Archive for November, 2009


Finding Ones Groove and USA’s, IPA’s.


With Jared now a thing of the past, Steven Lee and myself have had to bunker down and get our work on. It feels much like last year when Steven and I worked hurriedly to get Intelligentsias warehouse up and running.Steven and Jay have been busy interviewing potential roasters and I hope that we have an announcement to make soon.

Every weekend now, we have had one or two of the Ecco boys come down to our facility to do some roasting. It has been a refreshing exchange of ideas and talent. I have been pleasantly surprised to see how quickly, Drew, Keith and Gabe have picked up the intricacies of our tricked out Gothot roaster. Though, I would not have expected any less from Andrew Barnetts hires.

We have had a thin offering of late, so it was great to see some new coffees land this week. Most notably is our Yirg, I am still not all to familiar with the coffees story, as we were more concerned with just getting it out to our wanting cafes and customers, I will take the time to get intimate with it this week.

As I have hinted in previous post, I am going to start talking about my new found loves, American beer and cigars. I have to first admit that the Australian public is somewhat mislead when it comes to America’s beer offerings. All we seem to see on our shores are Americas, well, main stream offerings. Miller and bud are examples of what is offered in Australia, so we are all lead to believe that, Americas beers are crap!

So imagine my surprise when I landed in LA and was introduced to a beer that had three simple initials, IPA. Hops, which, for the most part seem to be missing in our Australian beers (though this is changing), now dominates my purchasing decisions. I almost feel that the more hops the better!

Within the USA, there is a distinct type of IPA called the “West Coast IPA,” which goes for a much more bitter, hoppy character than other IPAs. The hops in West Coast IPAs tend to have a citrus, grapefruit or coriander flavor, as opposed to the wood and pine accents of some IPAs brewed on the United States’ east coast.

So for the folks at home in Oz, I introduce to you one of my beers of the year, Bear Republic’s, Racer 5 IPA, with its big grapefruit notes, viscus mouthfeel and a modest 7% Alcohol this one is not for the faint hearted. Just one pint of this beer will most likely leave you a tad, buzzed, but if you can get used to it’s bold flavors this one is surely a keeper in the fridge. For the coffee fanatics that have managed to read this whole post, I liken IPA’s to drinking a solid Kenyan or Ethiopian coffee, when first introduced to these coffees you might not of understood them, but after your pallet advances you learn to love and crave them.

Bear Republic's Racer 5 IPA

After lunch yesterday at Unami burger , a new-ish burger haunt up the road from Silver lake cafe, who’s burgers are actually the perfect size that leave you content, not full and greasy with Gabe, Nick, Shar and Julia. I took a quick detour on the way home to the local bottle shop to  buy my self a 500ml bottle of Racer 5. I ran straight to my cigar collection and pulled out an Arturo Fuente, Don Carlos, Robusto and sat out on the front stairs getting lost in all things sensory.

My Cigar was burning a little dry, but had a great almond note with a grapefruit finish, the viscosity of the Racer 5 was a nice counter to my Robusto’s dryness and with both offering subtle to strong notes of grapefruit it was easily enjoyed.

An interesting thing that I have learnt about cigars is the hotter they burn the more body, astringency and bitterness will be present, once again, kinda like coffee the hotter the water the, well, you know the rest. I am looking for a cigar that burns cool and is sweet and smooth. My one complaint about this Don Carlos was that it was laking some sweetness, so it was not the best iteration of this cigar I have had, so I ended up putting it out before it was done…