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A Saturday In Sydney...

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Gough

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G'day fellas,

The 2nd annual Gough's Big Beer Day Out in Sydney has been run and won. What a top day out - if only I could afford to do it more than once a year! As promised, a review of the beers and the pubs for those planning something similar.

Thanks to Doc and Gerard M for their helpful suggestions. Couldn't make it out to Paddy's this time, but will try again next time. We did make it to the Pumphouse though. Harts pub was, like Redoak, unfortunately closed. Still, leaves a few for the 3rd annual...

Caught the 6:40 flyer from Hamilton station and made it to Circular Quay by about 9:30. Planned to start the day at the Australian but couldn't go past the offer of '$9 big breakfast' at the Lowenbrau keller - or the beer frauleins... Top way to start the day and the sausages were great. The Australian was still closed when we tried at 10:30 after breakfast so we went back to the Lowenbrau and had our first beer of the day. the Lowenbrau Original. I'd had it in the bottle before but it was like a completely new beer on tap. Beautiful, with a head that would outlast any Survivor... 8.5/10

Next beer the Dark Lager - I've tried plenty before, but this one was the most 'ale-like' lager I've ever had. Had really strong caramelly overtones - almost tasted like a really crystally English ale. Just the finish was a bit crisper letting you know it was indeed a lager. I'm sure there was no crystal malt in it being a Munich brewed beer, but if I'd been blind-folded that's what I'd have guessed. Mmmm, not so sure about this one, both of us gave it 7/10

Next the dark wheat beer - I'd primed the old man for this one but was again a little disappointed. Just didn't taste that fresh - maybe they don't sell too much of it. I've had quite a few of this style from the bottle made by other breweries and loved them - this one only ranked 6/10

So on to the Australian which by 11;30 had finally opened. This is a truly great pub. Good food and a fantastic selection of beers. Sitting there looking at the bridge and deciding what you're going to drink next is one of the great Sydney experieinces I reckon... Tried the Little Creatures Pilsner from the tap. We were both really looking forward to this beer given our love affair with their Pale Ale. Plenty of hop character but not as balanced with the malt as it could have been IMHO. Almost harsh and somehow a little watery at the same time... 7/10

The Little Creatures Pale Ale was next. The only place I've had it on tap is the Australian and it really is much better from the keg then the bottle. A beautiful beer, if anything even better than we'd remembered it. Worth the trip on its own. 9/10

Matilda Bay Rooftop Red Lager was the next beer - on tap and just released apparently. I'd never heard of it. Supposed to be in the Vienna style according to the barmaid. Beautiful red colour, malty rather than hoppy aroma. Thin head once it settled. I can't claim to know much about Vienna Lagers but this was a middling beer - nice biscuity kind of flavour but not much else happening. Was very popular with the other drinkers in the bar though. 6/10

After a pizza and a few glasses of water we headed over to the Lord Nelson, scene of last year's only real 'failure' This time around the staff were still fairly surly and didn't seem to be really interested in their product, but the quality had improved dramatically. Trafalgar Pale Ale was in my opinion a better version of a drinkable hot weather Aussie Pale Ale than the Original Coopers Pale Ale itself. If only they sold it at the Cricket! 7.5/10

Victory Bitter was a truly beautiful beer, true to the British style, lovely red colour, great balance and susprisingly smooth finish. Could've drunk it all day - 8/10.

Old Admiral strong Ale - Almost chocolaty and smooth with well disguised alcohol. I'd drink this in front of the James Squire Strong Ale any day - 8/10

Unfortunately no Nelson's Blood this year but a much better experience than previously. Glad we went back.

It was about 2 by this stage and we were getting a bit of a glow up despite the 'middies only' rule set for the day. We wnadered off toward the Malt Shovel Brewhouse, about a 15 minute walk and at Doc's suggestion decided to look in on the Harts pub along the way. Bugger, closed.

To make up for this shattering disappointment we called into the Belgian Beer cafe despite Dad's statement that he 'wasn't drinking any of that bloody Chimay crap again'. Can lead a horse to water... Restricted ourselves to one beer here with the rule being that we hadn't tried it before. Dad tried the 'Lucifer' because he thought it wouldn't be too strong (only 8% from memory!) and I had the Guillotine. Nice beers but I can't remember too much about them and we didn't rate them because they weren't on tap - our major rule for the day. I think we needed some food...

Had something to eat and hit the James Squire Brewhouse keen to try their on premises brews as they weren't ready last year. Bugger. Only one currently on tap of the four advertised; the 'Governor King Pale Ale'. I've never knocked a Malt Shovel beer before, but this was in my opinion a pretty lazy effort. It looked and tasted 'worty'. Very sweet and unbalanced. Maybe we just got a bad one but it tasted like they had really rushed the whole process. If I'd brewed it I'd be very disappointed. Worst beer of the day, 5/10

Tried to console ourselves with an IPA - a good beer as I'd remembered it but by now I was just starting to get pissy, so won't give any ratings from here on in.

