October 22, 2014

GoANNA Pale Ale

Jesus Juice: GoANNA Pale Ale - Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

I’ve heard that some claim beer is a gift from the Gods (Heck Yeah!) others tell a story of it being a healing potion (Couldn’t agree more!) But for me, my appreciation for beer has grown quite profoundly over the years. 

Jesus Juice: GoANNA Pale Ale - Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

I’m not entirely sure why I heart the bubbly brew so much, perhaps it’s the Aussie in me, or maybe it came about during my struggling apprentice chef days because it was the only booze I could afford; or perhaps it was because I have so many great memories of Mom and dad brewing beer in the front room (the explosions in the night were fun… Ha!) but the fact of the matter is…. I love my beer.

Have you ever wondered what the process of making beer is? Well this little budding beer nerd surely did. I booked in a Sunday session at a DIY microbrewery in Canberra and got my brew on.

Jesus Juice: GoANNA Pale Ale - Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

We were given a menu where we could pick from 100’s of recipes, I decided on a Pale Ale with similar characteristics to Coopers.

Jesus Juice: GoANNA Pale Ale - Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

We gathered our ingredients, mixed them up and boiled our wort – for the uninitiated that’s water, hops, grains & malt which magically ferments into beer.

Jesus Juice: GoANNA Pale Ale - Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

The wort is transferred into a fermenter, which is left to brew in their cool room for about two weeks.

Jesus Juice: GoANNA Pale Ale - Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

When the beer is ready, it is filtered, and we poured it into bottles. The really fantastic thing about this experience – A single brew produces 50 litres of beer! #boom

Jesus Juice: GoANNA Pale Ale - Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

My first attempt at brewing was a success, however tasted nothing like the ale it claimed too, so I crowned thee ‘Goanna Beer’. Brewing Beer brought out the Beer Wench in me & I found myself ever so delicately asking guests if ‘Thou wished for beer m’lady or ‘siree’ instead of the usual………. ‘wannabeermate’?

So tell me dear reader, have you ever made your own beer, wine or spirit? If yes, was it drinkable?

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shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Jean | Holy Smithereens - November 19, 2014 Reply

Hi Anna! Long time no visit but I’m baaack 🙂
I don’t drink alcohol at all but it’s very interesting to see you brew your own 🙂 The closest I ever got was going inside the Guiness factory in Dublin, but went after hours for a party so I wasn’t able to brew- boo!

    Anna - November 19, 2014 Reply

    I missed you lovely Jean. 🙂
    WOW…. Visiting the Guinness factory in Dublin. That is AMAZING! Even more so that you went to a party, not to brew. Jean, you are my hero. 🙂

shenANNAgans » Canberra Beer Day Out - November 12, 2014 Reply

[…] is a gorgeous thing. I’ve said it before, but I think beer has been the booze of choice for gods, royals, slaves, peasants, workers, low […]

Raymund - October 28, 2014 Reply

Wow I want to do this.
I am now jealous 🙂
It would be really nice if I can craft my own beer

Sophie - October 27, 2014 Reply

being a Belgian, you would think that i made my own beer, right? No, I haven’t done that yet. I also make liqueurs, limoncello etc at home!

What a cool post! Well done you! Yum yum yumm!

    Anna - October 28, 2014 Reply

    Welllll I kinda understand why you wouldn’t brew your own when you are in the heart of beer heaven. LOL!
    Very cool you make liqueur and limoncello, both are on my list to make. 🙂
    Thanks Sophie for the lovely comment.

Gourmet Getaways - October 26, 2014 Reply

Hehe, love the name Goanna 🙂 Looks like you did a pretty neat job brewing!

Gourmet Getaways

Gary Lum (@Yummy_Lummy) - October 25, 2014 Reply

Hi there Anna

I hope you’ve had a good week.

