About Me

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Toni and Adam Bellamy are 4th generation independent liquor merchants. Their family has been providing the public with quality wines and ales almost since the dawn of time. Purveyors of the most commodified of liquor products to the specialisations of each brother. Toni, wine. Adam, Beer. Our blog is to update you on current products that have arrived in store. Also the ventilation and airing of some of our thoughts regarding the industry.

Monday, 15 June 2015

6 Things Learnt From Good Beer Week

Ah Melbourne, you do it to me every time.

Never, returning north do I not have such feelings of pain, sadness, joy, infatuation and love.

Here are 6 things that’s I learnt about Melbourne, Good Beer Week and me.

1. Schmoozing & Networking

To my own detriment, one of my biggest shortcomings as a human has to be my inability to deal, handle, tolerate with people that I clearly wouldn’t or do not get along with. Hence why I am absolutely terrible at the whole world of ‘Networking’.

Pretending to care, the greasing of palms, laughing or to get along with someone that I just never ever want to see again in my life. Be it brewers of beer that I think are ordinary, beer representatives that (always) need to be taken down a notch or two or be it someone who just has terrible thoughts and ideas about our community and beer culture in general.

These are but a small portion of sycophantic attributes the modern brown nosing ‘beer geek’ has come by naturally. Unfortunately, I have none of them.

Note to self - I definitely need to work on this in the future.

2. The Woman Are Amaze.

Yep, it is true, woman in Melbourne are total babes. Darker shade of cloths, whiff of nonchalance, funny, interesting, talkative, friendly and most important above all - drink pints. Nuff said.

3. Beer Is Different In Melbourne.

Beer is much more open down south, even democratic it seemed.
It appeared that, more people of every walk, creed and genre was simply enjoying quality beer for its true pleasure and reward rather for its superficial gains (alà Sydney).
I’m not saying those people didn’t exist – they’re everywhere.
However, what drew my attention to this was the approach of dark beer - being at any pub, watering hole, old boozer or establishment, the amount of people drinking (pints!) of dark or deep amber coloured beer was enchanting to say the very least.

4. GABS And I.

I can honestly say that GABS in theory sounds fantastic. It’s not just my thing. I can definitely understand the allure and appeal, particularly if you are new to beer (more is always better right?). Far too many people, far too many different beers and not enough time. I must admit, if I were able to explore the event and have one hour or two within the confines with all the brewers to myself – it would definitely be an event for me.

5. The Expert Masses.

One of the unfortunate things about Melbourne and its beer scene (much like my times in the United States) is that along with a great, understanding, bourgeoning and broadly appealing community – it also includes a whole lot of people who think they do, but actually have clue what they are talking about. Naturally, during GBW I spent a lot of my time The Great Northern in Carlton (pints of Hop Stoopid – hello? Yep, that was me who put a serious dent in the Lagunitas container that was sent here). Several times waiting for my pint, chatting to folk in line (believe it or not - I’m actually pretty friendly) and they would begin to tell me how they -

“LOVE craft beer”, upon conversing further it was simple to astatine that, apart from the beer in his hand and a few catch phrase ‘beer’ terms - one could quantify his knowledge and passion for great beer in the size of fecal matter produced by a gnat.

Bare with me. Now, I’m not totally ignorant. I am fully aware we need these sorts of folk to prop up and help the industry along for us.
I know, the rising tide lifts all boats. You cannot have Point #3 in this list without my aforementioned mate waiting at the bar and many more like him.

6. Good Beer Week Is Genuinely A Great Week – Doing Amazing Work

There was generally a fantastic buzz going around everywhere I went. The folk at Crafty Pint have done an incredible amount of work pushing the right things for the right people. Easy to deal with, everything was seamless and flawless.

No matter who I spoke to, everyone had heard or had participated in GBW in one form or another (please keep in mind, apart from my event – I didn’t go to or attend any other GBW events, no matter how great they looked). It is also not lost on me that I was for the most of it, hanging out in inner city watering holes – (which isn’t exactly Broadmedows or Geelong is it?) None the less, it was a great experience and we best making sure we are trying to be there in 2016.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Arrivals

All beers are Available at Bellevue Hill and North Strathfield.




















