Wow what a great trip! I love trying new beers and meeting new brewers!
I think its great that you can meet a brewer for the first time, and be chatting like old mates in no time all because you share the same common interes - Great beer :o)
I went to the QLD case swap when I was over there, was handed home brew after home brew and feeling like my glass was being refilled before it was even empty! Most of the beers were really really good and some were awesome! A few American IPAs so I definately got my hop fill!
I finished the trip off with a visit up to Mt Tamborine where they have two brewerys! I met up with another group of AHB'ers up at the mountain, we started out at Eagle Heights where I was told the brewmaster was from Christchurch! They had a nifty little 500 litre set up, and on the wall was a chalkboard with their 5 beers - 4 regulars and 1 seasonal, and next to that were two awards for the Aussie Beer Awards, one for their IPA (a regular) and another for their Double IPA (a seasonal which was not there when I was >:o( ).
I was really impressed with the Eagle Heights beers, they had on offer a mid strength draught which was a bit boring, a Pilsner which was loaded with czech saaz and really clean and crisp, a Porter which had a hint of smoked malt, and IPA full of Amarillo and Chinook which was devine, and the grandaddy of them all, their seasonal Imperial Stout weighing in at 11% and tasting absolutely amazing! I brought a bottle back to NZ :o)
We moved onto Mt Tamborine brewery, which definately had a bigger budget, apparantly owned by some rich guy who employs a czech brew master! The beers there were awesome! They had 7 on offer, 3 Belgians, an IPA, a Mountain Bitter, a Brett beer, and my favourite - Moderation Pale Ale, 3.3% but it was like a massive AIPA, good body, huge hop aroma, and a tounge peeling bitterness, it was awesome and such a small beer!
I of course also had to go to Dan Murphys (which is like The Warehouse for booze) and pick up some commercial beers while I was away, and I was happy that every beer was sold not only in 6 packs but in single bottles! Meaning I could get a decent variety - Bonus!!! Below are all of my tasting notes, there were some really good beers and some really bad ones! Overall id have to say Little Creatures were my favourites...
LCreatures Pale - Nice and hoppy, passionfruit on the nose and a hefty bitterness - A bit 'homebrewy' as my father in law says...
James Squire Amber - Toasted caramel on the nose, slightly thin and astringent maybe metallic taste, not very nice!
LCreatures Bright - Good clarity and nice balance between malt and hops, quaffable and tasty!
Murrays Pale - Pours bright orange with big hop aromas and chill haze, a bit out of balance with a slightly astringent hop flavour, I couldnt put my finger on what hop was used?
Knappstein Reserve Lager - Pours with brilliant clarity, nice restrained sauvin aroma which comes through in the flavour but not hiding the delicate malt flavours. Finishes dry and crisp. Really enjoyable! Why cant all lagers be like this.
Barons Pale - Slightly spicy hop aroma with toast overtones, taste is astringent toasted malt which was full on! Bottle advises to drink icy cold and as it warms up I can see why as the hop aroma completely disappeared and I was left with a completely unenjoyable beer which got tipped!
Redoak Organice Pale - Pours hazy and really fizzy, lemon and caramel on the nose, way too spritzy with a slightly sour lemon taste. Pretty average.
Fat Yak Pale (on tap at an irish pub) - Absolutely awesome!! Nice light fruit on the nose with hints of caramel and bready malts, awesome balance and fantastic mouthfeel! Awesome!
LCreatures Rogers - Nice fruity aroma with hints of toffee and the most subtle hint of chocolate. Clean taste with caramel notes and a hint of fruity hops. Nice having dark malt flavours along with fruity hops.
Murrays Sassy Blonde - Spicy aroma with caramel. Taste is complex, orange and toast which has been very lightly buttered, good mouthfeel which finishes crisp and dry with an orange aftertaste.
Coopers Sparkling - Hints of banana and bready malts on the nose, spritzy mouthfeel with a sweet malty finish.