My destination today was yet another rowing friend named James Plunkett in the town of Traralgon. The flat country I had used to escape Melbourne was turning quite hilly, and by ten o’clock I was in the middle of spectacular hills that if stone fences were added to them would look like a dry Ireland. It was furiously hot, and I was melting into the pavement. This provided ample excuse to stop at Grand Ridge Brewery along the way. A completely serendipitous stop, but one absolutely necessary in the 37 degree going on 40 degree heat at 10:30 that morning.
Outside the brewery was a huge fake beer, that in the heat, was easy to imagine was a large beer swimming pool that I could dive into to cool off. I settled for a taste test. Hailing from Seattle, it’s hard not to want to try the local brews. Australia, for the most part, has a few big breweries that make, what I would consider, better beer than the Millers and Budweisers of the States. Even so, a mass-produced beer lacks the personality of something built locally out of the local produce. This was in all ways the local drop. Despite the proximity of the big city, this beer had only made a showing at the beer festivals in the city and outside of Victoria. The various shades of golden liquid were well-balanced and refreshing. Fortunately, I had done most of my climbing for the day by the time I got to Grand Ridge and had lovely downhill back roads to coast on while the day continued to heat. I made it to Traralgon around two.