The Loose Head Prop is a Back of the Ferry inductee and he writes and/or finds some pretty good stuff. We’ll be adding him to our favourite blog on the site shortly, but in the meantime check him out. BotF has long espoused (in actions rather than words) the theory that the Loose Head Prop recently published.
Originally posted on Loose Head Prop:
Maybe Ernest Hemmingway wasn’t too far off the money when he advised to “Write drunk, edit sober.”
Last Wednesday night, two of your correspondents enjoyed an hour or so of beer heaven. The afternoon had started off in typical fashion, sharing post work bevvies with pommy_ch and lamb0 on the Back of the Ferry. Pommy_ch and lamb0 had to adjourn to their regular Wednesday darts match – but illiards and I had an appointment with the Yardarm Taphouse. For the last three weeks the Yardarm had been advertising a tap takeover by the Holgate Brewhouse. I’ve been fortunate to visit the Holgate Brewhouse in Woodend, Victoria but both visits were fleeting. Much more convenient that the Yardarm brings Holgate to Manly.
The Yardarm is really starting to put it together. Piet, the General Manager, is a terrific bloke and is building a rapport with the regulars. Amazingly for this venue (but maybe not this management), the bar staff have been the same for at least a month! The space in the Yardarm meant that a band (as opposed to a lone troubadour) can provide some tunes. The Cardboard Animals were that band on this particular evening and they have a very cool sound. Some mates also visited the Yardarm for the SuperBowl and rated their time there.
illiards and I were relatively early starters and Piet very kindly introduced us to Paul Holgate – the founder and brewer behind Holgate Brewhouse. We had a fabulous session with Paul and it was fascinating for us to hear his stories about starting out, his approach to brewing, the economics of running a brewhouse and sticking to his philosophy, his approach to brewing and living a life in Woodend and its surrounds. Great guy to have a chat to over some beers. We worked our way through some beauties. The Yardarm’s had the Black Forest Porter on for a couple of weeks now – and it’s bloody good and worth seeking out. Wonderful to be able to try Hopinator on tap in NSW and not out of a tasting cup at a beer festival. So thanks, Yardarm, looking forward to more of these.
The suburb of Newtown in Wellington has gone through an unbelievable transformation over the last 10+ years. It was once a working class suburb with not a lot going for. It had a bad reputation as a run-down, derelict and dangerous place.These days it’s a melting pot of “arty” people, professionals, sports people and many other walks of life with a real eclectic mix. Newtown was once a popular destination for emigrants from all parts of the globe. Their legacy is reflected in the multicultural feel of the place, with ethnic eateries lining the main streets.
With its close proximity to the Wellington CBD, real estate is highly sort after. With that come all the bars and restaurants.
The Mrs and I decided to the leave the pots and pans in the cupboards recently to check out what’s on offer in the rejuvenated Newtown. I’d recently heard of a new craft beer venue in Newtown called Bebemos (pronounced ‘bi-beer-mos’). Mrs kiwisinoz rolled her eyes, but when she checked out the Latin American inspired menu on the world wide web, she gave it the nod of approval and so we were off to Bebemos (The Portuguese word “bebemos” means “drink” in English).
It was lucky I hadn’t gone straight from the office to Bebemos. I would have stuck out like a beacon in corporate attire. The clientele, ambience and fit out of this place are the polar opposite of a corporate watering hole. The relaxed and eclectic feel of the place grabs you straight away. There was great mix of travellers, students, and locals.
The décor had me guessing as it’s a mix of everything as the pics show.
Anyway, I got the bartender to recommend a local beer for me. The first one was a Garage Project Pils n Thrils. Garage Project is a relatively new craft beer brewery in Wellington. The Pils n Thrills is a beautiful golden colour Pilsner. The extreme crisp taste and big strong bitter finish made this a ripper of a beer to have first up. I’ll definitely go and visit the Garage Project cellar door in the next couple of days.
While I waited for my South American sizzling grill, I had to honour NZ’s latest singing sensation Lorde. This 17 year old kiwi girl’s first single, “Royals”, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013, making her the first New Zealand solo artist to have a number one song in the United States. She not only performed at the recent Grammy’s, she collected a couple of gongs.
To honour Lorde I went for the “Oh Lordy” NZ Pale Ale. This drop is from Funk Estate which launched in May 2012. From their website, it looks like they’ve got this drop and one more. But after trying Oh Lordy, I’m sure there will be demand for new varieties (there is from me anyway!). Oh Lordy was easy to drink with a fruity taste combined with a lingering bitter finish.
When the sizzling grill plate came out, it was so good I was mesmerised, so much so I forgot to get a pic, I couldn’t resist, so just dived in – it was superb!
As you hit your local liquor shop in search of some new beers to try, there are a few that are worth keeping an eye out for. Some of them are brand new and some are seasonal offerings just hitting shelves. So next time you’re out scouting potential fridge dwellers, keep an eye out for these.
1. Six Point Hi-res
Big IPAs are nothing new, but as breweries crank up the alcohol content on some hop-monsters, hiding that boozy burn can be a challenge. At over 11% ABV, Hi Res is scarily drinkable.