Stone Arrogant Bastard - 650ML
Stone Cali Belgique - 650ML
Stone Ruination IPA - 650ML
Stone Double Bastard - 2013 - 650ML
Stone Matt’s Burning Rosids - 650ML
Stone Old Guardian - Aged 2013 - 650ML
Stone Quadrotriticale "Stochasticity Project” - 650ML
Stone Delicious IPA (6 Packs)
Stone Go to IPA (6 Packs)
Stone IPA - (6 Packs)

Deschutes The Abyss - Reserve
Deschutes The Dissident

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Why I Stock…

(The following post is published on who/what/why we carry and who/what/why we don't carry certain beer from certain brewers. This process matters to us and it should matter to you)

Yeastie Boys.

Stu and I have a somewhat miraculous and dare I say, special relationship.

When I fist heard of Yeastie Boys, it was not in the best of circumstances. Stu and Sam’s beers were sold and distributed by a company called Innispire (long story about Innspire – quick recap. First guy to start importing anything legit from US – Rogue, Southern Tier, Flying Dog. Other breweries included Mikkeler, Nonge-O. Pretty much had everyone eating out of his hand. Charged like a wounded bull in price. I have heard things that he owes people money, but that’s neither here nor there).

I ignored and despised Yeastie Boys and their beers, upon first hearing about them. They had cool names; they had even cooler labels and were imported into the country by someone that I didn’t like at all.

I had given up on dealing with Innspire long before the proverbial shit hit the fan.

Yeastie Boys unfortunately was guilty by association.

Funny thing is, Yeastie Boys (whoever that was at the time) used to occasionally comment on this very blog you read here today.

I used to think, “Who is this wanker, I don’t want to carry your beers – Innspire scum”

The comments were usually in agreement with me. Which in general is a rare thing to this very day.

Time passes. Feeling ease. Stu and I chatted more and more via social media.

Not to mention our mate from the QLD did the dodgy on a few breweries including YB and Renaissance among others.

(You can read Stu’s side of the story >> here)

We would laugh at people, point and mock those all up in IPA.

I had, inevitably to wait about two years to carry Yeastie Boys and finally meet Stu.

We got along famously – straight away.

During a SCBW week, he visited me purely because it was time to meet up.

It was a Sunday, I shut up my shop, I lay out some table and chairs, lights off, our faces glowing in the fluorescent light of the fridge’s left turned on.
We listened to great music, ate pizza, drank many a great beer and talked philosophically about beer life and beer**.

It was magical to say the very least.

The very next year during Sydney Craft Beer Week. Sam, Stu and I met John Keeling (and lets be honest, he only came to our Sydney Craft Beer Week event because Stu asked him).

JK made the most glorious of statements.

He said many people make quality beer, however great personalities make great beer. And honestly, he is right.

Plenty of people make food quality beer; fewer people make great beer with their heart and soul poured into it.

Stu and Sam are some of those few.

Yeastie boys beers are thoughtful insightful, usually have another three meanings to them without knowing it.

And I love that.

Because if I had a brewery, we would make beers that would make no sense to anybody apart from myself and seven other very passionate people.

I suppose it helps that their beers are very well made. That can never go astray.

The way in that they think or approach a beer they are going to brew.
It simply isn’t a case of -

“Id like to make a vanilla porter – lets make one”

“Lets make an IPA”

“Guess what, lets make a Imperial Stout (wait for it) with coffee in it”

That rulebook, not only doesn’t get a glance, it gets thrown out the metaphorical lauter tun window before any of those conversations even begin to happen.

Their beers are tight, succinct, inspirational to say the very least and never dull.

Nothing angers me more than when a customer comes back after purchasing some Yeastie Boys beers and declaring they didn’t particularly like it.

I usually more often than not give them the –

“You just don’t get it maaaaaaan. Think outside that amber coloured set of beer glasses called that society has placed on you maaaaaaaan.”

