Matt is a teacher who grew up in Geelong, Victoria. He was exposed to beer through football clubs his whole life and it wasn’t until one fateful day of going into Dan Murphy’s and grabbing a six pack of Mountain Goat Steam Ale that he realized there was more to beer than lagers. You can follow Matt on Twitter here  or on Instagram here.

This article is part of an ongoing series about “conversion beers” – the story of getting hooked on great craft beer. To see all articles, go here.

This is Matt’s Conversion Beer

Beer has always been at the forefront of my life but I rarely drank it. Growing up around football clubs, being constantly exposed to beer seemed to turn me off it. Seeing people downing $2 pots of VB and Carlton Draught led me to think that beer was just flavourless coloured water. I seemed to be so far removed from the typical Australian culture of having a beer and watching the footy. So much so I had to be given a drink for my 18th birthday. Even then it was a can of god awful Jim Bean, something that almost created a lifetime hatred of anything with alcohol in it.

Even through University I barely partook in drinking beer, even on $1 pot nights. It just seemed so flavourless and unenjoyable. Sure there were times that I might have drunk a few beers, but it was never out of enjoyment, it was more of a sense of fitting in with everyone. Was I destined to have a life of flavourless, terrible beer? Then things gradually started to change. Going into Dan Murphys for the first time was something of a shock and a surprise. There were beers that come from other states and countries. It truly was an amazing experience. It was one day in Dan Murphy’s that begun the conversion into the world of craft beer.

Every Christmas for 3 or so years, I partook in something that was known as the beer continental journey. That meant buying a 6 pack from each continent on earth (buying for Africa was really challenging). Every year though it was the same it seemed, drinking exotic macro lagers. Then though one year, something caught my eye.

Seeing Mountain Goat Steam Ale for the first time was something rather exciting. Who decides to call their brewery Mountain Goat and what the hell is a Steam Ale? Everything about this intrigued me and I wanted to try it. Walking out with a six pack of Mountain Goat I could not wait to try it for the first time. It was drinking it for the first time, on a warm December day, that made me realise that there was more to beer than flavourless water that must be downed by the pot. Beer can have flavour, it can be enjoyed and savoured. It can actually have a sense of smell that is refreshing, not like a box of wet cardboard.

It’s always refreshing to reflect on the beer that begun the journey into the world of craft beer. Sure I’ve had better beers as my palate has changed and grown, but I always go back to the Mountain Goat Steam Ale as my old faithful. Every time I drink it I just reminisce on how much my world has changed since I drank it for the first time. To me this is why I love the Steam Ale, because it is the beer that always has a soft spot in my heart.

Craft beer has been such a wonderful thing for me, I’ve met many wonderful friends and enjoyed many great days and nights. It’s been something that has shown me a wider side of the world of beer. Something that is filled with fun and flavour, where there is a real sense of community. This is something that I owe to a little old brewery in Richmond called Mountain Goat and their magnificent Steam Ale.