Sunday, 12 April 2015

Milo Heads North - 10th and 11th of April

Hey all, decided I should probably write a new post again, but instead of a beer review roundup, this week we have coverage of Milo the Kombi's trip from Ballina to Byron and everything in between.

Legitimately needs that many people pushing to get up a  gutter

On Wednesday last week, I got a call from Tim, one of our NSW craft ambassadors, asking if I wanted to do a gig on the weekend... In Ballina. Unperturbed by the distance, I was keen to go, so thursday was frantically spent organising flights and hotel bookings, which ended up being ready just in the nick of time!

On friday, I knocked off work at midday and headed over to the airport. A few mechanical delays later, I touched down at Ballina/Byron airport around 5pm. Greeting me at the gate was Marto (Wayne Martin), our rep for the Ballina area. We jumped into his ute and headed over to our first stop: Shaw's Bay Hotel

As we pulled into the Shawsy parking lot I saw a small crowd milling around, and once we got inside, I was introduced to Milo:

Up and running in all his glory

I quickly realised this was not my first time meeting Milo, having spotted him at the brewery in Geelong earlier this year:

Didn't have the sweet Jockey box back then though
Introductions aside, Marto introduced me to the 2-man crew who run the Shawsy, Marty and his dad Brendan. Marty joined Marto and I in spending the evening chatting to the punters and dispensing some tasty craft beer. In a pub that primarily sells New and Gold, craft can be a hard sell, but we managed to get plenty of people to give Creatures a go, and nobody left disappointed!

A little sampling never hurt anyone

The next morning, Tim flew into Ballina, and we both headed over to the Shawsy to ready Milo for the trip ahead. The heavens opened on us, and didn't really look likely to stop. But we persisted, and managed to get Milo up and running... Though he definitely put up a fight:

Once we got on the road, things didn't particularly improve. The windscreen wipers were worse than useless:

Not even doctored, this is literally all they did
And between the dodgy brakes, sticky gearbox and pelting rain, Tim spent about 80% of his time driving making this face:

And courtesy of Marto's photography, you can see we nearly rolled on the first corner we took:

That suspension though

But somehow, despite all odds, we made it to the Beach Hotel in Byron in one piece. The front driveway nearly took us out, but a push from some friendly locals got us up into the courtyard and we were ready to get set up:

A pretty snazzy setup if I do say so myself

From here, things rapidly improved. The weather went from 15 degrees and bucketing with rain, to 25 and lovely, and shortly afterwards local artist ! N I T S U A showed up to spraypaint an awesome mural:

And although Tim nearly got caught out with a big suss bag of green stuff:

I swear officer they're hops
We ended up having a killer day of sharing our beers and chatting to people about Little Creatures and Craft Beer! Plenty of pots were dispensed, the one-off shirts were a big hit, and we ended up having a killer afternoon

Tim's about to drink a tasty cup of hops
Overall, a great bit of fun, got to share our beers with plenty of people who probably wouldn't even give them a thought otherwise, and also got to talk beer with a number of people who are just as passionate about beer as I am!

Thanks for reading guys, tune in next time for a roundup for a few more weird and wonderful beers, and some leadup to GABS!

Click here for a more complete album of photos