Fat Yak – a somewhat curious name for a beer

The beer that is Fat Yak


“Big, hairy and approachable”, the words used to describe this sensational beverage that is Fat Yak (also the reason why the name came about, describing what it does on the tin). Perhaps not surprisingly, it is also how I’d describe a number of my exs (bad dumm, chaaaaa – not sure how you spell that out phonetically, but you catch my drift, ya?)

The lovely guys at Liquid Ideas and Matilda Bay Brewery invited me along to celebrate the two-year birthday of ‘Fat Yak,’ now in the first instance; this is an ideal event for me as I am already a massive Fat Yak fan. In the days when I worked at The Vault Hotel on Pitt Street I used to recommend it to anyone who came in and wasn’t sure what beer to choose. For those of you in the UK the best way I can describe it is as a lighter Hoegaarden or a fruity Asahi. For my Aussie counterparts that haven’t had the pleasure the try Fat Yak, it is in the same area as James Squire – Golden Ale or Little Creatures. Although it tastes similar to all of the above, in my humble opinion it pips all of them to the post.

Now they already had me at ‘Fat Yak’, however the clincher for me was the mention of the venue: Genghis Khan Mongolian BBQ on King Street Wharf – cue mouth-watering at the sheer thought…

Back in sunny rainy Manchester, my ex and I used to frequent an establishment of the exact same name about twice a week month. I love the whole concept of how a Mongolian BBQ restaurant works, usually a fixed price, you get your bowl and get to choose from a selection of meats, raw vegetables, spices, noodles, sauces and oils. In the one in Manchester they also had recommended recipes written on the wall (I’ve always been a fan of going against the norm so made up my own – and they were always bl00dy good I might add). You then take the bowl to the chefs who prepare the dish on a large steel hot plate with chop sticks. The end result is a flavoursome stir-fry that you have made yourself – you know exactly what has gone in there and there’s no MSG in sight! I love a good stir-fry with nooooodles…

Stir-fry with nooooooodles


The concept is exactly the same at the host venue of the Fat Yak birthday celebration; did I mention beer makes me happy? Upon arrival we were greeted with a cold Fat Yak and finger food from Genghis Khan Staff. We were then directed to our tables, we had props a plenty with musical instruments and quite randomly, Viking hats (we were told they were the nearest they had the Mongolian… hilarious).

We were treated to a great introduction by comical genius Stuart Gregor who is the MD for Liquid Ideas (sporting a brilliant Mongolian British accent. Too funny!) Me and Julie (my lovely plus one for the event – I’m all about sharing the blogger love) could not stop laughing! We were invited to view the upcoming TVCs for Fat Yak – true Mongolian style and v funny!

It was so refreshing to attend a laid back event where the host didn’t take themselves too seriously; true of all the events I have attended so far whilst representing Dating101Sydney.

A musical challenge followed, with a crate of Fat Yak up for grabs – the game was on! We had the editor of FHM on our table who was quite the flute player – we fared quite well… that was until Glen Wheeler (of Sham WOW fame and 2GB host) serenaded us all with an opera outburst supported by his team – wiped us clean out of the water!

Who knew – Glen Wheeler – Opera…

After we dined, Julie and I decided to attend the photo booth – a great concept by ‘Polite in Public’ where they photograph you on a background that transports you to wherever you want – our location being a Mongolian landscape. Oh how we had fun with the props – we were like kids in a candy shop – only they had to keep telling Julie to step back into the pod as she got carried away, ha!

I can’t believe that it’s only two years since the launch of Matilda Bay Brewery Co’s Fat Yak, in fact it’s been around the whole time  I’ve been in Australia near-enough, so it really is hard for me to imagine the craft beer landscape without this North American style pale ale.

At the event they explained to us, somewhat tongue in cheek, that now that Fat Yak is one of the most popular craft beers in Australia, the Matilda Bay team thought it time Fat Yak started sponsoring major events and slapping its logo on high profile athletes known the world over…

Or Mongolian racing yaks.

You see, while Matilda Bay might be big in the little world of craft brewing they remain extremely small in the world of big beer bucks. So in 2011 Matilda Bay is investing its ENTIRE GLOBAL SPONSORSHIP BUDGET into Mongolian yak racing and sending one lucky Fat Yak drinker to Mongolia to race a yak and meet the superstars of yak racing like Naransteg, also known as ‘the hoof master’. HILARIOUS and a great marketing campaign!

If you’re reading this and thinking Matilda Bay is taking the piss, you’re wrong. Matilda Bay is DEAD SERIOUS about this promotion, as serious as they are about brewing great tasting beer and they’ve been scrimping and saving every penny to put toward some ads and promotional packaging to get as many Fat Yak drinkers to enter as possible.

The entry mechanic is simple so it’s easy for anyone to get in on the ‘YAKTION’! When you buy a case of Fat Yak from the bottle-o or grab a Fat Yak at your local, you get a unique code to enter online at http://www.fatyak.com.au or via SMS.

As they say in Mongolian yak racing circles – ‘Gentlemen (and ladies), start your yaks.’

Engineered in the Garage Brewery with premium malts, American Cascade hops and a hint of New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops, Fat Yak is a beer for any time of the year.

Fat Yak pairs well with any food, but we reckon you should try it with spicy wedges, chorizo and tomato pizza or an antipasto platter with friends.

Matilda Bay is one of Australia’s leading craft breweries producing some of Australia’s favourite specialty beers like Fat Yak and also including the full-flavoured and award-winning Alpha Pale Ale, the quirky Beez Neez, the wheat beer that started it all Redback and the salute to Oktoberfest lagers, Big Helga. Traditionally Matilda Bay also launches a limited edition seasonal release for summer and winter. These have included Crema, Barking Duck, Barking Flamingo and most recently Longshot.

To become a fan of Matilda Bay visit http://www.facebook.com and search for Matilda Bay Brewing Company or follow Matilda Bay on Twitter – @MatildaBayBeer.

All in all I had a truly great night and took home with me a lovely six-pack of Fat Yak, courtesy of the guys at Liquid Ideas to share the love… I’m now v popular with my housemates as they fight it out to see who prevails to get a bottle.

Stay tuned as I attend the launch of Parched March tonight, review to follow tomorrow.


5 thoughts on “Fat Yak – a somewhat curious name for a beer

  1. Leon Sammartino

    I think you’ll find it was 2 years since they ‘bottled’ Fat Yak. I think the reason you feel (as I felt) that it had been around for longer was becuase it was a Tap only beer for at least a year or so before that.

    Attended the Melbourne event last night – some great Yaktion.

  2. Pingback: Cocktails and charity – What’s not to love?! « Dating101Sydney's Blog

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