Yep you read the title of this blog post correctly, I was on a mission to boycott the Taste of Perth 2014 on the weekend and I thoroughly succeeded! To top it off I woke up headache free the following day – score!
It’s the first year the famous Taste festival has rocked up and knocked on Perth’s door. It’s a food and wine event which showcases some of the state’s best and tastiest food and drink options. And I hate to say it but it had bad press from as soon as the gates opened.
After reading through reviews and comments on social media about the festival I really wasn’t that excited about heading along. The majority of the reviews said that it was overpriced, small portions and long lines. Seeing as the sessions only went for about 4 hours, you don’t really want to be waiting around all day/night for one tiny expensive dish now do you.
Tickets into the festival were $38 on the door which is fairly pricey since this only gets you into the festival! There were a few exhibitors where you can try small samples of free wine/drink and food tastings but nothing major.
The bit which really rips at your wallets is that the festival has its own currency called ‘Crowns’. I like this idea to the point that you don’t have to worry about fluffing around with cash or your eftpos card however you cannot redeem your left over money at the end, so it makes me wonder how much profit they made out of everyone simply not being able to use exactly the amount on their cards. Thank-fully they only got $1 out of me!
So you ask, how exactly did I boycott Taste of Perth? Well my friends, I had all the intentions to dine on some of the most scrumptious dishes from the fanciest restaurants in the city however when I coupled the lines together with the size of the plates and spend required I thought bugger that. Particularly when the cocktail bar or craft brewery stand next door had no line and a standard size drink was a standard price of around $8.
Yep that’s right, Mr. Spittoon and I spent our 5:30pm-9:30pm session drinking our way around the festival and it was AWESOME! We got bang for our buck, never had to wait around and we were pretty merry by the end of it! So what did we taste you ask??
- First up we stopped in at the Piper Heidsieck Champagne Bar, and grabbed a glass of their 2006 vintage brut for $24 a pop. Such a shame to be served up in a plastic glass, however it wasn’t spoiled for me as the gorgeous bar and the delicious Champas I was enjoying by their outside heater warmed me up nicely. $24 is a restaurant wine list price, so nothing surprising there however a wee discount would have been nice seeing as we paid to get into the festival.
- Next was the Grape & Grain stand, after seeing the list of master classes we immediately signed up for the first one at 6pm which was the ‘Wild Chardonnay’ tasting with Evoi Wines, Nigel Ludlow. The tasting was about 30 minutes long and we got to try 4 wines and learn all about the effects of wild ferments in Chardonnay. For $6 a person, it was a fantastic deal and it was definitely the highlight of my night. Keep tuned for a more in-depth blog post to come on Evoi Wines and my tasting notes.
- Since my wine cravings were happily satisfied we then moved onto the Beer Hall to keep Mr. Spittoon in good spirits. There were no lines, we didn’t struggle to find seats, it was a super pleasant area to be in as we watched all the crowds outside.
- We started with a beer each from Fremantle’s iconic Sail and Anchor Brewery. Mr. Spittoon really enjoyed the red lager and my Cat’s Shank Kölsch was refreshing and light, much like a lager. Plus they were selling Sail & Anchor t-shirts for only $2 – thank-you!
- After this we moved onto James Squire, also in the beer hall where we had a pint of the Orchard Crush apple cider and one of the pear cider. I love these ciders, more tart than sweet which is right up my alley!
- Next up was Gage Roads Brewing which neither of us had heard of before. They had 3 IPA’s on tap and a cider. We weren’t sure what to go for, so the friendly staff gave us a wee taste of each which was lovely. In the end Mr. Spittoon’s choice was the Sleeping Giant Indian Pale Ale and I went for the Pomme Pomme sparkling apple cider. Not as nice as the JS one’s but pretty easy to drink!
- When we were finally able to pull ourselves away from the serene ambiance of the beer hall we got back out among the crowds. It was tempting to have a brew at the Chevy truck with kegs on the back put on by Feral Brewery, however we are fairly familiar with their brews so decided to find one we hadn’t been to.
- Next up was Trumer Pils & Bridgeport Ales who even though having a price list for tastings gave us a couple free. Full glasses started from $6 – bargain! Being a big Pilsner fan, a stop here was a no brainer for me!
- This is when we came across Fremantle’s The Monk Brewery. The staff were also very cool at this one and they let us have a free taste before purchasing. I opted for the lovely smooth pale ale and Mr. Spittoon went for the Chief, I think his decision was made solely on the alcohol percentage which sat at 6.3%!
- After chilling out with our beers while listening to the live music put on by Virgin Mobile we decided to head to where the party was at and that was the custom-built Beautifully Swedish Rekorderlig Star Cider Bar as I had already been eyeing up the new Orange-Ginger Cider on offer when we first came in the door. I liked it!! I struggle with some of the Rekordelig ciders because I find them too sweet however this one was right up my alley plus they were giving out free badges, I do love a freebie or two! It was a great place to end the night and thanks to the lovely Di from Travelletto I knew that alcohol sales closed 30 minutes before the end of the session.
So when it hit 9pm and alcohol sales had closed, there was no point us two staying any longer, so we headed home. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and considering we got our tickets on a special deal (2 tickets for $50) I feel we did pretty well for ourselves. My boycott was an absolute success, so much so that I’m looking forward to doing it again for Taste of Perth 2015!
For further details check out the Taste of Perth website.