Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cricket Day at Harts Pub

I know I've blogged about Harts Pub before.... but I keep returning to the place, and keep having a good time with new beers and new experiences. So I'll keep on blogging about Harts, if that's OK.

It's an annual event to get together with the lads, watch cricket and drink beer.  Once upon a time we did this at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but an ever-increasing monoculture of VB midstrength has seen us decamp to a brewpub with a big screen.

The previous couple of years had seen the crew set up in the James Squires Brewhouse on King St wharf. However, a combination of diminishing beer quality, and the opening of other establishments, has seen this year's gathering at Harts Pub in the Rocks.

(Of course, Squires is owned by Lion Nathan, so there's another reason to move on)

At Harts Pub, Scott Morgan runs a very welcoming establishment, with 12 "craft" brews on tap (including his own Rocks Brewing output). Being an old converted house, there are rooms and lounges everywhere. And 7 television screens.

We commandeered a room at the front corner, and made ourselves at home for seven hours.

The first beer of the day was Brothers Ink Gold Digger Golden Ale. At 4.7%, this is a well balanced American Pale Ale whith citrusy/tropical fruit characters. A very good beer.

Pale Ale, Revised: History, Brewing, Techniques, Recipes (Classic Beer Style Series, 1)But, most impressively, the "house" ales shone through with their freshness, vibrance, and balance. We all tried the Byrnes Red, the 1809 Pale Ale, and Governor's Ale. I've never been a red ale fan, but the Byrnes has nice bread & biscuit maltiness, plus a hop character that is lacking in many reds.

I think, however, the paler ales are the strength. The 1809 is a great ale, vying with the Gold Digger for the APA niche. And the Governor's has excellent balance and body for a good session.

The lowlight was incidentally the most expensive beer. The Lord Nelson Hotel's Three Sheets. I think this tastes great on tap at the Lord Nelson, straight from the tanks. But the ale they have on tap elsewhere is not brewed at the Lord Nelson; it's contract brewed. So, in my mind, a different beer, and a lesser beer.

Scotty was saying that Rocks might try a hefe soon. I'm always open to a good hefe, as you know.

A great day (except for Australia's cricketing ineptitude), and I will be encouraging the guys to repeat next year.

Barney was missed; hope things are going well mate.

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