I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog and that I have nominated your blog for the Liebster award. If you’d like to take part you can find more information at http://wp.me/p4HW6h-2vY

It might be a great opportunity for you to share your own story with your readers ☺

Take care


    Anna - October 25, 2014 Reply

    Oh hey Gaz! Great week thanks. I do hope yours has been wonderful also. 🙂
    WOW… Thank you so much for the nomination, that’s really lovely of you. I shall check out the link and get cracking on the post.
    Wishing you a fun filled weekend. Here’s Cheers! Anna

Krista - October 25, 2014 Reply

So fun!!! I’ve made my own beer, cider, liqueurs, and limoncello, but never beer. Bear and I have been collecting the equipment to make it, though, and hopefully when Autumn rolls around we’ll be brewing up a storm. 🙂

    Anna - October 25, 2014 Reply

    Krista, you’ve done all the amazing things, I’d love to make my own wine and limoncello too. #yarm 🙂
    Can’t wait to see what you and Bear brew. Happy weekend lovely lady.

cityhippyfarmgirl - October 25, 2014 Reply

Oh yes you ARE a little beer nerd Anna 🙂
Give me fermented anything else but. Beer? It’s all yours lovely.

    Anna - October 25, 2014 Reply

    I’m a beer nerd and proud. 🙂
    Haha… Okay, I’m totally down with this little drinking arrangement, you have the vino, Ill have your beer.

Choc Chip Uru - October 25, 2014 Reply

Never tried brewing myself, I usually just veg out at parties with mine 😛
Seems like a fun experience, I would buy Goanna beer!

Choc Chip Uru

The Squishy Monster - October 25, 2014 Reply

I’ve never made my own alcoholic beverages but this post is inspiring me to at least start seriously thinking about it!

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef - October 25, 2014 Reply

Never made beer. I bought all the equipment and bottles but I never got around to making it. Dumb. I made wine in the dark ages when I was your age but not since.

Sounds like fun!

    Anna - October 25, 2014 Reply

    Hahahaha… That’s pretty funny Maureen. 🙂
    I say pull everything out of storage and get your beer brewing on, because it is soooo fun.

ela@GrayApron - October 24, 2014 Reply

Great post! Never tried home-brewed beer but I bet I would love it!

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - October 24, 2014 Reply

What a fun sounding experience. I’ve made citrus liqueur which I think is pretty decent 🙂

Kris Johnston - October 24, 2014 Reply

Yeah i was the same. I learned to drink beer out of a necessity, as I was a broke apprentice.

Love the stuff now. Pretty cool to see how is actually put together.

Thanks again for sharing with us.

    Anna - October 24, 2014 Reply

    Haha… Remember how we would save up our staffies for an epic drinking session. 🙂
    Yep, totally love it now, speaking of, we should grab a brewski soon.
    Love ya little nizz. xox

Agness - October 24, 2014 Reply

Omomomoomm I see someone likes alcoholic drinks :D!!

Sriprae - October 24, 2014 Reply

Sounds like great fun! Totally up your alley. 🙂
I appreciate people who can brew beer, make wine and a mean bottle of tequila. 🙂 Their craft is amazing! (applause, applause) What I like to do is enjoy the end result of their expertise. (happy dance)
Cheers, girlfriend! (and much love–of course) xox

    Anna - October 24, 2014 Reply

    It was so much fun Sriprae, made the brew taste all the better because I had made it. 🙂
    Here’s Cheers to you too lovely lady. Hugs and loves. xox

Alice - October 24, 2014 Reply

That is one good session in a brewery! Amazing to think that one batch can produce enough golden ale to keep 50 of your closest friends, happy! Looks like the best kind of weekend project indeed 🙂

    Anna - October 24, 2014 Reply

    Hahaha! Yes Alice, I was very popular there for a few weekends post bottling. LOL!
    It was a bunch of fun, def need to book in and do again soon. 🙂

Dedy@Dentist Chef - October 23, 2014 Reply

well, actually i’m a social drinker, but i’m not that often drink beer…
but i always used it for cooking like making fritter batter or braising
lovin the fancy name of “Goanna Beer”

    Anna - October 24, 2014 Reply

    Oh yes Dedy! Works wonderfully with the cooking too. I shall head over to your blog for some amazing recipes to use my GoANNA Pale Ale in. 🙂

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - October 23, 2014 Reply

Goanna beer sounds like a quintessentially Aussie drop and I hear that the brewer is really amazing too 😉

Susan - October 23, 2014 Reply

Who is that cute baby girl? Could it be Anna having a little sip of the brown ale? Great post shenANNAgans.

