Posts Tagged With: Fremantle

The Monk Brewery and Kitchen

For those of you who don’t like beer, I apologize because that’s what this post is about… more specifically The Monk Brewery & Kitchen in Fremantle, Western Australia. For those of you who like beer, you’ve come to the right post. Prepare to be in awe!

The Monk opened in April 2010 in downtown Fremantle. It is a large tan-brown building that is partially constructed with recycled wood from an old railway line. Pretty cool right? It has a number of tables outdoors and the inside is open and welcoming. The tables surround the bar area which has fermentation tanks in the center that you can see through glass windows. Depending on your seat, you can also watch as the chefs work their magic.

I didn’t know a lot about The Monk when I showed up at its door. I just new that it was local and I love local. So, I picked out my seat and great server came over and welcomed me, offering me a menu that had a number of delicious sounding dishes as well as a number of beers. After a quick scan of the menu, I knew what I wanted: the sampler. A tray of all seven “everyday” beers plus a seasonal specialty. The beer in season now: The Bounty [an American Style Stout with Toasted Coconut]. Awesome.

The eight beers that came out to me were beautifully lined up in an antique-y looking wooden cutting board. That’s honestly, the best way to describe it– it was awesome and it made me want to ask if I could purchase one right then and there. I also wanted something to snack on, as I hadn’t had anything else except my coffee. I ordered a cheese plate. The description said “Our rauch beer is blended with Capel cheddar, celery salt, and mustard. Sides of bacon crisps, crusty bread, apple slices, and honey.” Served again on a beautiful wood tray, this dish was better than I had hoped for… a giant chunk of cheese. I was a bit skeptical of the honey, but it really brought out the flavors. I posted pictures of the beer sampler and the cheese plate below. YUM.

Now, onto the beers:
Mild: 3.5%ABV. European Low Alcohol Lager or Leichtbier. It is similar to a Pilsner but has a very low alcohol content, so many people who will need to drive drink it. It is made with Saaz hops, hops that hail from New Zealand and offer a light lemon citrus flavor to the beer. It has a very light hoppy taste.

Kolsch: 4.9%ABV. Lightly fruity, dry finish. It is in a way similar to a lager but is probably more related to a German Pale Ale. I would say it’s similar to Heineken but with more of a fruity undertone.

Wheat: 6.0%ABV. While most similar to a Belgian Witbier, this Wheat was unlike any I had tasted before. While most wheat beers use a mix of orange and coriander, the Monk Wheat uses mandarin, coriander, and a hint of cumin. It is very lightly cloudy and has a sharp hit at the end of the sip. I am usually a huge wheat beer drinker and I think this was maybe in the middle of the different beers I tried at The Monk. [All were delicious and I would honestly have any of them again!!]

Pale: 5%ABV. This was not at all like an American Style Pale. It falls under a more recent category of Australian Pale Ales [apparently newer over the last 5-10 years]. It was actually created by the brewer as a project for the University he was attending. It sold out in the University’s tavern and is The Monk’s best selling beer. A very light fruity hint without the harsh bitterness of American Pale Ale.

Rauch: 5.3%ABV. This beer has a dark red color and it tastes and smells like smoked bacon. Seriously. The smokiness is so strong through the flavor it is amazing. It is not, however, made with any bacon or other meat product. It is 100% vegan [as are all of the beers at the Monk]. Very unique and a must try.

The Chief: 6.3%ABV. This beer is a traditional American Style IPA. It is very bitter and hoppy on the end. The brewer in this case does utilize American hops. It is highly popular and has won many awards [then again every beer at The Monk seems to have one at least one award].

Porter: 4.9%ABV. This beer is known as a brown porter. It has strong coffee and chocolate flavors. When I drank it, I felt as though I were having my morning iced coffee with a bit of chocolate mixed in. YUM. I am not a huge Porter fan, but I will say that the Monk Porter is lighter than a Guinness and so if you are not a strong Porter fan, you should still try this one!

The Bounty: 5.5%. This beer is a coconut stout. After fermentation, the brewers add heaps of toasted coconut. The flavor is incredible; a hint of chocolate and lot of toasted coconut. I have never tasted a beer like it and has definitely blown me away. It doesn’t matter what type of beer drinker you are [and even if you’re not], try this beer!

All in all, every beer at The Monk was fantastic. The range of flavors and colors was impressive and I had a hard time deciding which type I liked the most. After much consideration, I choose The Bounty as the winner. As I mentioned above, a truly unique taste. I highly recommend The Monk to anyone in the Fremantle area hoping to try some great local brews. Great atmosphere, lovely people, and delicious food and beer!

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Categories: Australia, Microbrews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Freo: Where Everything Wrong is Made Right

So, after my awful experience at The New Esplanade, I packed up my belongings and went to check out. The woman at the front desk was really nice and offered me one night of rent back which I gladly took and headed off in search of the train station. My original plan was to check out Kings Park today, but I figured I’d save that for Friday before my flight, since I need to head back this way as it is…

I made my way the short distance to the train station, stopping off at “Pie Face” for a nice strong coffee. They let you decide how badly you need to be woken up– “kick in the arse” seemed about right to me. This little coffee shop also has a number of, you guessed it, pies. Most of them are savory pies, which I just can’t get into to… but i know they’re huge in England and also in Aussie. I just can’t do it. If you like them though, there are a wide range of options and as the commercials on TV have let me know– they’re now also served at KFC.

Anyway, I headed off to the Perth Underground Train Station. Remember how I talked about how awesome the Australia public transportation system is because it’s so intuitive and provides all of your options right in front of you? Apparently that’s not the case throughout Australia. Luckily, I had looked up my journey online before heading to the train station- something that I would highly recommend for anyone traveling around Perth. Transperth is a fantastic website with a journey planner that also says how much it will cost and how many zones you will be traveling in. Prices are assigned based on the number of zones you’ll be traveling and for a period of time you may travel on any public transportation within the paid for zones [ferry, bus, train]. Anyway, I knew that to travel from Perth City Center to Fremantle, it would cost me $4.20 and I would be traveling 2 zones.

I walked up to a self serve ticket machine and entered “adult” and “2 zones”. A little screen popped up reading “$4.20”. I went ahead and added the money and received a tiny little “ticket” which was more of a small piece of paper that said “2 zones” good until “1:30PM”. I headed towards the trains and bypassed the ticket stalls [only for folks using a smart rider card- similar to a Smart Trip card in DC or other sort of frequent rider card in other cities]. There was a guard who took a look at my ticket and pointed me in the right direction- Platform 7 for Fremantle. I made my way through an old building under construction and across the train tracks to my platform. About 5 minutes later, the train pulled up and everyone piled on– there was still enough room to sit which I was thankful for since the ride was supposed to be 35 minutes or so.

As we got closer to Fremantle, I looked out the window and was delighted to see water. I was already happier than I was in central Perth. I also saw a lack of high rise buildings which made me even happier. Cities are fine, but give me the coast and the country any day. When I disembarked in Fremantle and walked out onto the street, I knew I was in the right place. Fremantle, or Freo, as the majority call it is awesome. Seaside town, small shops, good microbrewery, parks, access to ferries and trains. Just awesome. Since I had some free time until I had to check into my new hotel, I decided to try out one of the breweries that I had read about the previous evening– The Monk Brewery and Kitchen.

The Monk Brewery and Kitchen was fantastic. Just such a cool place. I giant building on the main street of Freo. And that my friends, is a story for the next post!

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Categories: Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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