Life on board is all about routine.
All are up at dawn as we motor to break. 3 hrs in water for a surf. Long breakfast. Down time on the back deck- maybe a few Tigers. Lunch then a long arvo session followed by one of the days highlights-beers on the top deck for sunset.
This is the second botf trip to the Maldives. I was remiss last time and did not post.
Will attempt to this up to our readers.
botf is on a surfboat with 9 mates surfing the central atolls. Not very hard to take at all.
Beers available on boards are Tigers, Carlsberg, Heineken & Corona. So pretty macro but it’s only a first world problem.
Currently enjoying a Tiger between sessions at Riptides.
Last year 53,000 Kiwis moved to Australia with the hope of a better a life. This trend is set to continue in the coming years. They reckon more than 600,000 Kiwis now call Australia home – a fair number of kiwis in oz given NZ’s population is 4 million.
This correspondent first called Australia home in 1999 as a young 20-something Kiwi in the bright lights of Sydney. However on 6 June 2013 after 14 years in Oz, I ticked the “leaving Australia permanently” box on my departure card shortly before boarding a one-way flight to my home town of Wellington, New Zealand (Mrs kiwisinoz will follow shortly after finishing employment duties).
The warmer temperatures of Oz, higher coin, and other factors that drew the 600,000+ kiwis to Australia were no match for the pull of family and the good old kiwi culture for this correspondent.
Thank you Australia, I am indebted to you for all you have done for me over the last 14 years, but it’s not you, it’s me. We will definitely remain friends and I will call you and visit you in the years to come – I truly will!.
Enough of the sentimental stuff. It was only right that I ended my time in Sydney with a return to the pub I frequented the most (there’s no stats to back that statement up). The Beach Road Hotel in Bondi was the centre point for a number of different flats I lived in. At one point I lived 2 blocks to the right, then when I moved, I literally moved 2 blocks to the left of this all-time Bondi fav (I look forward to seeing some comments below this blog making the connection using 3 key words – kiwi, Bondi, unemployed).
The Beachy as its affectionately known as is located a few blocks back from the famous Bondi Beach, it’s often missed by tourists who stick to the main drag of Campbell Parade. This place has it all for everyone. A huge sports bar at the front, a restaurant in the middle, and a beer garden out the back. It had a dance floor upstairs back in the day, probably still does.
It’s been a while in between drinks for me at the Beachy, as I entered the sports bar in my final week in Oz. It’s obviously had a decent makeover without losing appeal to the locals looking for a lazy schooner. It’s also a great venue for a Sunday session in the Sydney summer.
I had a burger as my final bite to eat in Bondi which was a ripper! Sensational is the best way to describe it. The beer I chose to accompany it was the probably the worst choice in my 14 years in Oz (yep, saved the bad call until the final week). It was a Pacifico from Mexico. I’m sure it’s been reviewed on this blog, suffice to say – get a glass of water instead of this, as it’ll probably taste better. Despite this, my experience at the Beachy was as it was back in the day – a beauty!
Mrs kiwisinoz has some family in Sydney, so for my last weekend, we all went away for a short stay at Pretty Beach which is on the Central Coast of NSW. A small village at Pretty Beach contained a great restaurant called Yum Yum Eatery. They were fully booked, but they gave us the option of eating early and to be out early. With a rug rat in our party, it was the perfect plan. We had the degustation, of which every dish was mouth watering! The service was also top notch. All in all a highly recommended restaurant. Apart from the tacky name, they can be well proud of their restaurant. To top off the great dining experience, they had a gem of a local Central Coast craft beer from Six String Brewing Co. It was a Pale Ale.
Wow! What a beer! This one instantly went into my top 3 of craft beers without a doubt. The initial hoppy hit is then backed up by a malty after taste that at first creeps up on you. To get the mix so right is a tribute to this brewer. Given it was so good, I announced “this is very sessionable”. I then proceeded to prove my point. I managed to knock off 5 of these gems in the short time we had allocated at the table. I hope they export to NZ soon. Go and hunt this one out to experience it for yourself, or head to Yum Yum Eatery at Pretty Beach.
Therein ends my time on the dry continent (although Sydney knows how to put on a decent down pouring at any time of the year). Highlights that spring to mind are: Welcoming in the new millennium, Sydney 2000 Olympics, the greatest game of rugby ever (AB’s v Wallabies in 2000),…. there’s too great memories to think of.
Now, onto Wellington. One of the exciting things for this correspondent is that Wellington has established itself as NZ’s craft beer capital with numerous craft brewers trying their hand and doing well, and the many specialist craft beer venues. As the resident NZ Botf correspondent I will report back regularly.
For those who haven’t been to Wellington, it’s a great place as its compact, cultural and very down to earth. Many people say it’s a small version of Melbourne with its cold weather, boutique (and often hidden) eating and drinking venues, and abundant cultural events.
Here’s an excuse for craft beer lover’s to come to Wellington – Beervana is on August 9-10. This is NZ’s premier craft beer celebration with over 200 craft beers. This will be epic!
(I will be retaining the name “kiwisinoz” even though I’m really only “kiwi” now).
Nothing stays the same in Manly, which is a bloody good thing. The latest change is the incorporation of the Phoenix Chinese restaurant into the Hotel Steyne. It is all part of a Manly shuffle, where the site where the Manly Phoenix restaurant sits is going to be taken over by Justin Hemmes’ Merivale group. The Phoenix in the Steyne will open its doors on 2 July 2013, and according to the Manly Daily, a Latin American bar and restaurant will open in November 2013. In the meantime, the Rubber Duckie Taphouse continues its transformation under new management with an announcement of weekly events, including crab racing and trivia nights. Lastly, a new alternative to the late night lamb sandwich in the Corso has emerged with Doggfathers selling American themed hot doggies from the smallest hole in the wall I’ve seen in a long time.
