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Beer Bar Band Resolutions 2013

A quick hi and hello… welcome, 2013! It has been a busy but wonderful summer in beer bar band land. I have been almost completely distracted by the indulgence of holidays, tuning out from the world for several weeks… a great way to end the year.

James on a bike out from of the Sweetwater brewery in Mount Beauty

Biking to beer in Victoria’s High Country, at Sweetwater Brewing.

At the top of my list to blog about is our fantastic mini-tour of the Victorian High Country, where we cycled through the historic towns and drank much fantastic local beer, including some very special treats, such as the Bridge Road Brewers Single Hop Galaxy IPA straight from the tank! Wow.

Our first visit to Sweetwater Brewing Company was also a real eye-opener, as we spoke to owner/brewer Peter Hull and discovered the purpose and flavour of his brewery. Sweetwater once again affirmed the notion to that you should never judge any beer too harshly until you experience the beer fresh in the location/environment for and at which it was brewed.

Photo of James with a santa hat on and beer in hand at Coldstream Brewery on Christmas Day 2013

Christmas lunch at Coldstream Brewery

We also enjoyed another excellent Christmas day of beer. First there was a traditional English-style Christmas dinner at Coldstream Brewery for lunch. Decent beer on tap with a classic Chrissy meal? No complaints from me, even if the “brewery” isn’t currently brewing on-site…!

Red Hill Christmas Ale beer next to blue cheese, figs and walnuts

The Red Hill Double Barrel Aged (Brandy) Christmas Ale from 2010 with some fine blue cheese

Back home on Christmas arvo (and throughout the following week) we cracked many more brilliant Christmas and special craft beers, which were enjoyed with an appropriately deliciously stinky collection of fine Milawa and Bruny Island cheese.

On Boxing Day we entered the world of home brewing, taking the first baby-steps with a kit brew. A Christmas present to ourselves and our home, we purchased a basic kit from Grain & Grape in Melbourne’s west, along with their “Artisan Ale” hopped fresh wort (brewed by Mountain Goat), to create our “Boxing Day Test Batch” brew number one.

A homebrew kit fermenter sits on a stool

Our home brewing adventures began with the “Boxing Day Test Batch”

We suspect it will produce a 5% abv English-Amber-ish ale, possibly a bit like Mountain Goat’s Hightail Ale (but probably far from as good!). Bottling day is Saturday…a full post on brew #1 will be coming in the near future, once we’ve tasted the beer.

Jenn (our official “head brewer) and I plan to explore all levels of home brewing, from basic extract kit up to full mash, so we can understand the entire spectrum of brewing.

As for 2013…well, all rolls on nicely.

I’m not usually one to make New Year’s resolutions. The only actual resolution I can ever recall making was to not eat hot chips (fries) for a full year, which I did do some years back.

This year, I feel that making some resolutions may have more relevance for me, because maybe it will stop me from becoming too lazy.

These days I am quite content in life and feeling very settled. It’s a great place to be, but it also means that I lack some of the urgency and/or motivation that I had in my younger life to achieve new things. Hence, setting goals to achieve throughout the year may help me avoid falling into staticness. It would be silly to neglect making the most of life…so, what do I want to do next? Where will I go from here? Same road or new adventures? A bit of both, for sure!

So, here is a little list of Beer Bar Band New Year’s resolutions for 2013…


  • Home brewing - Full mash home brew by the end of the year.
  • Beer running - Run in and complete the Melbourne Marathon.
  • Beer travel - Attend Beervana in New Zealand.


  • Don’t be out-of-practice - Pick up my acoustic and electric guitars and start playing again!
  • Be musically creative - Write a song by the end of the year.
  • Gig local - Attend more local gigs than last year, supporting local artists.
  • CDs - Buy more Australian music, pick a local artist’s CD over the purchase of an international artist.
  • Radio - Listen to more community and local radio, and much less commercial radio.


  • Be short, fast, loud – write for Brews News and blog more often with shorter, higher quality articles.
  • Write betterer- improve my writing and journalism by actually reading/studying those text books I have on the topic, along with the stack of beer books I now own.
  • Global Beer Blogging Community - participate in every round of The Session Beer Blogging Fridays in 2013 (first one is tomorrow!) and offer to host a round.
  • Multimedia - Do something about that pod/vodcast thing I’ve been thinking about for a while!

I better not go overboard now. Just completing the marathon will be enough to distract me from all the rest. Anyway…time to get onto it all.

Happy new year, everyone!

2 thoughts on “Beer Bar Band Resolutions 2013

  1. Ahhhh, Beervana. Would love to get there myself one day, but that sort of thing is tricky when you have a child. And thanks for reminding me about tomorrow’s blogging session.
    And, looking at that pic of your homebrew fermenter, it does seem to be in a very well-lit spot. I found they’re best in a dark place because, as I learned due to a tainted brew, beer in fermenters seems to fall victim to light-strike as well. But now I just wrap an old pajama top over it to shield the light and everything’s sweet. It’s a great hobby – and teaches you heaps about beer.

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