There are a bumper crop of events going on in not just Melbourne but also regional Victoria and other states of Australia. Due to a hectic schedule we haven’t been able to attend as many events as we would have liked but we made an exception as I scoot past the Wayside Inn almost everyday of the week and have always wanted to stop and check the place out.
The Wayside Inn is kitted out like some of our favourite gastropubs back in London. It’s nice and spacious without being impersonal and the team behind the bar are in the know about the beers, ciders and wines on offer. The event was the Beer Lovers Night which promised 4 courses and 4 matched beers for $40. Bargain.
The evening featured 3 breweries and we ended up getting 5 beers with the 5 courses. It was a great casual night where the teams from the breweries happily made themselves at home and tried to get around to as many people as possible to explain their passion for their product.
The food for the evening was to be eaten with our hands so copious amounts of serviettes were laid on the table in time for the arrival of the yellow fin tuna ceviche, lime, chilli and coriander. Mick introduced the matched beer to us from Trumers. The Trumer Pils is a German-style pilsner brewed in a 400-year-old brewery based in Salzburg, Austria, being brewed by the eighth generation from the original family. The refreshing beer went well with the chunks of tuna and zesty lime-coriander salsa, all held together in a crispy lettuce leaf.
Tom Tilmont came up and gave us all a taste of what is my favourite beer coming out of the Mountain Goat Brewery. The Steam Ale is their most popular beer and are only just keeping up with demand. The salmon en croute with sauce choron was hearty, fishy and not overpowered by the flavourful ale. I have been hunting my whole life for a good beef Wellington and this is as close as I have come. But with fish. Good times.
Pete from Cavalier Brewery – only 13 months old and only just made it into last year’s Good Beer Week by the skin of their teeth – had made the trek from Pasco Vale to bring us his Brown Ale. He was talking us through the chocolate and caramel notes as we sipped this brew in its prime. I almost missed the shot of this dish as I was about to inhale it before I was pulled up and reminded. Pulled pork sandwich (on sweet brioche), apple and fennel slaw was easily my favourite dish of the night.
Slow-cooked pigs trotter, sauce gribiche was served with my favourite beer of the night. I really have a man crush on the brews that Cavalier are pulling out of the bag – especially their saisons which I have just started getting into. Their Cavalier Double India Pale Ale bowled me over – it does pack a punch in the alcohol levels but it is well worth any hangover it may induce.
The night wound up with the Wayside Inn offering up petit fours with Mountain Goat ‘Rare Breed’ Stout. A surprisingly sweet stout and great with the sticky salted caramel cubes in particular.
Sean Donovan did a great job serving 85 hungry punters with some great food. Co-owner Greg Fee was a superb host, ensuring that no one was ever left with an empty glass.
The beer scene is undergoing a massive change in Australia. We hope to see our followers in and around Melbourne for as many beery events as we can handle… What are you heading to that would be worth trying to secure a ticket to?
446 City Rd
Melbourne, VIC 3205
Ph. 03 9682 9119