Unlike many other beer blogs, Back of the Ferry is not afraid to delve into bottom reaches of a bottle-shop fridge, particularly if it is a brew that hasn’t graced these pages or added to BotF’s unique beer list on @untappd. We are within sight of “Legendary” status so discoveries of tins of unheard of Mexican beer help. Rio Bravo is made by the makers of Mexicali, who are so proud of it that it doesn’t even make it onto their site. Maybe it’s not the Dutch that make generic stuff with cliched names.
Cans aren’t so bad to drink from, but it’s only the macros’ whose beers make it into the tinnie. I was speaking to an aspiring Aussie craft brewer recently, and he reckons it is just too expensive. Naturally in the US there are blogs devoted only to beers in tins and of Maine has canned their entire range. The sound of cracking a can and the feel of wiping the brow on the icy cold metal is very nostalgic of summer.
By now the Back of the Ferry darts representatives will have come down from their high. Lamb0 has already eloquently the feeling of being a player in such a tense event. I toddled down to the Manly Leagues Club to give the boys some support, and ended up being drawn in to the whole drama.
The tension became quite unbearable towards the end, particularly as our boys were dropping games that they should have won. Nerves frayed on both sides, and breaches of etiquette were occasionally called. There were a couple of epic games where players went dart for dart waiting for each other to crack. Lamb0 was quite nerveless at the end, even though he dropped the middle leg of his three legged singles. When victory finally came the release of pressure was substantial and the boys sustained their jubilation, deservedly, for some time.
Last night was not like that.
When your darts become unruly, they can be disciplined to a degree but a battle with your darts is never a glorious victory. The harder you try, the harder it gets and such darts will never smoothly find their own way to the target. A series of outer wires can rattle the concentration and the treble-20 can start to look very small and very far away.
To peg out on such a night the overwhelming emotion is relief. Behind 6-5 and down a leg in both the 12th and 13th game it was looking like Dee Why Master Builders was heading for an 8-5 loss. It was a tight, tense match up and both teams may have been a bit nervy. Sometimes there is only a few millimetres between a 180 and a 26 and a slight tremble of the hand is more than enough to do the damage.
One of the proven techniques is to apply amber fluid regularly, generously and vigorously. It may have been the difference as Dee Why Master Builders steadied and with a bit of luck evened the legs and then went ahead to win the GF 8-6. There was much rejoicing. Bad luck to Time&Tide especially Frank & Sharyn who were the only undefeated players on the night.
The former Fishos, now Dee Why Master Builders 3 darts team managed to win the elimination final against Dee Why Master Builders 4 team to meet Time & Tide in the Grand Final at Manly Leagues club next Wednesday, 23 November from 7:30pm.
The darts constitution requires that all finals be held at away venues, so no team gets home court advantage, hence the all Dee Why Master Builders elimination final was held at Leagues as holding the final at Builders would have given both teams home advantage.
Time & Tide had comfortably beaten Builders 3 the week before at Pittwater RSL to gain their place in the GF and were rewarded with a week off to rest those niggling darts injuries and prepare psychologically for the battle ahead. They spent last Wednesday at Leagues watching the elimination final, scoring, commenting on form and generally checking out the opposition.
Of note last Wednesday was the 9-2 result. Normally, a final finishes when a team gets 8 wins but the first 2 single games finished on the same dart with both pegging darts in the air at the same time. It was unclear which dart hit the board first to claim the night.
The major semi final of the ‘B’ grade Manly Warringah Darts comp was held Tuesday night(normally Wednesday but moved because of the State of Origin match) between Dee Why Builders 1 (Maggie and Ted’s team) and Dee Why Builders 3 (formerly the Fisho’s team).
The game was staged at a neutral venue (not completely sure why as both teams are from the same club) – the Eagles Nest room, the Manly Leagues club. This area has its own bar, couple of dart boards, pool tables and is adorned with memorabilia of past great Manly league players. I was there after the Manly/Cowboys game and it was packed …. there was a smaller crowd on Tuesday night.
The Dee Why Builders 3 side had the bare six players and Bob the captain picked the following pairings of lambo/pommy_ch, spook/Craig, and Bob/Martyn.
A fairly tight encounter ensued with plenty of tons, 60’s and 26’s …. after the 1st four legs of doubles it was all square at 2-2 each…… at the end of doubles each of the Builders 3 pairings had managed to win 2 out of their 3 respective legs leaving the game at 6-3 to Builders 3. Two more legs required for the win and this was completed by Spook and Craig (who closed the match out). No need for some of us to play singles.