Six Point Hi-Res | BeerAdvocate Score: 93
2. New Belgium Spring Blond
When you want to give your palate a breather from the bourbon-soaked stouts and the hoppy IPAs, a nice blonde is the way to go. New Belgium’s latest is inspired by their bike trips through Belgium.
New Belgium Spring Blond | BeerAdvocate Score: 81
3. Founders Smoked Porter
We’ll say this, smoked beers are not for everybody. At least in the skilled hands of the folks at Founders, you know it will be made well. The smokiness of this 8% porter is balanced by a nice chocolatey profile.
Founders Smoked Porter | BeerAdvocate Score: NA
4. Stone Brewing Co. Matt’s Burning Rosids
Matt Courtright was a brewer at Stone Brewing Co. who tragically died in a forklift accident at the brewery last summer. This beer was created in his honor and in celebration of his life. It’s a very unique saison that is a testament to Matt’s creativity.
Stone Matt’s Burning Rosids | BeerAdvocate Score: 88
5. Victory Hop Ranch
Victory is on a bit of an IPA roll as of late. Following the immense success of DirtWolf comes Hop Ranch. It’s a juicy IPA that delivers that citrusy goodness that some crave. Might not be the giant-slayer that DirtWolf was, but it’s still really good.
Victory Hop Ranch | BeerAdvocate Score: 95
6. Wells Stickey Toffee Pudding Ale
Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale is never going to replace your go-to lager or pale ale. Still, for what it’s trying to accomplish, it’s better than expected. Not surprisingly, it’s malty with a strong caramel flavor with a bit of vanilla to boot. Good after a meal instead of a piece of cake.
Wells Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale | BeerAdvocate Score: 77
7. Bells Hopslam Ale
Hopslam isn’t new, but it’s the time of the year you might find it on a shelf (if you’re lucky). It’s one fantastic double IPA that’s full of citrus fruit flavors and a well-hidden amount of alcohol. The finish is an added highlight thanks to the honey it’s made with. Find it if you can.
Bells Hopslam | BeerAdvocate Score: 100
8. Southern Tier Grand Arbor
Back in the early days of Back of the Ferry, we wrote about a cool new bar in Manly. Almost four years later, as a symbol of Manly’s growth as a bar district, we are now writing about another new bar in Manly, except that it has taken over the space occupied by the old one. The Space Bar was a mezzanine bar above a beautician. Donny’s Bar has taken over the whole space and offers two stories of small barness.
If it isn’t tacos, then dumplings appear to a de rigeur small bar menu item. Donny’s offers 5 varieties. My vegetarian daughter accompanied me and she gave the thumbs up to her “King Organic Vegetable” dumplings. My crispy Chicken & Shitake dumplings were fine also. The burgers look well priced and there’s also the obligatory slider item as well.
Donny’s Bar might have a size issue on the keg front and it’s cocktail menu is far more extensive that the beer menu. When I visited there was one beer on tap – Monteiths Pale Ale – and there were pouring issues. Dad & Dave’s #1 Pale Ale is available in stubbies along with a couple of Murray’s varieties. It looks like Donny’s is a night time venue with an emphasis on live music.
It’s good to see another option in Manly. Donny’s isn’t bringing anything new to the table (so far as I could see), but the fit-out’s cool. Yes – the cocktails are served in jars, the barman looks hipster and the food menu is straightforward – but if they do it well, no-one will be complaining.
via The Verge
A nearly unbelievable video of a drone that delivers 12-packs of beer to ice fishers on a frozen lake turns out to be too good to be true. Beermaker Lakemaid created the video as a riff on Amazon’s announcement on 60 Minutes last month, where the company showed a theoretical vision of a service that delivers small packages by air, autonomously. But where Amazon’s vision of the future is just that — a vision — Lakemaid was well into the process of creating such a service for local beer delivery, though those plans have been put on ice by the Federal Aviation Administration.
“They think it’s a great idea.”
“They think it’s a great idea, though they’re telling me to stop,” Lakemaid president Jack Supple told The Verge, adding that the FAA considers the project commercial and therefore off limits until those policies are reviewed and potentially revised next year.
On a glorious evening in Sydney, Back of the Ferry completed its first induction for 2014. The Harbour was heaving with all sorts of boats including 2 cruise liners, armadas of yachts and the odd tall ship. This correspondent had spent the afternoon on a luxury motor cruiser, which allegedly cost $6,500 an hour to rent, but despite the offer of a cab home – the lure of the Manly Gerry was too hard to resist. You can never spend too much time on Sydney Harbour, plus we had an induction ceremony to perform.
Anita’s induction included pre and post ceremonies – the beer purchase at Mr Liquor, a pre at Young Alfred’s when the ferry was delayed by one of the aforementioned Cruise liners blocking Circular Quay and a 4 Pines frothie at the end. The main game, however is always on the Back and Anita responded to the usual interrogation as follows:
Favourite beverage: Tanqeray Ten and tonic
Favourite sport to spectate: Rugby Union (especially the Lions)
Area of Trivial Expertise: Geography
Go to beer: A British Bitter
The induction ceremony was witnessed by Bladdamasta and John