It might be winter in Sydney town, but if it is sunny and still, then the Harbour can still be a wonderful place to be. Fortunately, my mate Fergus laid his hands on the old fishing trawler – “Pastime” again and we set off on a cruise into the heart of Middle Harbour. I’d never been to this part of the Harbour on the water before and it is great to be continually delighted by different and new perspectives of our wonderful city. Remarkably the water is still eminently swimmable, and whilst the initial shock is getting more shocking, there’s plenty of fun to be had jumping off the roof of the Pastime.
It was a fine day to try some @untappd uniques as well and I had brought an odd collections of newbies to try. First cab off the rank is the exotically named Amasia Rumweizen. This is quite remarkable new beer from “The Mash Collective”, which is a side project of the boys from Stone& Wood. I think it was unveiled at the Great Australia Beer Spectapular, but it has subsequently been available on tap at Harts and in stubbies (I picked this up at Porters Balgowlah). Beer label hyperbole describes a Rumweizen as “a classic German dunkleweizen and mashed it together with molasses, blended with some brew house magic and finished off with a splash of rum” “Think bananas…rum and raisin ice cream and dark chocolate”. As I sipped it at Harts, I received a tweet from the Mash Collective – suggesting I add a scoop of ice cream for “one heck of a spider”. Wow – plenty of hyperbole to live up to – and it does. The richness of molasses is not at all cloying and there a wonderful spiritous feel that lasts and lasts. A great beer for winter and I reckon it fortified me before I hit the water.
The second unique was a beer that I’ve only seen once and have heard absolutely nothing about. Hahn Harvest is a limited release from Hahn Brewers aka Lion Nathan. If the boys from the Mash Collective go on a limb with their beer label hyperbole, then the Hahn lads have just hit the cliche button repeatedly. I think they knew they’d simply made another bland beer despite using “the finest ingredients”. Hahn Harvest promises to be “very smooth” and offers “subtle hops” and “slightly fruity aroma”. These three phrases add up to a euphemism for another bland 330ml Aussie mainstream stubbie.
The last @untappd unique is far from bland. It comes from a brewer about which I predict we will hear plenty over the next couple of months. Riverside Brewing have been going through their trails and tribulations to be able to go public and they’ll be pumping a range of beers out of their North Parramatta headquarters soon. I first met Dave the head brewer over 17 years ago, and hadn’t seen him for ages when he contacted me through twitter having worked out through the @BackoftheFerry account and blog blatherings that we were acquainted. Dave’s been home-brewing for a long time and has taken the next step of living the dream. Dave’s given me some samples and we’ll have a more in depth look at those later – but I took his Sixty-Nine Summer Ale out for a run. Super sharp and plenty of bitterness – this will be a winner in summer. Beautiful label and an even more beautiful taste. Looking forward to the tap try-out.