Eagle Bay Brewing Company: Cacao Stout
Do Not Live By Convention / MarketHQ: Tartan Skirt / H&M: Men's Shirt / Witchery: Joggers / Chet Faker: 1998 / M.C. Escher: Relativity
“This delightful brew offers hints of roastiness on the nose, though it’s the richness of dark chocolate that shines through both aromatically and with every sip. It’s an alluring dark chocolate adult milkshake in a glass that in all honesty, should be enjoyed at any time of the year… convention or no convention!”
Convention: the way in which something is usually done. Sounds a little ‘conventional’ unless of course it is relating to a process that requires certain guidelines or rules in order to achieve a positive outcome. Things like putting the icing on top of the cake rather than the bottom; brushing your teeth twice a day, morning and night; wearing shoes to kick the footy and pouring your beer into a glass prior to consumption.. ‘yawn’ etc ‘yawn’ etc (apart from the beer in a glass of course!)
My husband and I met 20 years ago, he was a young, groovy designer type from London, with a novelist for a mother and an actor for a father. There was little that was conventional about him. He sported sharp, perfectly groomed sideburns and a pony tail and his abundant collection of multi-coloured waistcoats was to be admired. I loved that he was so left of centre and on one of our very first outings, he handed me a little red notebook, which he enthusiastically claimed was going to become the ‘rulebook’ for our life together (he has always been the optimist!). I opened the book to the first page and scrawled across the lined paper was, “do not live life by convention”. This was a pivotal moment in my life and 20 years on, our non-conventional lives have certainly been a fun ride thus far. We often refer back to this one line when it comes to making big decisions. We call it the “convention filter”, and it really helps us to decide which path to take. More often than not, we choose the less conventional path.
When it comes to beer, there can exist certain conventions or perhaps, more like guidelines or guiding principles. Most brewers, however, are the least conventional people I have met (yay)! Seasonality and drinking certain beer styles to best suit the changing climates of each tri-monthly temperature-changing period, has encouraged brewers to release seasonal styles, which adds fun and variety to the beer landscape. History in many ways has influenced our tastes. In winter, the heavier and often stronger beers were able to be stored for longer in the cooler temperatures, whilst in summer, the lighter beers, brewed with whatever ingredients were available, were thirst quenchers for the parched. I certainly agree with consumption of any produce that is based on using the freshest ingredients, though with the thread of unconventionality that stitches its way through my life, I like to take a big step sideways as I ignore the guidelines and try something that can be seen to be a little unorthodox. Whilst most beer lovers are kissing their dark beers adieu as the spring blossoms come out in bloom, I am often seen reaching for a stout! It’s fun to be a little rebellious, my glass brimming with this dark rich liquid, quietly taunting the pilsners, the wheat beers and the pale ales!
The Eagle Bay Brewing Cacao Stout is the perfect stout to celebrate the joy of spring and even though this brew has been created to be enjoyed primarily during winter, if you can get your hands on the few cases remaining, it’s well worth the hunt! This beer is a beautiful example of local producers working together to best utilise their raw ingredients and specifically in this case, turning a waste product, ie. the cacao husks left over from chocolatiers, Bahen & Co’s chocolate making process, into a flavour component of this fine stout. The cacao beans originated in Papua New Guinea and exude the most incredibly exotic aroma, which then runs its way through both Bahen & Co’s chocolate (made with only the cacao bean and organic raw sugar) and Eagle Bay’s stout. This delightful brew offers hints of roastiness on the nose, though it’s the richness of dark chocolate that shines through both aromatically and with every sip. It’s an alluring dark chocolate adult milkshake in a glass that in all honesty, should be enjoyed at any time of the year… convention or no convention!
It’s a small act of rebellion, riding a Sector 9 skateboard whilst sipping stout from an elegant Spiegelau glass (not spilling a drop of course!). It’s a Market HQ tartan mini, a men’s H&M business shirt, undone and tied around the waist and Witchery joggers. It’s Australian born, Chet Faker, taking crazy electronica to new heights and the idiosyncratic illusion artists, such as M.C. Escher who were able to illustrate the intersection of art and science, encouraging your mind to play tricks on itself! It’s Relativity.
Photos by Tania Gray