Selling the beers made by Yeastie boys is a labor of love. They come in 330ml bottles (not mon fav, I have pleaded with Stu to put his beers in larger format), often hard to define styles and they don’t exactly run out the door. But yet, I continue to carry them in good faith. Purveying their beer makes me feel proud, wholesome, worth it and all together (-I shit you not-) probably make me a better man.

If I’m honest, I’m jealous of Stu. He is handsome, wicked smart, sharp, eloquent, funny and you can't not be totally drawn to him, especially once he begins talking anything to do with the creative process.

Which is pretty much everything I’m not.

This is the power of love.

P.S – One of my fondest memories to this day is at our SCBW event last year, after everyone had departed. Stu, Sam and I had a chance to relax and chat, drinking apricot what beer (as any civilised gentlemen would do). Whatever, so we were a bit pissed.
Witnessing my mother harass (like any 1962-esque Italian mother) about wanting anything more to eat or drink making sure the boys were totally taken care of and on the same hand lecturing him on how social media is a waste of time. Stu took it all in his stride.

And that’s what we love about him.

**Essentially everything I want to do with my would-be future wife.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Good Beer Week 2015

We aree pleased to announce that we have an event on for 2015 Good Beer Week.

It would be great to see anyone from Sydney there. It would be great to see anyone there…

Info and Tickets available >>>HERE<<<

I’m The World’s Worst Beer Salesman.

Hi there.

My name is Adam Bellamy, first generation Australian.

Son of an immigrant.

28 years of age.

Single.

& I am the world’s worst beer salesman.

At this point you may be thinking, “Why, how can this be Adam?”.

That’s indeed a good question. Hence I am here, to answer that for you.

Just imagine that person you know who loves beer. Y’know real beer.
Ok, ok, bloody hell. “Craft” (ugh) beer then. This person might very well be you. Now take said person’s enthusiasm, passion, dedication, and commitment, love and THEN triple it.

At this point you are somewhere just over half way to understanding how I feel about beer.And this lies at the very heart of why I am the world’s worst beer salesman.

I care too much.

I care waaaaaaay too much.

I care so much that I’m the kind of person that frequently talks people out of buying certain types of beer, because they are not experienced nor mature enough to understand what they actually putting in their mouths.

‘Strawberries to pigs’ I believe is the saying.

However terrible, the business decision. There is at least some method to my seeming madness. If there is one thing that infuriates me more than most things (and as we both know, there are a few), it is when I am to deal with someone, confronted with a beer that they not fully understand neither appreciates.

Common scenario -

“Mate, picked up that beer with the ghost on it.

What’s it called? Yeah yeah, that Fantôme beer the other night”

For some reason, whenever these scenarios playback in my mind, the person speaking seems to always have a tone, accent and general dim wittedness of Paul Vautin.

“Yeah. Yeah Nah, Its was just alright mate, not really my thing aye. I’ll stick to the –insert APA or IPA here - ”

Here, a small list of some of beers that I frequently talk people out of buying;

- HopDog BeerWorks Alluvial Peach
- The entire Fantôme range.
- Yeastie Boys > Most of them.
- Brooklyn Sorachi Ace Saison.
- The entire Fullers Range.
- The entire ‘Les Rulles’ Range.
- Lost Coast Raspberry Brown & Tangerine Wheat.
- Most – if not all Lambics

Among others. On the one positive note, if your beer is mentioned above, it means that I love it, care for it, understand it, and just won’t recommend it to any bum or slouch.

My crowning glory however, of what would make me the worst beer salesman in the world is my adept attention to detail and whimsical fascination.

By which I mean, when I describe a beer to someone, I make it so damn complicated.

I tell the story of the brewery, the theory behind the beer, they reason it was made. Then I go into describing the beer.

Often going totally overboard with my descriptions, leaving the customer flustered, bewildered and completely confused.

Another common scenario –

Beer in discussion lets say – Fuller’s 1845 English Strong Ale.

Me – “This has been made part of the core range and bottled conditioned since 1995 in celebration of (at the time) Fuller's 150th anniversary ale. Caramelised Madagascan sugar, only traditional English floor malts are found with this beer to give its fantastic musty old leather bag in the closet subtle scent. Round, luscious, slightly earthy, burnt brown raison toast with the slightest touch of orange and clementine marmalade. The beer is full however once the yeast takes over there is a swift salty, mineral rush to clean it all up”…

Another two and half minutes later…

…“Usually I love to have it with Traditional Roast, but it is pretty cheeky with some roasted chicken, greens spiked with butter and sage”….