    Anna - October 24, 2014 Reply

    Teehee…. my appreciation for beer started as a wee nipper. 🙂
    Thanks for your continued support, you are amazing. xox

Elizabeth - October 23, 2014 Reply

That’s great! I’m not really a beer drinker, but if I am going to drink it must be a black and on tap! Those two combinations and I’m in trouble!!!! Liz x

    Anna - October 23, 2014 Reply

    Oooooo…. A Guinness drinker, that’s fantastic Liz! #lovethat
    Noted that black on tap = trouble in Liz town. What fun we will have when we catch up. LOL!

Hotly Spiced - October 23, 2014 Reply

What a fun thing to do. I think all good Aussies enjoy a beer or three. Loved your beautiful comment on my blog – you’re a great encourager xx

    Anna - October 23, 2014 Reply

    So much fun Charlie. 🙂
    It is an Aussie thing to crack a coldie or 3 huh?!
    And you are most welcome, right back at chya re the encourager, it’s awesome being able to share in your adventures. Thanks for being so awesome. xox

Hannah - October 23, 2014 Reply

‘Goanna Beer’ amazing name! It looks like you had a heap of fun! My step-dad had a bottle of the Goanna Beer and LOVED IT!!!!

However I’m not a lover of your beloved beer, I only like a handful of ciders.

I’ve never created my own alcohol but I’d love to give it a go so I can understand the process a bit better.

You do such amazing things!

    Anna - October 23, 2014 Reply

    Why thank ya lovely one! 🙂 And yes… soooo fun.
    Oooh, I didn’t know your step dad had one of my brews, although that does make sense as you don’t drink the beer.
    I say we add wine making to the shenHANNAHgans bucket list.
    I am pretty lucky with the fun things I do, even luckier I have amazing friends (like YOU!) to do them with.

marta@platedujour.com - October 23, 2014 Reply

My mom makes wine- it’s actually a sort of liquor, very strong one- we use plums or cherries, it’s perfect in the winter time, very much drinkable! ! Oh ya!

    Anna - October 23, 2014 Reply

    How fantastic Marta! 🙂 I have friends who make wine, but they just use grapes. What a brilliant idea to use plums and cherries. Delicious too.

My Inner Chick - October 22, 2014 Reply

No, but I know people who have.
It’s kind of a hobby for them.
you are so adorable. xx

    Anna - October 23, 2014 Reply

    Hey Kim! Ooooo… Wonderful, home brew made with love is the best.
    Annnnnd, I thank you for the compliment, right back at chya. xox

Elias - October 22, 2014 Reply

Yes! haven’t done it for a couple of years but brewing beer at home can be fun. The coopers kits are very easy to use 🙂

    Anna - October 23, 2014 Reply

    Hey Elias! 🙂
    Yeah, brewing the beer at home is fun, although can be rather messy, I have memories of exploding bottles (in the middle of the night – it was like gun shots being fired). That was one fun clean up. Ha! Missed a vital step in the brew process I guess. The Coopers kits are great, solid beer too.

court - October 22, 2014 Reply

I have a darling cookbook that teaches you how to turn A LITTLE brandy into A LOT of ‘tia maria’ or creme de menthe. Weekend project?

    Anna - October 23, 2014 Reply

    Chummy! Lock that in stat. 🙂 Sounds like a super weekend and a heck of party in the making right there! 🙂

Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) - October 22, 2014 Reply

Enjoy the ‘Goanna Beer’ Anna:) If I lived a little closer I would calling by to enjoy a cool one:)

    Anna - October 22, 2014 Reply

    Oh yeah… That’d be awesome Rachel, Id love to share a brew with you. Lets make that a thing someday soon. 🙂

lizzygoodthings - October 22, 2014 Reply

Interesting post, Anna… I think brewing your own beer might be fun. Cheers!

    Anna - October 22, 2014 Reply

    Thanks heaps lovely Lizzy! 🙂 It was a lot of fun, and awesome to have a solid supply of beer too. Here’s Cheers! 🙂

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