink, I am no where neat enough of a grown up to enjoy the bitterness that Campari brings to the table. Saying that, I do love a good cause and Negroni week supports good causes galore. Running from the 1st – 7th June, you can get a Negroni at host of different places and a portion of what you pay will go to the charity of the venues choosing. Go for a straight up classic or maybe with a twist, the choice is yours. Find out where to get your Negroni in Melbourne here.

World Gin Day

World Gin Day is on the 13th June with heaps of happenings all around town to celebrate this marvelous spirit. The Gin Palace will be putting on a stack of events and workshops which celebrate local and international gins to see you through the day.  Romulus and Remus in Richmond are hosting Bass and Flinders for a Gin making workshop. I spent last years World Gin Day with my mate, The Gin Queen where we had a Hendricks afternoon tea, chatted to Gin Makers at the Gin Palace and crashed a first date at Eau de Vie. Fingers crossed that this year will be just as much fun.

Southgate Movable Feasts

As I’m the one in the group who is constantly moaning about there being far too many places to eat at and far little time to do the eating (there’s always one right?) I’ve decided the only answer is progressive dining. Luckily Southgate have come to the party with their movable feast. All feasts are 3 courses with a class of wine with entree and main and a coffee/tea with dessert and cost between 65$ and 85$ a head depending on the restaurants you pick. With a choice of over 10 different restaurants participating, you’re sure to be able to please everyone in your group. The feast runs from the 14th June to the 3rd August and you can book your ticket online here.

Project Botanical Pop Up Bar

Bombay Sapphire is back once again with their Project Botanical Pop Up. A massive hit last year and for good reason, both food and drinks were divine. Tickets are just $45 a get you two courses with two matched cocktails. Running from June 24th to 11th July, tickets will sell out quickly. Get more info and tickets here.

 

Wine and Dine While Supporting Nepal

Hi all

I wanted to let you all know about some amazing things coming up soon which I may have neglected to mention last week (let’s face it, that post was already a bit TL:DR). Some of them only came to light this week and some have been siting in the back of the vast recesses of my brain in the “it’s ages away” file only to find that no…time has moved and they are not that far at all.

The first thing I wanted to let you know about is probably the most important. A whole bunch of restaurants around the country have donated a dinner for 4 at their restaurant with all proceeds being donated to the relief fund in Nepal. The auction starts on the 13th May and closes on the 20th May. For more info on what’s being done and find out which restaurants are participating, have a wee look at their website here. Also, a big shout out to Matteo Pignatelli and David Mackintosh for putting it all together, great work guys!

I also want to talk to you about the Tasting Table in Armadale. A superb suburban wine shop and bar which often has amazing tasting night which give you a great chance to mix and mingle as well as learning a bit more about wine. Every second month they do a tasting event with over 20 different wines on pour for you to try with the next one coming up this Thursday. The session is just $10 and you get 10% off all wines you buy on the night. More info here.

Next up, I wanted to tell you about is a Pizza and Chianti lunch, presented by the fabulous Luke Campbell from Vinified at D.O.C at Albert Park. This is a great way to discover more about this underrated wine variety and you get pizza as well so really, you can’t lose here. Find out more here.

One of my newest favourite dinners is this one. The National Hotel in Richmond have been teaming up with Jerry Mai from Pho Nom to bring the world a series of once a month dinners called Young Guns Dinner. The dinners bring together some of the latest young talents from some of Melbournes best restaurants. It gives them the run of the kitchen and the wine list to bring you the types of dishes and wine that represents them. I’ve been to the last two and have had an absolute ball and have booked in for the next one already, a dinner staring Cian Fenaughty from Cutler & Co and Aaron Skovell from Lucy Liu. Tickets are limited so get in quick.

Don’t forget to look at the events page for more goings on this month. There are some amazing dinners on for the Top Australian Restaurant month as well as some fabulous dessert degustations, beer dinners and wine tasting.

 

 

 

May: Where to go for Mother’s Day plus Good Beer Week!

Hi all,

Long time, no write. I’d like to say this was because I was off doing amazing things (which is partially true) but for the most part, it was due to slackness rather than lack of material,,,But now that it’s May, I am going to fill you in on some of the brilliant things happening this month as well as list some of the top free events on for good beer week as well as a line up of where to take you Mum for Mother’s Day this year (Hint: Don’t be like my kid who completely forgot about it last year and had to live under the fog of passive aggressiveness and huffiness for a week).

Good Beer Week

Good Beer Week is on for the 5 year running, going from May 16th – 24th, there is something on for all tastes, budgets and experience. It’s a great chance to try beers that are not often available in Melbourne as well as allowing you to meet the brewers and learn what goes into making this most versatile of beverages. There are a heap of great ticketed events, many of which are listed on the events calender and although I love preplanned things to death (yes I’m a little organised), I had some of my best Good Beer moments while attending some of the last minute free events so this year I thought I’d run through some of my favourite free to attend events that are on this year and in no particular order (warning: not a short list ).

