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Bad Shepherd Brewing Co.

Bad Shepherd Brewing Co.

Episode 3 – Books & beer

Bad Shepherd Brewing Co.

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Recently I ventured south-side to Cheltenham on a mission to drink beer and talk books.

I got to check out the working brewery – a hive of activity – and spoke with Craig Blackmore, head brewer at Bad Shepherd Brewing Co. 

I had heard a rumour about a mythical beast, fantastically purple to behold and delicious to drink, which may show itself if I were worthy enough … reader, I was. 

The beers and the books:

Victoria Pale Ale – crisp, easy, historic Melbourne yeast

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood is the first of the Phryne (rhymes with my-knee) Fisher series set in 1920’s Melbourne. It is obviously historic, but also a lovely easy read with a sharp-shooting, straight-talking, high-flying lady detective solving murders and taking lovers like it’s no one’s business!

Everywhere I Look by Helen Garner is a collection of short works, vignettes really, by the well-loved Australian novelist. These reflections are dry, relaxed, elegant and easy to read, even when they are devastating observations of humanity at its worst.

Unicorn Beer – Peach Brut IPA – fantastical, dry, badass, drinkable

Uprooted by Naomi Novik is a truly fantastical, magical story, but it’s not the one you think you’re getting. It is high fantasy at its best, told beautifully, as the main character learns and grows and faces the corrupting threat of the ‘big bad’.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir has been described as ‘lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space’ and honestly, that’s all you need to know about this bone-dry, crazy, amazing, unicorn of a book!

Hazelnut Brown – toasty, malty, smooth, nutty, rich, dry, clean

Rivers of London is the first novel in the series of the same name. Part BBC police procedural, part magical academy this story of a young police officer who, after seeing a ghost, becomes the first apprentice wizard in over seventy years, learning magic and solving supernatural crimes. A smooth, toasty, completely nutty story which is addictive!

To Say Nothing Of The Dog by Connie Willis is comic science fiction featuring time-travelling historians … a very dry, English style of nuttiness is on show here with smooth, clean writing that will keep you entertained throughout.

Bad Shepherd Brewing Co. 

[email protected]

03 8555 3175

 386 Reserve Rd, Cheltenham VIC

Literary Elixirs is recorded live in a noisy world.

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.

La Sirene Brewing Co.

La Sirene Brewing Co.

Episode 2 – Books & beer

La Siréne Brewing Co.

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It was a stinker of a 43 degree Melbourne summer day when I headed out to La Sirene Brewery in the wilds of Alphington to chat with brewery ambassador Will Macdonald. Birds were chirping (how many can you hear?!) and the sun was beating down on the corrugated tin shed roof.

I was a little nervous about trying ‘sours’ as I would never normally choose to drink them and what would I say if I didn’t enjoy them? Turns out I needn’t have worried – these beers were the perfect cold beers for a hot day, I was pleasantly surprised and refreshed with each tasting 🙂

Will and I spoke about a range of things: the philosophy behind being a modern day Farmhouse brewer, Wild Ales as a house style and the importance of microflora in an open-fermentation brewery.

I’m so glad I got the chance to try these delicious beers and cannot wait to continue my Wild Ale journey!

The beers and the books:

Saisonette – light, spicy, fresh, dry, tart

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Light and fluffy romance on the surface but with surprising depth and freshness, this is the story of Tiffy who needs a cheap flat and Leon who works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, this sweet and engaging story also deals sympathetically emotional abuse and social anxiety. 

Paradoxe – lively, refreshing, tropical, creamy

The seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Ageing and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

This is a mesmerising journey through the splendour of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means–and what it costs–to face the truth. 

An absolutely luscious, creamy, joy of a read!

Farmhouse Red – malt, rose, hibiscus, fruit, sweet, floral, bitter

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

It’s 1946 and author Juliet Ashton can’t think what to write next. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey – by chance, he’s acquired a book that once belonged to her – and, spurred on by their mutual love of reading, they begin a correspondence. When Dawsey reveals that he is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, her curiosity is piqued and it’s not long before she begins to hear from other members. As letters fly back and forth with stories of life in Guernsey under the German Occupation, Juliet soon realises that the society is every bit as extraordinary as its name.

