When you have children under the age of five, the festive season takes on a new perspective. Rather than taking on the season through your own eyes you tend to take it on through those of your youngsters. Expectation pre Santa, the big morning, and onward to the close of the year. New Years eve through a kids eyes are amazement and astonishment as brilliant flashes explode through the sky.
There is nothing better, however it also means looking for the smaller pleasures to maintains ones own steam through the season. Beer to which this blog pays homage is one such minor miracle.
A good Chinese Feed is another. Perhaps there should be an entire blog devoted to the ubiquitous feed brought to our wide brown lands from afar.
The misses and i having fed the animals and deprived of living large on the last day of the calendar, sat down to a sumptuous 2 course Chinese take-away. Sang Choy Bow, Chilli Pepper Prawns, and Deep Fried Lemon Chicken (pictured) accompanied with the traditional house special fried lice. Oh how a blog could dissect the special frieds across the denizons of Chinese Australia-wide let alone world-wide.
Now this blog is devoted to beer, and may i say there is no better liquid to dissect the lipids with a more worthy alkaline than a clean crisp lager. Such an amenable drop to a chinese feed. Lest it be forgotten, CUB owe our Chinese forebears greatly for the way they put the Crownie on the map. The first of the boutiques, Crown Lager set itself apart. Sure it still sat in a brown bottle, but it has a gold crown around its crest. Crown Lager identifies itself even sans label as it resides in its own uniquely shaped bottle. And in the days when you could only buy Tooheys New, Flag Ale, Kent Brewery, Dinner Ale, or Resches (all local NSW drops) from your local bottlo or through the taps of your watering hole, you had to go up-market to lay your mits on a Crown. It meant dressing up in your high cut dress shorts with belt, open necked shirt, and long white socks. Giving the missus a night off the dishes and settling back for a drive in your HQ down to the nearest Bowlo for the 6pm sitting at the ‘outsourced’ chinese bistro. For it was only there that Crown – the original boutique – was available.
Unfortunately i had no Crownies on hand to cut these lipids, but as pictured i did have “The Famous Beer of Mauritius ” – Phoenix, to cut through this sap.
The classic pose. Gusticas ashamed of his appendage holds his bikkie high.
The lads enjoyed some technically challenging surf on Sunday as for the second week in succession we were delivered a 3 foot plus swell.
Next to no wind, but compromised by a falling tide, a massive summer horde, and shallow banks.
Whilst most waves delivered a resounding whump as they folded in a straight line across the beach, the discerning punter was rewarded with that odd set wave which peeled a few degrees astray of the others delivering a fast vertical wall to ply a tradesman’s craft.
Tame proved undiscerning early and was seen pile driving nose first into the sand bank.
Lund cornered a potential business client, shepherded him out into the rip and trapped poor old Bruce for over an hour as the session ticked by. Bruiser could be seen patiently waiting for a break in the monologue….”eeeeeennyyway..gotta get a wave”…but the break never came. Poor bugger only gets an hour then its back to nappy changing.
This reviewer had never heard of it…but then again outside of those lagers available in oversized tins back in the lazy cicada humming summers of the 70′s in far flung locales such as Eastwood, Top Ryde (why top?) and El Rancho this reviewer was not exposed to the delights of the more sophisticate ’boutique’ brews of the outer world till latter years. Much like the young lad in this photo his impressions of the fine craft of brewing distilled in his formative years will take on their own dimensions. History will judge but it would be a cultural loss, UNAUSTRALIAN, and not as Darwin intended if todays youth in their latter years recall the rite of beverage as miniature 330ml faux nancy lagers. Unlike the tight shorted 500ml behemoth tins of the 70′s replete with fake chill icing the label, downed by men with mighty mows. Sadly such tins are now only found in toy-stores – there purpose reduced to money-box.
As the title to this blog attests, this brew proudly declares itself to be ‘The famous beer of Mauritius’. My first reaction was to locate Mauritius. What standing did this suburb have on the world to declare its fame? Could you get the bus from Eastwood?
Mauritius is one of those Indian paradises that everyone has had a turn at conquering, exploiting and forgetting. You know the story…first the Arabs, then the Portugese…Dutch, French and finally her Majesty…now she rules herself. It was under her Majestys rule that the Phoenix brewery set history in motion…1964.
Whilst the lad pictured expresses displeasure at this toff, i have to say that he had not the pleasure of its nectar. I’m not going to attempt to categorise this brew….and neither does itself…i assume its a lager, certainly not an ale, perhaps a pilsener..it is merely a ‘beer’. And as a beer it refreshes. Whilst it may be a paltry 330 ml, it evokes memories of those 500ml behemoths that truly refreshed. Resches, KB, Carlton Draft….ahhhh those days are fading as have those once mighty brews – swallowed by the giants of the brewing world…support your local boutique lager to ensure gene diversity into the future.