  1. Sweet Bands + Sour Beers at the Great Britain (Sunday 24th May) – Sour events are always so popular at GBW and always seem to be the first to sell out which is why this one is so excellent. Rodenbach and Boatrocker will both be represented, add some sweet tunes and a sausage from the BBQ and you have the makings of a fabulous Sunday Session.
  2. Tinnies and Pinnies at The Peacock Inn Hotel (19th-24th May) – Mountain Goat are teaming up with The Peacock Inn Hotel to test your skills at Pinball while letting you get your hands on some rare breed Mountain Goat. With 9 pin ball machines and cans at retail prices which means no matter your skill level, everyone wins!
  3. Abbey Collabey V at Mountain Goat (Wednesday 20th May) – Mountain Goat, Moon Dog and Matilda Bay launch their latest Abbey Collabey while raising funds for the Collingwood Children’s Farm. Always a great night with a chance to mingle with the brewers, eat some pizza and general and a fantastic time.
  4. Are You Game? At Little Creatures in Geelong (Sunday 17th May) – Little Creatures are putting on a bunch of games and are inviting you and your mates to join in. If the brewers win, no harm done, but if you win, they may be some give aways as well as bragging rights for you to take away. From Jenga to Chinese Checkers, there’s sure to be something for you to get your game face on for.
  5. Exit Collaborative Tap Take Over at Slow Beer (Monday 18th May) – I’ve been watching Exits Facebook posts with interest as they have been teasing us with the exclusive beers that they have been collaborating with Slow Beer to bring you as part of this one off event. 4 one off kegs that you won’t see anywhere else. Add to the fact that the Exit lads themselves will be there to talk you through the process (seriously some of the nicest dudes in beer). Excited? Yes I am.
  6. BrewDog Punk Tap Takeover at Foresters Hall (Friday 22nd May) – Alright, I won’t lie, I pretty much picked this because BrewDog make some of my favourite beers and Forester’s is one of my favourite places to stay out all hours getting up to mischief. Add some punk, a black market, tattoos and some bands and oh yeah, That’s me staying out till 4 and waking up next to a kebab…again.
  7. Lunchtime Brew Talk Series at Young and Jackson (16th – 22nd May) – Each day from 12-2pm, Young and Jackson are hosting a different brewer for you to talk to and sample their beers. Grab a snack while you’re there and maybe a sneaky lunch time ale and chat to the brewers about the where, why and how they got to where they are. 100 times better than eating at your desk and getting crumbs on your keyboard.
  8. Eel River Cocktail Takeover at Thomas Olive (16th-24th May) – Eel River are taking over Thomas Olives for the entire GBW and the result will be delicious beer cocktails for you to try. On top of that, Saint Crispins Chef, Joe Grbac is putting together some amazing snacks to go with your drinks which is reason enough to stop off.
  9. Feral Vs Nail : 10 Tap Combat at The Royston (Monday 18th May) – I love me a good beer battle and this one is shaping up to be one of the best. 2 WA Brewers facing off in Richmond, whose hops will reign supreme? Only you can decide.
  10. Experenceit Pop Up World of Beer at Nieuw Amsterdam (16th-24th May) – Nieuw Amsterdam will be turning into a pop up bar at night to display a whole new world of beers. Guests include Jester King, Beavertown, Victory, Sixpoint, Deschutes, and NOMAD as well as brewers popping in to talk about their work as well as matching bar snacks.
  11. Pint of Origin Venues (16th-24th May in various locations) – Pint of Origin are 9 venues around Melbourne who have given over their taps for a week to beers from a particular region.  This year you have Brother Burger – Queensland,  The Palace Hotel – South Australia, Alehouse Project – New Zealand, The Rainbow Hotel – NSW, The Gertrude Hotel – Tasmania, The Great Northern – USA, The Royston – Western Australia, The Terminus – Victoria and Foresters Hall – Europe. This is a good one to pre plan on a night off. Study the guide, grab some mates and do the rounds. Remember, trams are your friends in this endeavor (looking at you 86).
  12. The Arbory is hosting DJ’s al week at their venue plus they are matching beers with food and while also giving you a chance to meet the brewers. Some of their food matches include Nikuman (steamed buns) pork or mushroom filling and Miso glazed Slipper Lobster on the Charcoal Grill with Asahi Black on the 15th, BBQ Pork Ribs with wood roasted apple and Croucher Pilsner on the 16th, Smoked roll with wood roasted wild mushrooms, shaved pork belly, crackling powder & truffle dressing and Brooklyn Beer on the 17th and Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with barley risotto with Thunder Road on the 23rd.

Mother’s Day in Melbourne and Beyond

Mother’s Day is coming up in the 10th May and this year the theme seems to be afternoon tea (not that I am against this especially if it has gin involved). I’ve once again put together a wee list of event’s that you may wish to take your Mum along to or if you are a Mum, drop hints about or send links to or just organise yourself because who else is going to, I mean it’s not like anyone else can even replace the toilet roll is it?

Anyway…no matter where you are, hopefully I’ve got you covered and no doubt I’ll be adding to it in the coming week.

Other things on in May

And to finish off this post, I thought I’d let you know about a few cool things that are happening in Melbourne in May that are neither Mother or beer related (at least not directly, you can take your Mum).

First up, from the clever cookies that bought you Game of Rhones and Pinot Palooza is 21st Century Vino, a day long conversation about wine, with a series of Masterclasses followed by a tasting. A fantastic event for those in the know as well as those who are looking to be bought up to speed about wine.

Sticking to the wine theme, we have Handmade 2015 at The Builders Arms (great space). An afternoon to explore wine, beer, coffee as you discuss wine with some of Australia’s most exciting new wine makers and tickets are just $25.

Fancy a bit of BBQ? Burn City Smokers are getting together with, new kids on the block, The Union Electric every Sunday in May to BBQ up a storm. Teaming up with Sample Beer and Fire Drum Vodka, Burn City Smokers are bringing their signature smoked meats to the Union Electric from 3pm.

Rounding the month off is this fantastic dinner from San Telmo. 5 courses of beef, with or with out matched wines is a fabulous way to head into the cooler months plus it’s at San Telmo!