“Help me pick up some furniture at Somersby, Dad?”. “Sure, so long as we can have lunch at Foghorn in Erina“. “Done deal”.
Don’t be put off by the empty tables in the photos – we were very early first customers. If you don’t want to travel all the way to the Brewhouse in Newcastle, then this is the next best way to experience Foghorn beer and food. It’s well worth the trip.
Foghorn started in 2015 and is the new venture for Shawn Sherlock, the former head brewer at Murray’s. BotF got to meet Shawn at the hotly hyped opening of Murray’s at Manly back in 2011. I really hope this goes better for him, and based on my visit I reckon he’s got it right.
No expense has been spared, right down to the Foghorn branded bar stools. This place is beautiful inside and out and has plenty to look at including the tool tap handles. There are a couple of big screen TVs as well, which I personally reckon is a plus – but that’s just me.
There’s (at least) 10 taps and the range on the day was phenomenal. My brother-in-law raved about Better Than James Brown Ale, claiming it was the best mid-strength he’d had. Well, he’s not far wrong – bloody fine with much more depth than Kent Brown Old, say. I didn’t get into the high ABV beers on the day, but Shawn Sherlock doesn’t miss a trick with those – just need a driver next time.
The food’s bloody good too. Big burgers are the go and the value for money is exceptional given the size. I could’ve just crawled under the table and slipped into a food coma. Instead, I returned to Sydney full as a tick and fully merched up with obligatory shirt and not necessarily obligatory squealer full of Young Americans IPA.
Foghorn Brewhouse Erina: 2 Ilya Avenue, Erina NSW
Sixpoint Brewery really crams plenty on and in their very attractive cans. Nomad Brewing sell some of Sixpoint’s year round range at their Brookvale site. Sixpoint also do one offs in a range called Cycliquids – and this “coffee blonde” was available when I popped in for a growler refill.
The can is a work of art and gives a great summary of what to expect. This is dominated by the coffee hit, but ultimately gives way to a rich boozy glow. It is very much like an affogato after you’ve eaten the ice cream and let the liqueur and coffee roll around. At 7.2% ABV, there’s a kick to it. Drink after dessert.
This one’s been a long time coming. Alf is a loyal follower of Back of the Ferry and has participated in many a beer adventure with bladdamasta and illiards over the years. Alf was with me at the Library Alehouse when the whole tap house thing hit me like a ton of bricks in 2007. Most recently, Alf enjoyed our very fortuitous trip to Oahu, which afforded many beer diversions.
Favourite beverage: A cold Corona
Favourite sport to spectate: International Rugby
Area of trivial expertise: Australian Olympic Gold Medallists – 1896 to 2000
Favourite pub of all time: Welcome Hotel – Balmain
Induction witnessed by bladdamasta, illiards, Hutto, Will and Gerald
For the second week in a row, Mr Liquor at Circular Quay had something new on his shelves – but the origins of this German Pilsner are a little unusual.
Now normally when an odd European lager appears in Mr Liquor’s fridge, the standard BotF line is that a container of something weird has landed on the beach whilst Mr Liquor was walking past and we benefit. Or maybe a rep’s offloaded a sample of something discontinued or mixed with another delivery. To date I’ve only ever seen Cisk Lager or 250ml San Miguel stubbies brewed in Barcelona on Mr Liquor’s shelves – nowhere else. The price is also normally very sharp ($13.99 or even $11.99).
So when I grabbed a 6 pack of Dax Original Pilsner with its generic packaging and I read it was made in Germany, I thought “Mr Liquor’s done it again – another obscure Euro brewery with an innocuous malt bomb. $19.99’s a little steep though”. It was only when I looked up the website to see the provenance of the beer and/or brewer that things got interesting. It turns out that a family of Australian grog merchants that have been around since 1946 (hence the “Est 1946” on the label) have decided to launch their own beer to respond to a need they’ve identified.
“He also realised Australian’s (sic) are getting tired of drinking international beer brands which are brewed in suburban Australia and paying a premium for it.” The “He” is Rex D’Aquino and so he’s enabled Australians (that’s better) to pay a premium for a beer brewed internationally for drinking in suburban Australia. And as their website points out – Dax is not a Craft Beer. At $19.99 it is at a premium given other Euro labels in Mr Liquor’s fridges are often around $16.99 (and Holland Import is $7 for four cans, but that’s another story).
Dax or DAX is not a bad beer. It is very malty and Euro lager in style. Good for the Back of the Ferry as it warms up, but I’ll probably always opt for the Cooper’s Pale now that I’ve ticked DAX off the uniques list. Cheaper, Australian and a 375ml stubbie as opposed to the Euro 330ml.
Mr Liquor outdid himself tonight with a unique that taunted me. Yes, I have to drink it if it is a unique. Yes, my choice I know. But 500ml of Radler? Faaarrk – why not the little 300ml size of the Holland Import? More a squash than a beer, really.