Still some time later….

“Now, I use nonic Southern English nucleated pint glass. You could also use a dimpled mug if your were that way inclined. However a wine glass will do perfectly if you choose so. what do you think?”.

Customer – “Yeah, I think I’m just gonna go with a Coopers Pale Ale long neck”.

Hi there.

My name is Adam Bellamy.

& I am the world’s worst beer salesman.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Arrivals




Blanche De Fantôme
Fantôme Saison
Fantôme Chocolat
Fantôme Magic Ghost
Emelisse Blond Bordeaux BA White Wine
Emelisse IRS Makers Mark BA
Emelisse IRS Sorachi Single Hop
Emelisse Barley Wine Cognac BA
De Struise Ypres 2011 Reserva
De Struise FOB 2010
De Struise Tsjeeses Reserva 2014 Bourbon BA
De Struise Tsjeeses Reserva 2014 Port BA
De Struise Cuveeè Delphine

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Countdown To Australia’s Hottest 100 Craft Beers & Jeers

Yesterday someone had informed me that they had seen someone refer to me as a contrarian. Well I guess.

However, it would never be for the sake of it.

Everything I put forward is an extension of how I truly feel.

Surprisingly (much to some dismay) I don’t mind the Australia’s Hottest 100 Craft Beers.

I suppose it acts a good barometer to see how good beer is sitting with not only the beer, but also the wider community.

Like everyone else I dislike the petty on goings of it all. Breweries and their brewers, take it too seriously. Not to mention the brewers (loose term – if I can call them that) that simply see it as a marketing exercise and do not exactly play with ‘good sport’ in mind.

(Sending out emails accompanied with a link and a step-by-step process on how to vote for their beers, being my favourite story so far)

However, I still do see it as a bit of harmless fun (mostly).

Regardless of that, here are the top 10 reasons I don’t pay attention or participate in the annual beery ordeal.

10. I have a life. Contrary to popular belief, I am usually pretty busy (I suppose we all should be?). However there are just so many more things I would rather do with my spare time than jot down 5 beers I’ve had over 365 days.
Say, polishing my shoes, waiting in line at the RTA etc.

9. Only 5 Beers? They should make it top 10 or 15. That’d separate they men from the boys. How many Pale Ales and IPA’s could they jot down then?!?

8. No matter the circumstance, the winner is usually readily available (great distribution) and has a great marketing campaign (isn’t the whole thing supposed to based on what beer tastes great?).

7. The inevitable winner is a light, relatively refreshing hoppy ale or variation on this theme.

6. Listening to people giving their ‘predictions’ (yeah mate, you have your finger on the pulse – like a good stock broker).

5. Listening to people explaining who they ‘think’ should win. A futile exercise, cause even though you might know what your doing. In a nutshell - your opinion carries the same amount of water as - the winning brewery’s PR's cousin’s wife, who got sent the voting link on her smart phone and she doesn’t care about your theories.

4. TWITTER

3. If only the hottest 100 was run or associated with something similar to the USA’s BA (brewers association), how many heavily featured breweries (again, loose term) in the actual list would not be applicable.

2. The list is just as naff as the musical one that inspires it.

1. If and inevitably, when you tell someone that you are passionate about beer.
That same old chestnut comes up,

“what’s your favourite one?”.

Any of us that hold these things dear, we would and always offer the same typical beer geek response.

“Love them all – its all about time, place, food, mood” blah blah blah…

So in your heart of hearts, you cannot split your favorite brews, its too hard.
I love them all for different reasons. So how can I possibly only limit myself to 5, or how can you choose what beer was better than the other, depending how you felt, what you ate, what music you were listening to. Maybe what the weather was like?
If you tell yourself and others that beer is truly your folly.
If both good and great beer you are truly madly deeply your love.
Then a simple list goes against everything you stand for.
It goes against every grain you have. The very thing you base your love upon.