Balmain Pale Ale, Grolsch Swing Top, Pipsqueak and a yacht carrier

Only on tap


Good copper colour

Before the BotF, BotF popped into a perennial favourite – the Occidental. The Occi has been serving a beer for a while now that is only available on tap – Balmain Pale Ale. If they could replicate this in a stubbie, this would be a staple on the BotF. Bitter and full of flavour – it’s a winner. This is made by the Balmain Brewing Company, which has been going since May 2010. THey’ve also got a lager – again only on tap.

Onto the BotF, which had the usual Friday night frustration of the security guards. We had an unreviewed beer to try, which gave the security guards the irrits, because it had a swing top. When they came past, you simply swing the top and say you aren’t drinking. All rather childish, but that’s the Friday ferry unfortunately.

The Grolsch swing top is the friend of home brewers everywhere, but like all brewers it seems – Grolsch is shrinking. Surely the Swingtop was 500ml? It’s now only 450ml. The beer itself is typically Euro – very malty and after getting used to it, very drinkable. Quite a contrast to the Balmain Pale Ale. Yet another brew taken over by a congromelate – SAB Miller, I’m not sure whether it still has links to the town of Groenlo where it was founded in 1615.

We also slipped a bottle of cider into the mix. Pipsqueak “Best” Cider is made by the makers of Little Creatures. Without cutting too fine a point – they should stick to beer. Too cloying for mine. Ah well, tick it off on the BotF Cider List.

Recently, we saw a boat delivering boats. Tonight, we saw what looked like a dry dock on water. Check out the level of the back of the boat. It is right on the water line. Cue a joke about American beer.

The boat in the background was more interesting


A Dry Dock on the water