Monday, May 10, 2010

4 Pines Manly

In today's Sydney Morning Herald's Good Living section, Willie Simpson has written a good piece on the 4 Pines Brewing Company in Manly.

I didn't know they had released in bottles until I read there were some available in Balgowlah Porters (I think). Willie has confirmed this in the article, and I hope the Sydney Northern Beaches drinkers support these guys.

Sadly, support doesn't seem to come from the local council. 4 Pines were to join the Manly Food & Wine Festival this year and serve their beers. But for some obscure licencing restriction or permutation, their stall is to be separate from the rest of the action, and need to charge something like $2.50 per 100mL serve. The 4 Pines guys are reconsidering their options, and the last thing I read, were unlikely to proceed. Things may have changed of course. But 4 Pines is a taste of Manly, and although not ostensibly Food or Wine, is a key player in the local food & beverage scene. Manly Council could be a little bit more accomodating methinks...

Pale Ale, Revised: History, Brewing, Techniques, Recipes (Classic Beer Style Series, 1)Back to their beers.....

I think the ESB is good, with caramel and piney notes.

The hefeweizen didn't really impress me, but this was 12 months ago, and I believe there have been brewer changes since then. Willie's notes align with the classic German characteristics.

The kolsch aligns closely to a good Aussie drinking ale. I've mentioned this in another post, but I feel that this style is too varied in this country, although some of the better examples align very closely with some Aussie 'premium' beers.

For the American Pale Ale, Willie gets tropical fruit & citrus. I picked up stonefruit and pineapple. A good beer.

All up, I have enjoyed my two trips to 4 Pines, but baulk at frequent returns, because $9.50 a pint is a little beyond my means lately.

But hats off to the team; the brewery is visible, shiny and busy, the venue is smart & modern, and close to ferry & bus termini. The food is modern, ranging from share plates to full main courses. And the service is top notch. They're keen to have a chat about their offerings, and will give you a taste it you're unsure. Well worth the ferry trip from Circular Quay.

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