A week of Stout, Sydney Harbour Bridge 80th and Bootleg Hefe

Happy 80th

One of the benefits of getting the ferry home from work, is that on each journey you get to admire one of Sydney’s icons. Whether you travel on it, under it or pass it, you can’t help but look in awe. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened 80 years ago on 19th March 1932. For many years, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was Sydney’s tallest structure. It’s the centre piece of Sydney Harbour – and in my opinion, is a more spectacular structure than the Opera House. Happy Birthday – Coathanger.

In the Coathanger

Stout was just about coming out of my ears by mid-week. 6 new stouts in 6 days. Hart’s Pub can always almost be guaranteed to have a new beer on its taps – and this week they had a couple I hadn’t see before including a hangover from their St.Paddy’s day festivities. I’m still to get out to Paddy’s Brewery at Homebush – but I’ve heard that they do great beers. I snaffled literally the last half pint of the extravagantly named Paddy’s Thunderhead American Stout. Wonderful appearance, but a confused taste – this was a stout with tang. It starts off “stouty” but then finishes spicy. Would like another to make sense of it all.

Killagh at Murray's

illiards and I popped into Murrays at Manly hoping to try one of the beers they’d brewed for a beer dinner they’d had the night before – but had to settle for yet another stout. St Peters Brewery is a “artisan brewer” who prides itself on being as environmentally friendly as possible. For example most of its deliveries are made by bike. That means you don’t often see St Peters beer beyond the glorious inner west of Sydney (though I brought some back a while ago on the BotF). Murray’s gives a couple of non-Murray’s beers a run and Killagh Stout is the second of the St.Peters line-up he’s had available. The Killagh was the least polished of all the stouts tried in the last few days. Good roasted malt flavours but the finish and mouthfeel was a little “home brewy”

Accurate description

Before this blog was started, I would pretty much try anything in a bottleshop fridge or from a tap rack, but if it was a choice between a hefeweizen and something else – I’d have gone the something else. That’s changed now, and on a hot day – I’d go for a hefeweizen more times than not. Whether it’s the effervescence, the cloudiness, the wild aromas or the wheaty flavour, I’m not sure – but I’m a convert. Sydney turned on a rare hot Friday and I was able to duck down to the beach for a quick dip. I took a bottle of Bootleg Brewery Hefe for the post dip libation. Bootleg Brewery is a self-proclaimed “Oasis of a beer in a desert of wine” in WA’s Margaret River region. They’ve been going since 1994 and have a solid line-up of beers including one called “Raging Bull” that is well named. Hefe is a good example of a hefeweizen. It is not as agressive as some, and the aromas aren’t as pronounced – but it is a great thirst quencher. All the more reason to get to the West soon.

Summer beer on an Autumn summer day

When cloudy is good