Back of the Ferry has now been going for a sufficient amount of time that it now can safely say that it has annual traditions. To qualify as an annual tradition, a event must be re-visited or repeated at least three times. Traditions include celebrating the first day of daylight saving, the last day of daylight saving, the winter solstice, the darts team’s GF appearance and, in the latest event to become a tradition, 4 Pines Canada celebrations. This correspondent and our latest member got to partake in the 4 Pines Canada celebration, but not before we had visited Harts Pub to celebrate (a little early) 4th of July.
Harts Pub‘s celebration of 4th July will become a tradition if we get along there again next year. Like last year’s celebration a special menu of US culinary classics is put on for the day. Chili cheese fries, chili cheese dogs, pulled pork rolls are the go. The bucket of 20 buffalo wings for $12 is a particularly good deal. Last year, Rocks Brewing did a Red, white and blueberry Ale for the day. This year the beer choice was quite different. Seven top line US beers from 3 of the best craft brewers (Sierra Nevada, Green Flash and Bear Republic) were available in bottles.
Having sampled a Sierra Nevada and a Bear Republic in the past, I opted to open proceedings with a stubbie of Green Flash West Coast IPA. This beer is simply packaged and is distinguished by a complete lack of beer label hyperbole – with the exception of the words “Extravagantly Hopped”. That really is an understatement. This beer is as sharp as a Chinese chef’s cleaver. Just breathing in the aroma gives you head spins. An amalgagum of pine forest and lemon zest – it is full, full tasting beer, and an absolute pleasure to drink. Let it linger to really enjoy it. Not that you need a reason to get to San Diego – but these guys will get a visit.
We’ve already talked about Bear Republic on these pages, and it was the flagship Racer 5 that we tried. The Red Rocket Ale is self proclaimed as a “bastardized Scottish style red ale…and breaks all style molds”. It is another ripper. Better suited to the cold weather we are tolerating here in Sydney, it is less hoppy than the West Coast IPA – but there is still plenty of conical action. The colour is beautiful and indicates plenty of malts that also provide the toffee like flavours. An outstanding bevvy.
We could have stayed at Harts all arvo, but the kids were getting antsy, so it was back onto the ferry for the traditional Canada Day fare at 4 Pines – pancakes, bacon, maple syrup and the one-off Canadian Ale. This year, the brewer (who is apparently of Canadian heritage) has changed the recipe markedly. Whereas the 2010 and 2011 Canadian Ales was quite red in hue, this year’s version was as dark as a dark ale can get without being black. This was a fine winter ale and one with which I’d love to fill my growler. Described as “malty and sweet”, it isn’t cloying, but rather warming and rich. Unfortunately I’ll miss the annual 4th of July celebrations, but hopefully there’ll be plenty left of the 4 new varieties for weeks to come.