Not the perfect beer but i can well imagine sitting on the poop deck of 5 crewed motor launch in the channel off Tamarin Bay, Mauritius….its 6pm and the sun is easing to the horizon….shoulders weary, a film of salt….the end of another day of great surf and an esky full of Phoenix to toast your mates and commemorate another great day in Paradise.
Bruce Spence, gyro captain, famously uttered these words out the back of Broken Hill as Max beat the snake to get at the choppers fuel tanks….Dave Faulkner did the same to the muso’s of Snaketide earlier this year.
Back in February, Rat Faulder of Snaketide and part-time snake, Russ Clarke were joined on stage by Dave Faulkner of the Hoodoo Gurus. Dave can be seen here ripping into the final throws of …..a thousand ….a thousand ….a thouSAND MILES AWAAAAYYYYY hey hey hey…a thousand…
In the photo on the left your botfa correspondant is at rear holding the sax doing the falsetto backing vocal…..and leaning in to some emotion at right, with the Rat picking strings and teeth in tandem.
Illiard’s Reinvigorated Irregulars was at long last revived last weekend.
A tradition that had begun some 10 years or so ago, where hordes would assemble at Illiards command to imbibe xmas cheer, the event had foundered in more recent years.
In its heyday scores would gather at the Palisades in the Rocks to tell tall tales as the year drew to a close. As the years wore on the event moved to the Oaks in Neutral Bay and thence to the Mosman hotel as the primary crew looked to more amenable pastures closer to the beloved peninsula.
After a 5 year hiatus the Irregulars was reinvigorated and the crew found some postage stamp sized real estate on a corner of the Wharf at Manly – the poopdeck. As the heavily laden salt air sighed across the last rays of the day, those able drew nectar from their glasses.
Onwards to the Manly Phoenix – tales in the round as the lazy sussan spun.
Tame can be seen telling those who cared just how big it was – not sure what – his anatomy? someone else’s? a wave? a fish?……the one that got away.
Obituaries are an uneasy task. Whilst the second to back page of the SMH oft provides some of the best journalism in an otherwise tawdry reporting of the previous days or even weeks events – sensationalised to generate sales – the task of having to report on a familiar friend held near and dear is another matter altogether.
Sadly a beautiful young lass was cut down this morning in the prime of her life. We’ll call her Fantasia. She left us this morning around 0830 hours. Suddenly and without warning.
Fantasia led a short yet plentiful life. Born in Bermagui on the South Coast she settled on Sydney’s northern beaches. God’s Country. A bright and bubbly young lass – she always wore orange. She was well travelled spending much of her formative years in Curl Curl interspersed with many memorable family holidays up the Coast, particularly at Hawks Nest over Xmas. She was fond of the the Coast Trip, and even spent time with the boys on surfari in far flung exotically named locales stretched along the NSW north coast – Copacobana, North Avoca, and Crescent Head to name but a few. She’d even made the Grand Tour (of Lombok).
This morning however, with Rabbidge riding her hard – an uncompromising master – she could take no more.
Aikin was first to arrive. At first he had missunderstood Rabbidge’s contorted screams of anguish as hoots of joy. He believed Rabbidge to be exulting in yet another indulgent ride upon his mistress of the sea. Alack and alas, it was pain, not joy that had Rabbidge engulfed. Upon interpretation Aikin took great concern – had Rabbidge been injured – yet worse still was he to discover that Fantasia had been cut asunder.
Howling Rabbidge emerged from the sea – inconsolable. He trudged the quarter mile up the beach, the wind tearing at his hair. Fantasia – the orange flavoured beverage. Her cheap Black and Gold equivalent – Orangina. Or the Bhagwan as some preferred to call her is no longer whole. Sobbing Rabbidge collected her two halves and returned to his family wagon. Usually she rode freestyle - ’bags the top bunk’ – aloft atop the wagon. Significantly, today she was placed in the caged dog-section in the back of the wagon – a hearse to carry her home.
Sunday 7 February 2010
Aatkin, Tame, Lombok, Oompa
6 (400 further sth)
Tame lost at sea
Aatkin challenges bezel record
At last the God’s were smiling. The lads assembled promptly at Bower Café at 7am with Aatkin having reconnoitered Nth Lloyd prior to arrival – a washing machine at the Lloyd with one out.