This is a classic, beautiful story. Sweetly bitter but with a solid Farmhouse backbone that just grabs you and keeps you hooked. Simply lovely!

Praline – chocolate, nuts, vanilla, creamy, complex, sweet, elegant

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold.

When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk–grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh–Miryem’s fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. Set an impossible challenge by the nameless king, Miryem unwittingly spins a web that draws in a peasant girl, Wanda, and the unhappy daughter of a local lord who plots to wed his child to the dashing young tsar.

Channeling the vibrant heart of myth and fairy tale, Spinning Silver weaves a multilayered, magical tapestry that readers will want to return to again and again.

This is an elegantly complex tale that will leave you feeling deliciously warm inside!


2 Wingrove Street,
VIC 3078 Australia

Literary Elixirs is recorded live in a noisy world.

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.

Inner North Brewing Co.

Inner North Brewing Co.

Episode 1 – Books & beer

Inner North Brewing Co.

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Welcome all to the debut episode of Literary Elixirs!

It was a hot day perfect for a cold beverage when I ventured down a few back streets in Brunswick to Inner North Brewing Co., recording equipment in hand.

Brewmaster Zack was kind enough to chat with (a very nervous) me for this first episode … luckily we were discussing two things very close to my heart, beer and books 🙂 We had a great time chatting and tasting and hopefully you will enjoy this first of many book pairing adventures to come!

A few things mentioned which I loved (apart from the beer chat of course!) include the creative process of coming up with new beers in the first place, having your beer blessed by Thai forest monks, the very serious (not really) job of naming a beer and (a little randomly) reading Game of Thrones in Spanish.

The beers and the books:

WTFPA Enigmatic, Australian, juicy, gritty

The lost man by Jane Harper

Two brothers meet at the border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of outback Queensland.  They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old, no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the shadow it casts was the last hope for their brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish. Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he lose hope and walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects.

A deeply atmospheric, enigmatic and Australian, gritty and juicy tale this is a book that had me hooked from the very beginning.

The nowhere child by Christian White

Psychological thriller about a woman uncovering devastating secrets about her family—and her very identity. Kim has been enjoying her relatively normal life in Australia. Sitting alone in a coffee shop, a man approaches her. He shows her a photograph of his sister Sammy, who went missing over 20 years ago in Kentucky. He insists Kim is that sister!

This debut novel is definitely gritty and enigmatic. From Melbourne to Kentucky, this is a fast-paced, juicy story with a few WTF moments of its own!

Drink, Pray, Love Inspired by Thai sticky rice. Fruity, tropical notes of mango & coconut

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

Delightful, vibrant and cheeky this is a joyful read, fruity in the best of ways, it will transport you to a holiday state of mind.

Mostly dead things by Kristen Arnett

One morning, Jessa-Lynn Morton walks into the family taxidermy shop to find that her father has committed suicide, right there on one of the metal tables. Shocked and grieving, Jessa steps up to manage the failing business, while the rest of the Morton family crumbles.
Florida is tropical right??? This is a strange, fantastic, gem of a book, different but with a lot of heart. Might seem sweet at first but really there’s a lot more going on under the surface.

Plus taxidermy is interesting.

Brunny Dubbel Complex, malty, sticky

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

Set in the days of civilisation’s collapse. One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theatre troupe known as the Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains.

A gentle, unhurried, evocative dystopia that lingers until long after you’ve finished reading. This book has a complex tale and a malty backbone which carries the story through.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Keiko has worked at the convenience store her entire adult life. But as she nears 40, the pressure to find a “real” job or get married is mounting – what sort of life awaits Keiko outside the comfort zone of the store and will she step out to meet it.

Darkly quirky, unique and non-conforming this is a short yet complex tale that is surprisingly easy to consume.

Inner North Brewing Co. can be found around a corner, down a lane in Brunswick, Vic.

10A Russell St, Brunswick VIC 3056
[email protected]
0490 902 818

Literary Elixirs is recorded live in a noisy world.

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.