Epic Armageddon IPA

If you were going to split beer enthusiasts into two broad churches, one would worship the malt and yeast characters in beers made by actual monks; the other would worship hops and flee to the New World, or more specifically, Portland, Oregon.

As for the site of Armageddon, neither party would have picked New Zealand, from whence this beer came. It is certainly the American, hop-filled vision of the end times rather than one imagined by Trappists.

Epic Armageddon IPA

Epic says: “In the beginning, there was nothing. Then an impish brewer piled a ludicrous amount of hops into a batch of beer. This zymurgical big bang is Epic Armageddon, an apocalyptic assault on your preconceptions and taste buds. It may be too huge for this fragile planet so enjoy this beer like it was the last one on Earth”

I say: Pours a orange-copper color. The aroma is hops, the flavour is hoppy to the point of being oily and resinous; pine forest and orange. No maltiness or any other character, just hops, which amply conceals the 6.66% alcohol punch. The finish is bitter. It’s unbalanced just like a good India pale ale should be.

ABV: 6.66%

The new layout

After deliberating over food blog templates for a good six months, I’ve decided just to make a change to the layout completely on a whim rather than putting in the hard work of redesigning the site. My only gripe with the previous template was the way that it treated short posts – you’d have no idea of the length (or necessarily content) of a post when you hit the home page. This acted as a deterrent to me throwing forth random, short and poorly thought out posts which are the grist for any blogger’s dark satanic mill.

It’s probably still packed full of delicious bugs. Enjoy!

Moving your food blog from Blogspot to WordPress

At the Australian Food Blogger Conference yesterday, Michael from My Aching Head mentioned the process of moving a blog from Blogspot/Blogger to WordPress. I’ve had to do this three times over the past few years for friends.

Here is the step by step process for moving a blog from Blogspot to WordPress. It does require some very basic editing of your blog template and a file in WordPress, but the gigantic bonus is that you get to maintain all of the incoming links to every page from your old blog.

Here is an example of it in action:

  1. Go to http://realthai.blogspot.com/2008/02/ayuthaya-again.html
  2. It will redirect to http://www.austinbushphotography.com/2008/02/ayuthaya-again.html (check the URL bar in your web browser.)

At least she didn’t mention the war.

What is the point of swallowing the last 10 years of Hanoi food writing from U.S. magazines, visiting said city for a holiday-come-assignment, talking to the self same people you’ve read about in those U.S. magazines and spewing 2,129 words of uninspired, unoriginal, factually inaccurate, poop out the orifice of an American printing press at the other end? I dunno, but maybe the editors at The Smithsonian can tell us.

It’s worth taking a look over at Noodlepie as Graham Holliday eviscerates the latest steamy gut-pile of parachute journalism on Hanoian phở. I’m still amazed that there is a market for articles where the journalists interview just the “cultural translators” – those handy English-speaking experts who can be relied on for a pithy quote – rather than the people who cook the dish on a daily basis.

Sapa Hills, Footscray

There are two generations of Vietnamese restaurants in Footscray, . The first emulates the tile-and-mirror-walled, cheap metal table joints of the streets of Saigon. The architecture sends a message that hosing down the walls could be a priority, the hall of mirrors effect suggests that the appearance of being busy is as important as really being busy. The second generation is identical to upmarket phở chain, Phở 24 with dark timber panelling, dark timber seats, white plates, the appearance that they’re one frappucino short of a Starbucks.

In , both tend to serve the same menu; interior design is not a handy marker of a great or terrible meal.

bo la lot, Sapa Hills, Footscray

Sapa Hills opened in November 2009 and falls into the second generation with the added bonus of shots of the actual terraced hills of Sapa on the wall. The menu isn’t from northern Vietnam – it’s much the same as every other Melbourne pho joint – but there is the occasional plate from the north, like the above bo la lot: fatty and peppery beef mince wrapped in a betel nut leaf (although here, vine leaves substitute(?)), topped with peanuts.

Bun Cha, Sapa Hills, Footscray

The argot of Northern Vietnamese food is meat and the above is at it’s blunt meaty best. Grilled thin slices of pork and well charred meatballs with a thin vinegary, green papaya-topped stock. Greens are varied and bun noodle serve are generous.

Location: 112 Hopkins St, Footscray VIC 3011