As good as it is that the Hotel Steyne is able to cram in yet another venue within the site, I was initially underwhelmed by the selection of the Phoenix as the option. I’ve kind of had the Phoenix on a black ban ever since we had a Yum Cha there a couple of years ago and needed an overdraft to pay for it. The final straw was seeing tea listed on the bill times 5 and amongst our 5 was a three year old. Point 1, since when is tea charged for at Yum Cha and Point 2 a tea drinking three year old? Hotel Steyne though is running an interesting awareness campaign for their new addition by turning an entry to the pub into ” Phoenix Dumpling Lane” and selling steamed dumplings from 5pm. 5 dumplings for $10 until they run out and they are simply divine. Fluffy pork buns, dim sum, prawn and pork gow gee and those spinach and chive ones – steaming hot and with plenty of chilli sauce on the side. Maybe its time for the black ban to end (but only at the Hotel Steyne).
Today’s totally unrelated beer story is courtesy of Rachel and Linda with another of their bounty from the US getting a run. Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA is a pretty rare beer in the US, let alone in Australia. It’s one of Dogfish Head’s “occasional rarities” and is a combination of their flagship 60 minute and 90 minute IPAs. Maple syrup is added and then “carbonated naturally”. The whole minute thingy in the name relates to how long the wort is boiled. I shared this with felloe correspondent illiards and the consensus was that this was a fine beer. Despite the 7.5% alcohol and the fact that this was an American IPA, it was surprisingly mellow. The presence of the maple syrup had taken the squinting edge off, but there was still plenty of warming depth. Love these 750ml bottles for sharing.
Just off Flinders Lane, in between Russell and Exhibition Streets runs one of many of Melbourne’s laneways. This particular lane is more notable than most for its name and its chief resident. In 2004, Corporation Lane was renamed AC/DC Lane. And since 1999, Cherry Bar has been “pretty much the best rock’n'roll bar in the world”. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourselves, or at the very least check out their website.
I’d made my mind up to check out Cherry Bar after reading this great reflection on a Good Beer Week event attended by blogger – Beer, Bar, Band. What a terrific venue – though it was only until after I had a close look at my photos that I realised that I was lucky to get in. Let’s just say that if was at capacity – I would have been the first out the door. It wasn’t just the suit either. My hair length was very much out of place. The only other punter with short hair had it dyed bright green. A crowd was steadily growing in anticipation of seeing the Vice Grip Pussies and a late, late appearance by the Bellrays. I’ll do that next time with a mate.
There’s plenty to like about Cherry Bar and AC/DC Lane. Whether it is the cherry lighting that drenches the stage, the stickiness of the beer drenched floor, the wall art or Cherry Bar’s house drink – the Cherry Bon – this is a fabulous place. No wonder Noel Gallagher offered to buy the place. The lane gets also gets pretty packed as people congregate outside for a dart or two, whilst being looked down upon by two raw portraits of Bon and Angus. That reminds me – the last time I saw AC/DC – I was wearing a suit. Copped some askance looks that night as well.
Aaah well – I now know for next time.
via Mike Newman at Cool Material
All we really do with empty beer bottles is throw them in a giant recycling bin that informs our neighbors we have a bit of a problem every time we haul it to the curb. Beck’s teamed up with Gyro Constructivists to put one of those empties to better use. To play music. The World’s First Playable Beer Bottle was inspired by Edison’s cylindrical phonograph and was crafted to promote Beck’s new record label. If we had a phonograph and all bottles could do this, we’d need a much bigger house for our record collection.
In yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald, there was an article generally bemoaning the growth of boating in Sydney. Whilst the article was generally negative, it made an observation that resonated with the correspondent. “It’s the best harbour in the world, absolutely marvellous for sailing. There is plenty of space. You can tuck into a small corner and … escape from a complex world.” He’s dead right – whether it is little coves, bays or beaches like Collins Flat, there are just so many nooks and crannies to access from land or sea. Amazingly you still often still see the Harbour and all its traffic.
To get to Collins Flat, you can either sail in, or do what we did – and drive up the road to North Head and take the right hand turn down. The parking is sparse, but generally so are the crowds. You come out from the bush on to a beach that is set back at the end of a chute. You can see the Manly Ferries cruise past along with other yachts – but there’s an detachment and lack of noise that’s quite surreal. There’s quite often a waterfall caused by rainwater coming off the North Head, and even though buildings can be seen – bush and cliffs dominate. One of the little known features is Jump Rock – a very accurately named platform that despite numerous fencing attempts, is still a challenge taken up by the local kids (and the occasional adult). So you can laze on the beach, snorkel or be a yahoo. Whatever you do – it’s all in a tranquil setting.
It’s the perfect location for a piece of Beerp0rn. I’ve been very tardy with the latest bounty of beers from the US arranged by BotF’s greatest traveller Rachel. In this instance, recently admitted member, Linda, brought three very special long-necks with her. These are such special beers, that you can’t just drink ‘em in from of the telly and they really need to be given the full BotF beerp0rn treatment. Wake Up Dead Stout is a big black beer in a beautiful big bottle that comes from the Colorado based Left Hand Brewing Co. It comes in at a hefty 10.2% and is classified as a Russian Imperial Stout. What is amazing often about these big US beers, is that even though there’s enough fuel in this to kickstart a rocket – the alcohol is subdued. Don’t get me wrong – this will knit you a fine beer blanket, but it is done gently (relatively). I shared it, so didn’t Wake Up Dead. Wake Up Dead could really sneak up on you, because even though it is full flavoured it isn’t viscous at all and slides down almost too easily. Another reason to visit Colorado.