This morning started off the same as the day before – with truck drivers smashing bottles against the wall and no hangover to speak of.
On the downside, the plans I had for this morning – going to buy books – I’d done yesterday. So I slothed it up and watched TV while lying on my hotel room bed. Might not sound like much to you but wait til you have a kid – then you’ll wish you had the spare time to lie on a bed in the morning and watch telly. No, you will – I guarantee it.
A bit before noon I made a move to a tram stop to make it down to Richmond to hit a trio of venues – Purvis Beer, Slowbeer and The Royston Hotel, whcih was servign as the Western Australian home for Pint of Origin (each state in Australia had one pub that had just their beers on tap this week).
Having ordered from Slowbeer but not Purvis, I was expecting to make a stack of purchases at the former and not many at all at the latter. But that prediction was reversed – I was overwhelmed by the choice at Purvis. I could only buy seven beers, as I figured that would be the most I could mule back home. The highlight was an ultra-rare bottle of Cantillon. I can’t remember which one but, hey, it’s Cantillon – they’re all rare.
At Slowbeer I didn’t buy any bottled beer but did have two Cavalier beers on tap. Which is why I went there, to enjoy the novelty of drinking a beer in a bottle shop – can’t do that in NSW. Then I headed to the Royston for lunch, having cannily made a book in their dining room before I left Wollongong.
Well, that turned out to be less canny than I expected, because I was the only person in the dining room. I’d booked a table for two because I felt it sounded a little sad booking it for one. But I hadn’t figured how much more sad it would seem to say to the waitress in person, “oh, there won’t be anyone eating with me”.
What I hadn’t thought about was that all the other beer dudes in Melbourne would be at GABS today. Which is genius if I wanted to avoid crowds and make sure I could get to the bars easily. Or stupidity if I had hoped to stumble across someone I knew. To be honest, I was hoping for a bit of both.
Despite having never tasted a beer from WA’s Nail Brewing, I opted against the only one of their beers at the Royston – the big 10 per cent Clout Stout. That was a beer that needs time and I didn’t have much of that, with several other venues to get to before I started to nod off through lack of sleep.
On the way back to the tram stop I ducked into a Dan Murphy’s and was shocked to see Bridge Road Brewers beers on the shelves, including the awesome Beechworth Pale Ale. Dammit, why doesn’t my local Dan’s stock beers like that? So I bought a bottle of Bridge Road’s Australian Ale, as well as a bottle or two of Kooinda – another beer I wish I could get at my local.
Next Pint of Origin stop was The Gertrude and its Tasmanian beers. I was disappointed not to see any Seven Sheds available – instead I had two other beers that didn’t do a whole lot for me. Then I headed down the road and around the corner to the Rainbow and some NSW beers. This was the only venue where I looked at the tap list and could say “hey, I’ve had most these beers before”, which made me feel like much less of a noob.
I opted for a very tasty 4 Pines Mosaic Amber and an equally tasty Vanilla Milk Stout from Thirsty Crow. That second beer broke one of my Melbourne trip rules, which was not to drink any beer I’d had before. But I was a bit drunk the only other time I’d tried it and it’s a very good beer so I made an exception.
After that I went to the men’s room and supremely twisted my ankle on the step that I didn’t see. Hey, it’s not well-lit in there and the whole floor is black so spotting the step isn’t easy. Reckon I’m not the first to miss it either. As it was, I thought I’d broken my ankle at first. So if you go to the Rainbow and there’s a white line painted on the edge of that step, that’ll be my doing – I sent them a tweet suggesting it might be a helpful idea.
Trying to walk off the twisted ankle I went to the last beer stop of the night – and of my Melbourne trip. Deja Vu Bar with its Queensland beers. They were offering six decent-sized samples for $22, so I went for that. Of particular interest were the beers from Bacchus Brewing, having really dug their white chocolate raspberry pils at GABS the day before. So four of the six samples were Bacchus – the best was the delicious Atomic Strawberry, a 2.3 per cent Berliner Weisse
The higher-than-expected alcohol count of some of the Queensland beers – 11 per cent for a Bacchus Imperial Red and their 8.7 per cent Hibiscus Saison made me glad it was my last stop. Sixth glass drunk and apparently anaethetised enough that my ankle wasn’t hurting, I walked back to my hotel, stopping off at Subway to buy some dinner.
That’s where I had my last beer of my Melbourne trip – a Bridge Road Australian Ale I’d picked up from Uncle Dan’s earlier in the day.
Unique beer tally for Day Three: 14