Thursday, July 1, 2010

Trip to The Rocks

Met up with Rowan last night at the Lord Nelson. An old stomping ground of ours, and always good to drop in and see what, if anything, has changed.

I got into town a few hours earlier, with some non-beer related activities on the agenda. Getting these out of the way was of high priority, so I could focus on the important things.

Started off at Harts Pub; Red Truck Lager, from True South Brewery, is a top-notch Märzen with a brilliant red/brown, good malty profile, and an assertive bitterness that (I think) is unusual for the style. A great find, nonetheless.

Also a good find at Harts was meeting up with a couple of American beer lovers. Dave and Mia from California had a couple of days in Australia, including Fremantle and Sydney. Harts was their first stop before moving on to the Aussie, the Lord, and then James Squire brewhouse, and staying in Manly, not too far from Four Pines. Nice meeting you guys, and hope you found some good beers in your travels.

Check out Dave's home brewing set up here: http://www.zymurgeeks.org/html/dave_bossie.html   .......drool..... You know a guy's serious when you see electric pumps and counterflow chillers..... nice one Dave.

Anyway, after Harts I dropped in to Jackson's on George.  This is where I had my beer epiphany, many years ago. A bottle of La Trappe Tripel, I believe it was.  Not much has changed in the pub; still an attractive wood & brass fit out, and a fair range of bottled beers (incl Konig Ludwig, Ichnusa, Maisel, Trumer, Maredsous among others). The draught beer range, however, leaves a lot to be desired. And no La Trappe, from what I could see.

For lunch, headed back up the hill to Heritage Belgian Beer Cafe for a bowl of chips & a glass of Leffe Blonde. Not much change out of $20 for that.

Then to the Australian, just to see what the current range looked like. They had something called Lifesaver on tap. "Where's that from" I asked.  "Dunno" came the reply.  Another bartender said "Barons".  I ordered a Little Creatures....

Just before meeting Rowan, I had a quick look into the Hero of Waterloo. This used to be the only place in Sydney where one could get a draught Bass or Newcastle Brown.... $6 a pint in 1993. The best thing today is James Squire Porter. Oh well....

And on to the Lord Nelson. The Three Sheets is drinking wonderfully well, with (from my view) an improved hop profile that lifts it significantly. And I have a higher regard now for the Quayle. Although BeerAdvocate calls it a Krystalweizen, I'd put it in the American Wheat category: less of the banana/clove but more of the wheatiness.  The Trafalgar is still an honest Aussie Sparkling Ale and a good alternative to Coopers (also available). The Victory seemed paler than I recall, although a very satisfying Bitter.  And the Old Admiral still kicks arse..... and a great accompaniment to the Ploughman's lunch.

One thing of interest:  The Lord Nelson has been bottling their Three Sheets and Old Admiral for a couple of years now.  As a part of it, they put together some artwork for the labelling that is very distinctive, with nautical yellow and red themes respectively.  They have extended this theme to the other beers.  Check this out: http://www.lordnelsonbrewery.com/brewery_ales.html. Does this mean they plan to bottle the others as well ?

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Aussie Beer Blog

Aussie Beer Blog