So onto the final in a couple of weeks time … Dee Why Builders 1 have now to play the winners of the minor semi final which was also played last night (the winner being Pittwater RSL). Would have to say good luck to our opponents from last night the builders 1 team (we are same club after all).
Also last night found a draught beer which may not have been sighted on BOTF, a Bruers Natural Bright Beer. A fairly light and bright lager, sorry managed to cut off the schooner in the picture …. but apparently this beer is part of the Blue Tongue Family (Pacific Beverages) and is a trial beer which has been distributed to 65 premises on the eastern seaboard (obviously the Leagues club is one of them). It was OK, colour was lighter than a VB (wee colour comes to mind), not as bitter as VB, easy to drink and would be good on a hot summers day. It is worth trying out.
PS. No controversy from me in either darts or snooker this week, but Bob this guy has been suggested as a potential player, leave it with you (leave it with lambo to critique Australia’s first man’s darts)
Unfortunately no photographic evidence from last week blockbuster darts match – the Builders 3 vs. Pittwater RSL at the Builders club.
Highlight of the night was Lambo’s 17 dart singles victory over one of the premier players in the Comp.
Lambo started off this leg slowly but surely with a steady score of 60 to be followed by a 41. The fireworks started when Lambo threw 140 and then a 180 leaving him on an out shot of 80.
Predicting two double top shots … true to form Lambo scored double top with his 1st dart, narrowly missed double top with his 2nd but hit double 1, leaving 38 to finish.
15th dart was at double 19 which just missed hitting 19 and now leaving 19 fo finish.
Always a stylist Lambo then hit triple 3 and finised his his seventeen darter on double 5.
Some of best darts I have seen (only bettered by watching Phil the Power on TV) .
Lambo the machine has promised to repeat the performance this week …..
By the way the team had a big win, the first for the season
Two of BotF members have been playing in an irregular game of 35 over a side cricket between some Australians and some English called the Mad Dogs for some years now. Today was the 9th encounter since 2004. Score was Australia 4, Mad Dogs 3 and 1 no result. Each game has panned out in its own way but the common theme of every game has been that they have been played in ridiculous heat. Whilst nothing came close to beating the “Extreme Cricket” game of 2009, today was still oppressively muggy and hot.
Australia batted first and they reached 213 off their 35 overs. illiards and bladdamasta represented BotF well and scored 34 and 35 not out respectively. All was going well with the Mad Dogs struggling at 7 wickets down, but two of their gun batsman had retired and could come back in the event of no batsmen left. That’s exactly what happened and the Mad Dogs batted extremely well to get the runs with 5 balls to spare. It was a pretty depressing feeling at the end, particularly as the heat had sapped any ability to express any sort of emotion at the end of it all.
Even the contest between the admittedly two very dissimilar beers was a close one. Both were outstanding but in the prevailing conditions, one had to give the nod to the London Pride. Both were tasty, but for a mad dogs and english type summer’s day, the Fuller’s London Pride was the session beer. London Pride has a fair bit going on taste wise, but it was smooth to drink and nice and malty. The Holgate Hopinator did not let you down from a bitterness sense. Great hoppy taste both during and after. It was quite heavy and you could almost taste the extra alcohol. You’d be struggling after three of these, whereas the London Pride would have been an all nighter.
The next game and drink should be a beauty.
The address on the label of this beer is 1 Chifley Square, Sydney. If there was truly a brewery at this address and it made beer of this quality and it was the days when a corporate card could be flogged with more dispassion, then for many BotF members that worked at 2 Chifley Square – life would have been even better. Alas, Endeavour Beverages has not yet got its own brewery – but it certainly has good recipes. BotF tried the big brother – the Amber Ale - and it was favourable. After a run of shite, the Endeavour 2010 Reserve Pale Ale was a nice change. Really fresh, citrusy, hoppy beer. Magnificent on an evening where Sydney started to warm up again. Get into it.
As good as Sydney Harbour was (it’s never bad), the highlight of the evening was participating in a training session at the Fishos with the BotF darts team. It was a sad moment for the boys and indeed this blog, because the Fishos is in its death throes and the boys have to move to the Dee Why Builders. The club’s premises have been sold to a local girls school and final closure is imminent. The future of the club is uncertain. It aims to open in another venue (possibly the Manly Rugby Club), but it won’t be able to do bands like it has been doing recently. They’ve been going out with a bang, with the Hoodoo Gurus, You Am I, the Hellmen, Daryl Braithwaite, Mental As Anything and of course Snaketide performing there in the last couple of months.