The Bower was taunting…..certainly size bashing Sydney sandstone, but not quite the right angle for Bower…certainly the odd wave making it thru but invariably ridden by a biscuit charging from out deep….but mostly fat burgers running out of puff after 20 odd metres…contributing to the lads decision to abandon bower was the setting up of the ocean swim at shelly beach, and the 4 goat boats paddling out from the café….
And so it was that a rare screening of Queensie was undertaken. 4 lads decked out on the beach…4 lads in ragtag formation paddled out, yet only 3 crested the line-up and collapsed wheezing and exhausted on their boards. A moments silence was held for Tame, quickly interrupted by the first rideable set which Oompa took off on.
After some daredevil drops and powerful charging at Nth Steyne through the assembled pack of biscuits the lads spotted a treat of a longboard wave up at far Queensie. Aatkin led the way, frothing. In fact his exuberance almost saw him paddle out and around to Freshie….however he pulled up on the headland with menacing multi lipped waves full of ledges not too dissimilar from Shipsterns….sensibly he faded out another 20 metres to join Lombok and Oompa. It was here that Lombok drove a stake into the ground and declared it his…uncannily powerful charging lefts would seek him out, whereupon he put on a display for the ages.
Tame, previously thought lost at sea, but who in fact had thought we were headed to Sth Steyne on our way out, had spotted the majesty of Lombok keeping the biscuits in awe. In Tame fashion he doubled back from the Corso and made his way ….eventually … to Queensie…in time to see Lombok again sink into a gaping pit, trimming a rail and tucking up for yet another freight train express only to be spat out 100 meters south in a final act of fury by the sea. He was certainly looking pleased to have left his golf clubs at home. The lessons learned in less than a foot at Ekkas had finally been brought to the fore.
Meanwhile, Aakin was last seen still bobbing around like the last forlorn cork – popped in the wee hours with little interest from overindulged partygoers. He appeared determined to establish a new bezelled benchmark. An hour had passed and the sea continued to taunt him with failed furious effort after effort. He avowed to never get his board or watch fixed at Shanes again. Shanes bezel setting he declared to be appalling and would in future attend Dingfix to ensure his bezel be set to better align him with natures rythyms.
To this day, if you’re at the beach, the sun is setting, and the light is just right you may see the ghosts of Aakin checking his watch and of Tame patrolling the Steyne.
Botf subscribers will recall that in a recent review I referred to Coopers Sparkling as the ugly sister to this fine young specimen. Whilst Sparkling was commented upon to have great depth of flavour behind her relatively plain and foreplay free exterior, it is Coopers Pale which will seduce you with her strong palate, cloudy brew with ‘bits’, and the art of the delicate roll. In fact, Coopers Pale is a seductive drop. So much so, that I can hear Barry White fading in!
I’ve heard people say that
Too much of anything is not good for you, baby
But I don’t know about that
There’s many times that we’ve loved
We’ve shared love and made love
It doesn’t seem to me like it’s enough
There’s just not enough of it
There’s just not enough
Oh oh, babe
My darling, I can’t get enough of your love babe
Girl, I don’t know, I don’t know why
Can’t get enough of your love babe
Oh, some things I can’t get used to
No matter how I try
Just like the more you give, the more I want
And baby, that’s no lie
Oh no, babe
Sunday 31 January 2010
Abbidge, Eatkeen, Tame, Lombok, Tooher, Oompa
Not too dissimilar from Tuesdays session, though at least today we had the tide on our side.
Whilst the monotony of 2 foot Curly shore-breakers continue to fill most Sundays – better I suppose than the odd no-surf at all which we have also had of late – at least there has been enough swell on offer to keep the lads as sharp as can be expected for the hopefully not too distant future when we will cop something serious.
In the meantime, it seemed as though the lads were almost competing for the worst misdemeanor possible.
- Lombok had a crack at a lidder who had been wallowing in our take-off zone,
- Illiards got bored enough to try and run down Toohers who managed to stay ahead and scoot off further along the wave,
- Tame revived his trademark scythe – woomera like in its simplicity, deadly to those in its arc.
Coopers Sparkling surprises.
So often left lying on the shelf, in favour of her more glamorous sidekick (Coopers Pale), this oft forgot amber demonstrates great depth of flavour.
Sure, the Pale craves a good tumble. The art of a gentle roll and delicate rub is a heavily discussed subject amongst male and female alike in getting the best from that siren. In comparison the Sparkling requires no such attention. This brew is ready to enjoy without the foreplay. Sparkling may not have the associated trappings of her stablemate, but she knows all the tricks.
So next time you’re at your local, “Go ugly early” and prepare to be surprised.