Moved onto the last new place of the day - the Pumphouse at Gerard M's suggestion. Nice enough surrounds by darling Harbour's standards. They didn't have the St. Peter's Blonde on tap (but we were probably getting past doing it justice by now anyway...) so we tried the Thunderbolt's Ale. We were having too much of a good time by now to really rate it so all I'll say is it seemed like a nice drop. Would like to try it again.

Headed back to the Australian for some tea and to have a pint of our beer of the day, still the LCPA for the second successive year. The Pizza was superb, the beer even better, lots of lovely women - even the music was alright. Had a Scharer's Lager for some reason to finish off (love the beer but it may as well have been VB after the day we'd had ;) ), and then onto the 8:40 all staions slowest bloody train in the Universe to Newcastle to see us home by 11:30.

Another top day. LCPA, Lowenbrau Original, and the Lord Nelson beers were the big winners on the day - can't wait till next year.

Shawn.
 

Bobby

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old admiral is a really impressive beer in my opinion.
 

flanbos

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sounds like a top day

where is the australian exactly? i been to the rocks plenty of time but cant ever remebering seeing it......probly a reason for that too lol ;) .

the Lowenbrau dark is an awsum beer, the nelson has a few goodies too.

where is the malt shovel ???

never heard of hearts? is it good, where is it


cheers
flanbos
 

Linz

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The Australian is on the eastern side of the southern pylon.

The malt shovel is on the king st wharf darling harbour

How do we get tickets to the next one??? and how much are they each?? <_< :lol: :lol:
 

Gough

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I'll put out invitations to the next one Linz :) . It'd be good to get a bit of a crowd together. The more the merrier - Maybe we could try and get a Paddy's mission together.

The Australian is indeed right at the base of the southern pylon of the Bridge. Well worth a visit. In terms of its tap and bottled beers alone it is a great pub, but especially given that it is smack bang in the middle of the most 'touristy' part of Sydney it is actually a pretty straight down the line Aus pub. A bit of a 'trendier' clientele than some I guess but a lot more comfortable than most City bars IMHO. It is a pity it is 170kms away... :(

Shawn.
 

Gerard_M

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The International Beer Awards are held in Melb at the end of April. I will have 10-12 entries heading down the Hume this year and they should all be on tap for the end of Feb. If you are looking for a sample try the last Saturday in Feb for what we will informally refer to as the "Preliminary judging round".
Usual rules apply. $1 per middy, finger food, see you near the Giraffes.
On tap will be
Paddy's Pale Ale
Paddy's Amber
Paddy's Pilzner
Paddy's Export Pilz
Paddy's Choc Porter
Gearins Dark Ale
Ceylonese Pale Ale
Paddy's Unleaded
Paddy's Wheat
Paddy's Hefe
Maybe a few surprises!
Cheers
Gerard
 

Gough

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Mmmm, last Saturday in Feb. Think I'll have to start working on SWMBO now ;) Technically my 'beer tour' is over for this year, but I think I can work on the angle of 'unfinished business' :lol: Whaddaya say Linz, Weiz and anybody else interested. Can we organise a Big Beer Day Out for Paddy's, last Sat in Feb?

Let me know what you think and I'll try and organise a permission slip... Gerard's beer list just sounds too good to miss...

Shawn.
 

Weizguy

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Count me in, at this stage.
I'm waiting to hear from work if they are sending me to Adelaide or Brisvegas for 5 weeks (or not)..
Will get back to you.
Verrry keen tho!

Seth
BTW. I haven't bottled the Bavarian Pils that I told you about. Maybe this week. It's in the fridge at about 0 deg.
 

Gough

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Sounds good Weiz.

All the Xmas Pilsner I was telling you about is gone. Drank the last of it just after New Years. Everybody seemed to like it which was good. Love to try the Pils when it is ready.

Shawn.
 

Backlane Brewery

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This may be a little off-topic...but anyway, those of us in Melbourne who can't make Paddy's for the preliminaries, should be sure to mark diaries for the festival itself, 20-22 May.
See www.beerawards.com/beerfest2/index.asp for info- no session times or ticket info yet though.
 

Linz

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Count me and the missus in ....again as usual.
 

Weizguy

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Backlane,

A well-placed diversion.
But why are you restricting it to Melbournians?

I was down there 2 years back during the festival. Didn't make it there coz I was a guest of people who had other priorities, but me and my mate Zang went record-hunting. LPs that is...and then to the Goat Brewery for half a dozen rip snortin' pints.
...and a great night was had by all.

Was this post off-topic? I'm sorry.

Seth

P.S. btw a bought a "Jimmy and the Boys" LP
 

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