There are literally hundreds of saints Days, but none are celebrated with the gusto of Saint Patrick’s Day. Held on the 17th of March, which is the date of his death, St. Patricks actually becomes a long weekend of all things Irish when it is on a weekend. It is an opportunity to wear ridiculous items of green clothing without a tinge of embarrassment. In Sydney there’ll be a big parade tomorrow and there’s plenty of pubs (not even Irish pubs) putting on Irish themed functions. After gobbling a Guinness at PJ O’Briens in town, this correspondent met illiards on the Back of the Ferry, and we were eagerly anticipating the tapping of 4 new stouts at 4 Pines Brewery at Manly.
For their 2nd Keller Door Series, 4 Pines has developed 4 types of stout. A Dry Irish Stout, an Oatmeal Stout, a Russian Imperial Stout and a Chocolate Orange Stout make up the range. This time you don’t have to be in Manly to enjoy this release as 4 Pines have been able to get to bars in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and WA with some kegs. I was particularly keen to try the Chocolate Orange. My favourite confectionary item is the Jaffa – the uniquely Australian and New Zealand lolly. That said, I was hoping the stout wasn’t as sweet as that. I needn’t have worried. It’s beautiful looking – sleek and silky black. THere’s plenty of orange on the nose, but the orange flavour (not jaffa) is far less pronounced that the aroma would suggest. It’s subtle, distinctive and just really, really pleasant. illiards and I had a chat to Jaron the GM and he told us that during the planning for the Chocolate Orange the brewers sampled a few orange flavoured dark chocolates – and that’s what they aimed for. Mission accomplished. We also tried the Russian Imperial Stout, which was a real sipper. I might be taking my growler down this arvo to get a top-up. Very rich, quite alcoholic and really suited to an after dinner plate of cheese.
Back of the Ferry is a big user of @Untappd . For the uninitiated it is like 4 Square for pissheads, but plenty of fun. As you check-in beers, badges are awarded. BotF was getting pretty excited recently when it was approaching the 500th unique bevvy and was hoping to mark the moment with something quite different. Unfortunately one the lads forgot and checked in something that didn’t match the occasion. Aah well, we didn’t get a badge for the 600th check-in – but a Chocolate Orange stout is a far better milestone beer. Off to Murray’s today to try his one-off Tinker’s Curse Dry Irish Stout.