Being a practice session, there was no real pressure, but towards the end of the evening and after many liquid refreshments the NW Fairlight BotF members took on Warringah Mall East’s BotF contingent in a 3 legged game 501. Lamb0 was handicapped by partnering bladdamasta, but 501 is all about pegging out or in English getting a double to get to zero. In the end pommy_ch and Craig couldn’t get the magic double. The last leg went forever as the Old and VB took hold. In fact one could argue that the Old was responsible for bladdamasta getting the most unlikely of double 2 to end the final game. We look forward to Lamb0′s first report from the Dee Why Builders.
The Ashes are looming and it is with a heavy heart BotF realises that it could quite possibly be the first time in a very long time that the Poms might actually retain them on antipodean soil. In anticipation of having to acknowledge British superiority at something (other than economic incompetence or hung parliaments) BotF thought it appropriate to try another British beer.
Marstons sponsor the English cricket team. This used to be as useful as sponsoring the Italian army in terms of reflected glory, but it may become a masterstroke. Marstons is an amalgam of 5 breweries including Wychwood, which brews Hobgoblin – reviewed by Charlie, Jennings - reviewed by yours truly and Brakspear. They have more beers than were in the Australian squad for the first test. In fact they have more beers their stable than the runs scored by the 17 blokes going for the first test team on the weekend. The Marstons brew sampled this evening was a meaty concoction called Owd Rodger. At a fortifying 7.6% it had more substance that the Australian middle order. Very fruity and as rich as a Christmas pud. A really good complex ale, that I really enjoyed.
Clearly the Australian team needs to cast its net further adrift for quality bats. Below are a couple of likely lads that would keep the turnstiles spinning and not die wondering if picked.
Two BotF founders played cricket today in an almost one year anniversary of one of the hottest games of cricket ever played. That day the temperature was 42 degrees. Today was a far more benign 28ish, but it is still hard yakka. Fortunately the Aussies were on fire and we overtook the Poms score of 211 off 35 overs with about 6 overs to spare. Mick batted extremely well and took an LBW dismissal. Fortunately, there was plenty of amber fluid to be had to celebrate – though the Fat Yak went extremely quickly. The James Boags Premium Lager is fine at first drop.
Amazingly, James Boags Premium Lager has not been reviewed on these pages. This beer has been a massive success story since its launch in 1994. Finally Crown Lager had a competitor at boardroom functions. Beer label hyperbole claims this beer to be Tasmanias finest. That may have been right when first launched, but there has been so many new beers come out of Tassie it is a very difficult call. Certainly it has won its fair share of award. I personally love it and at the end of day of slaying Poms it does the job as well as any.
BotF also gave the Cinnamon Girl Spiced Ale a second go – this time out of a glass. First thing to note is the muddy appearance. You can almost see the cinnamon suspended in the liquid. This is a sipper not a sculler. It’s not for everyone, but it is worth a try. If I’m in the glorious inner-west again, I’d pick up another one.
BotF has been wondering where all the BotF crowd has gone. We thought it may have been the pull of the Fast Ferries with their legal beer and that has certainly been a factor. What became clear from today’s voyage on the MV Narrabeen is that maybe the 5.30pm is the big one. Plenty of the old school crowd with brown bagged long necks abounding. We caught the 5.30pm to get BotF original Chris to his darts night on time. Hopefully, he can continue to retain the Pittwater Cup.
We turned it into a mini trivia event by knocking off a Tooheys New six pack with the questions. Here’s the eclectic line-up.
1) In which year did Makybe Diva first win the Melbourne Cup?
2) What is Austalia’s largest lake?
3) In which year did Countdown launch on the ABC?
4) What did Dean Jones score in the first dig in the Madras tied test?
5) Which Aussie wrote the classic tale “A Fortunate life”?
6) Which horse holds the Melbourne Cup race record?
Plenty of large craft on the harbour. Not sure which millionaire was out and about, but the bloody big vessel dwarfed the poorly named “Supercat” that was slinking off to the Eastern Suburbs. Some lovely big yachts as well. Summer is coming and the harbour will be a whole lot more crowded.