Updated on August 6, 2015
Weekend of Darkness, Part One – The Weekend
Most universities have weekends off. But not Schoonerversity. At Schoonerversity, even on the weekends, there’s no rest for the wicked. And that’s never truer than on the Weekend of Darkness, at The Scratch.
As of a week ago, we live just down the road from The Scratch, an awesome craft beer bar in Milton. While Scratch has been our favourite and go-to bar for a while, it’s now our local. And it’s a good neighbour.
This weekend was the second annual Weekend of Darkness, those blissful 54 hours where The Scratch offers only dark beers on their taps. Forty dark beers from all around Australia and New Zealand (well, except for one from USA). Porters, stouts, black IPAs and dark Belgian ales. Chocolate, coffee, smoke, oak, fig, whiskey… so many flavours going on, sometimes all in the same drink. And the staff provided their own dark flavour as well, with their Addams-Family-esque costuming for the weekend, and their doll heads and mannequin torsos adorning the place. They’re an odd lot. In a good way.
There was food available over the weekend (all dark and rich and smokey, of course), but we were saving our wallets for the dark drink. We took along some cookies that my wife baked, appropriate to the weekend–dark cocoa, choc chip, hazelnut meal, a double shot of espresso, and some applewood smoked salt. Dark and delicious, and sharing many of the characteristics to be found on tap. The only problem was the temptation to gorge myself on them and destroy my palate. Luckily, discipline prevailed, and the beer was prioritised.
I managed to get my hands on the WoD programme a few days early, so I was able to mark the brews I was keen to try. I put a little star next to each description I liked. Turns out, that did not cut the list down very much. But it did give me some focus, so when my wife and I turned up on Saturday afternoon, and made it to the front of the queue (people lined up out the door to take part in these dark times), we had some idea of what we wanted.
Between meeting up with a few groups of friends on Saturday, and managing to sneak in a quick sip on Sunday night, we tasted fourteen of the taps on offer over the weekend. (It’s a good thing they offered them all in ponies!) One I disliked. Eleven I enjoyed. And two that I could write epic poems about, to be sung by mutant minstrels in a post-apocalyptic world in centuries to come.