Updated on August 19, 2016
Fitz + Potts – A Mismatch made in heaven (guest post from beergirlworld)
What’s that, you say? You love to hang around Schoonerversity, but would still like to occasionally read a post written by someone else? And there’s no one you trust as much as me to curate excellent beer blog posts?
Well, you’re in luck. Here’s a guest post from Kamina of beergirlworld!
On Tuesday night, beergirlworld hit up Fitz + Potts for one of their semi-regular Meet the Maker dinner + beer tasting events, this time with the (suspiciously aptly named) Ewan Brewerton from Mismatch Brewing Co. Before the night I had very little experience of Fitz + Potts and zero knowledge of Mismatch. At the end of the night, I walked away thinking two things:
1. I have GOT to go to more of these Fitz + Potts events!
2. I have GOT to drink more of these Mismatch Beers!
Here’s why. First, the venue:
THE FOOD – The Potts half of Fitz + Potts is some kind of witch in the kitchen, and I mean the good kind of witch that feeds you truffle pate and lulls you into enchanted dreams full of dancing ravioli pockets and muffin mountains running with chocolate lava. The night included a three-course meal, which felt more like three tiers of mouth-heaven on the spiritual path to food enlightenment. Girlfriend can cook.
THE FEELS – Fitz + Potts have decorated the bar to feel like you’re at your mate’s house. If your mate was, like, a Nanna, and your Nanna’s taste ran to electric blue velvet couches and an Actual Disco Ball. It’s a fun place and people’s hearts feel at home there, even if – or especially because – some of the “tables” and “chairs” feel like they belong in inverted commas. (I sat on an impressively supportive seating object made of cardboard. More F + P magic.)
THE DOGGOS – Fitz + Potts have puppers! And they like to hang out and receive pats and maybe eat a tiny piece of baguette with truffle pate on, but I wouldn’t know about that. I’m just guessing. One of the puppers is, like, a very tall beagle that pretends like interacting with humans is below his dignity unless there’s a food involved, and the other one is a half pug, half cavalier thingy with very soft ears. I think it is called a pugalier or a cavapug or something. I just call her Ducky, because that is her name.
In summary, there are dogs and you should go to there.
Okay. Now that I’ve sold you on the venue, let’s talk Mismatch.
THE BREWERY – Look, I’ll be honest with you – I’m not good with history, even the history of recent established craft breweries, and while Ewan from Mismatch was talking about the stuff I was pretty distracted making eyes at the puppers and licking stray mushroom and truffle pate off my arm.
But I got that they hang out in the Adelaide Hills and they’re into quality and sustainability and transparency and feeling their way through making really good beer, and you can read some more on their website, which is much more coherent than I am.
Now to the really important bit:
THE BEERS – To go with the food, Fitz + Potts poured us all a pot of each of these five beers:
Session Ale – Ewan described this as “designed to session on” and I’m honestly the last person in the world to enjoy a beer that’s designed to be sessioned on. At first sip it tasted like, well, a session ale, but the finish was a pleasant surprise. Citrusy! Crisp! Tastes like yellow! I have low expectations of session ales. This one exceeded them impressively.
Archie’s Red Ale – This beer, named for a mate of Ewan’s, was described as “a tribute to beating cancer and kicking its ass”. Ewan also noted that it ages well. I would be keen to try it after a bit of said aging, but as it stands it was a fine example of a mild red – dry with a hint of maltiness. I felt like I was slightly underwhelmed by this beer, but I also felt wrong, because everybody around me was super enthusiastic about it. Maybe it’s because my face was busy in Potts’s creamy green bean and walnut casserole.
XPA – On my notes for this beer I’ve written down: ‘floral, citrusy, syrupy. This is when it got good.’
You know how you go to these tasting events and it’s a newish, smallish brewer and you so want them to be good? As much as you want to support craft and sing the praises of anybody who is having a go, you never know how well the beer is actually going to stand up.
I’ve had plenty of “only okay” session ales and red ales in my time, so as I said, I had modest expectations of those first two beers. And so far, those expectations had been pleasantly, but not electrifyingly, exceeded. If you’d asked me to assess Mismatch’s chops at this point in the night, I probably couldn’t have given a really stirring answer in any direction. The XPA was the beer that swung it, and made us all start taking notice. It was a fragrant delight. And that’s when it started to get good.
Red IPA – By this point in the night the quality of my tasting notes was declining. On the menu that I brought home with me, I’ve just scribbled: “strawberry jammy! IT’S IN THE MUFFINS!”. I do recall that it had a joyful strawberry quality that made me feel like there were bales of hay and sunshine in my heart. And it was, indeed, an ingredient in the chocolate muffins that were served for dessert. I also remember a lot of excitable nodding and sniffing from the people in my vicinity. I really can’t be more coherent than that so you’ll have to go and try it for yourself.
Negroni IPA – Jason of Brews and Bacon had insisted we have a cheeky pot of this before the tasting officially started, so fortunately my memory of it is vivid.
I don’t really have words for this beer. I mean, I have informational words, like: smells like negroni and tastes like blood orange and finishes like bitters. But I don’t have words for what the beer means to you when you drink it. The other half of beergirlworld described it as her “beer spirit animal”. Jason called it his beer of the year, and I might be inclined to agree. It’s the kind of beer that transcends the pedestrian act of drinking and inclines the drinkers to frame it as a spiritual experience. It’s the kind of beer that made me well up slightly with happy tears because I felt like the beer was offering to be my home in a complicated world. It’s the kind of beer that surprises you with how much it tastes exactly as the name promises, yet simultaneously overflows the boundaries of anything you could have imagined. Just, go and drink this beer.
Unless you don’t like the taste of bitter orange, in which case, don’t waste it on yourself, but leave more for the people who will worship appropriately at its altar.
IN SUMMARY: Fitz + Potts did a smashing job of showcasing an exciting brewery. Even the delectable food and disco atmosphere couldn’t outshine some pleasantly surprising, inventive beers. To action: Go and get your hands on some Mismatch. Like, now.
All of us here at Schoonerversity (that’s right, ALL OF US) reckon you should really check out beergirlworld. They make beer and Instagram exponentially more fun!
Marcelle & Kamina/BFFs
2 girls loving the community, supporting the craft, accidentally drinking all the beers in Brisbane 🍻💕
Is there someone else you’d like to read a guest post from, or perhaps you’re interested to see if you could make the cut? Comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!