When Winston Churchill is mentioned two things comes to your correspondent’s mind.
The first, was his sponsorship of the disaster that was Gallipoli and the second was his mastership of the witty reposte.
At Gallipoli his misguided strategies led to the death of 11,000 Australian and New Zealand troops. Though it must be mentioned that over 20,000 British troops also died in the Dardanelles down the road at Cape Helles. Churchill did go on to admit his errors regarding the Dardanelles and when an all-party coalition government was formed in Britain soon after, the Conservatives demanded his demotion as their price for a seat at the table for his party.
As for his witty retorts, there are many. My favourite;
Lady: “Mr Churchill, you are drunk.”
Winston Churchill: “And you madam, are ugly. But I shall be sober tomorrow.”
The Churchill “Honourable” IPA is brewed by Oxfordshire Ales and pays homage to Churchill with all ingredients grown, captured and brewed at, near or on his birthplace, residence etc etc. It harks back to IPAs before they became the flavour of the month here in Oz and started being front loaded with hops. It is a bit unrefined but I like that. I remember when James Squire first launched an IPA before the current craze and it tasted like this. It was different and it was good.
|A botf correspondent finally made it to a venue that’s long been on our bucket list. Josie Bones on Smith St in Collingwood. Even better, it was done on a bit of corporate largesse. It was no mean feat leading the small crew of colleagues from the Melbourne CBD up to Smith St as there is a surfeit of fine pubs on the way that could have easily waylayed our journey to my intended goal.
Josie Bones has one of the finest beer lists that botf has come across. It focuses on Australian craft brewers but has a large international contingent also. The food is pretty epic also though you need to be a fan of the ‘entire beast’ school of cookery. That is, pretty much every bit of an animal is present in the menu.
|Being a Monday night the place was pretty empty but the atmosphere was still pleasant and I got the barman’s full attention. Josie Bones has 8 rotating taps in addition to the 250 or so beers in the menu. Where to start?
While grazing on a few plates of fine pork crackling we tried the tap offerings to start with. From this point I have to try and reconstruct my opinions from my @untappd check-ins as things may have got messy and I forgot to save my notes. In any case, all the beers were spectacular and only a few words suffice.
|First up was the Belgian Lawnmower by Hopdog BeerWorks. This is Hopdog’s summer seasonal release and it had a thirst quenching quality perfect for the crackling.
Next it was a Red Duck Amber Ale by Red Duck Beer. All my untappd check-in has is ‘ahhh’ so I think I enjoyed it. The Red Duck tasting rooms look like a must visit destination in Camperdown in Victoria.
The next beer was from the menu and in the bottle. The label on The Raconteur by Prickly Moses states the beer is a “A love story about hops”. And it was. Beautiful amber colour that delivered those hoppy post-beer burps I am most fond of.
|By now my colleagues were getting bored with my beer menu delight and had moved to wine. I persisted however with a Beast IPA by Jamieson Brewery. This blew my socks off. My untappd has entry ‘Wow. Caramel. Malt. Toffee.’
Now is was back to the lads from Red Duck Beer and their Porter. This was brilliant. Rich n nutty. Perfect with whatever dessert I had.
|Finally to put a fullstop after the evening I finished with a Tom’s Amber Ale by Bootleg Brewery. By this stage it is probably unfair to review any beer given the flavours and tastes that had gone before it. Given this, Tom’s was complex and lively. A great cleanser to finish the evening.
botf will be returning to Josie Bones. Much work left to do.
Here at backoftheferry we love our untappd [ @untappd ]. This app/website celebrates ones consumption of orange whips and lets you simultaneously tweet the world about a new found beverage and annoy your wife/DSE/life partner over dinner.
The lads at untappd also reward you with ‘badges’ for your patterns of consumption. One of these highly sought after virtual gifts was ‘IPA Day’. Simply enjoy an IPA on a given day and receive the badge.
With IPA Day looming bladdamasta promised a rare IPA for the day’s botf trip. Alas. Your correspondent was called home early for some reason or other so I called past the local and also got a cheeky, new IPA. In such circumstances, a botf member will quickly snap some beerporn, review and then tweet the world via untappd of their conquest. Well, bugga me, I’d stolen bladdamasta’s thunder and quite by accident picked up the very same brew, the Badlands Brewery Man Singh IPA. bladdamasta kindly deferred the review but had a rewarding botf nonetheless.
Badlands Brewery is one a growing band of craft brewers coming out of NSW. The Man Singh is rich and not too bitter. It has a rich dark honey colour and the taste has some nice fruity undertones. As the good beers do, it got even better with drinking. I’ve had a few more longnecks since (points awarded for a great bottle with the swingtop lid) and my first impressions remain unswayed. A great IPA for IPA Day.
Even better, the botf boys get to discuss the big issues over a few orange whips. We are not the first to do this, or the only ones who do this, not by a long shot. But this doesn’t stop us from forgetting that often we are sharing the botf experience with many other equally exhaused desk jockeys, also blowing the froth of a few. They just don’t feel the need to write about it.
Public transport in Sydney is a funny thing. There are unwritten rules in regards to acknowledging and speaking (or not speaking) to others. While most on the botf, us and others, probably cross paths at weekend sports or other events there is still only a nod of the head, a quick ‘Hi’ and then it’s as you were.
Except on one evening we quizzed a solo traveller out the back with us on the botf. Turns out ‘Phil’* has been having a beverage out the back for 20 years. Made us feel a bit wet behind the ears. Much merriment followed as we shared stories about the federales (transport cops), ferries past and present and all the other botf topics. It served as a nice reminder that life is a shared journey. All this still means that next time I see Phil I will give him a simple public transport approved nod.
The beer enjoyed during this trip was James Squire IPA. Given how long we’ve been reviewing beers it’s odd that this one has taken so long to appear. This was the first real India Pale Ale your correspondent tried. It has been rebranded as ‘Stow Away’ IPA since the photo was taken above but the beer is the same. It has busy first taste, a little bitter but not unpleasant in the follow through with a sweet ending. A very good beer.
* not his real name
Several lifetimes ago your correspondent travelled solo round the world with nothing but my internal monologue for company. This may explain why I haven’t listened to it for several years but I reckon it’s more to do with the mobile phone & ipod-sodden society we now live in. Have you looked about last time you were on a bus, train or tram? Probably not ’cause you were on your phone or listening to your ipod. Every single one of us is tapping/listening away. I recall a favourite Brit comedian of mine, Sean Lock, railing against this insidious blocking out of our mental processes, exclaiming “God forbid that a conscious thought is allowed to form” when he’s continually noticed commuters getting to their seats and hurriedly attaching their headphones.
Anyways, the role of botf correspondent carries certain responsibilities. One is to hunt out quality craft beers and taste and talk about them. This must be done whether in company or on your lonesome. We at botf agree that one of the joys of beer is the camaradarie and shooting the breeze. But a blog is a blog.
So my internal monologue has returned and is often at hand as I wander into new and wondrous bars and beer cafes. It’s when I start talking back to it I really need to worry.
My internal monologue and I are in Bar Biero on half price pint night and I’m trying the Rogue Ales Yellow Snow IPA. Rogue Ales, out of Portland, Oregon, produce some mighty fine beers and we earlier reviewed their Dead Guy Ale. Rogue Ales love producing beers to celebrate events. Yellow Snow is no different as it was released to mark the 2000 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The Yellow Snow is a fullsome brew, a meal-in-a-pint. It had a fruity, orange kickoff. I found it quite bitter for this style of beer but all in all a very good drop.