Back of the Ferry’s North-East Asian correspondent, Tony from Toowoomba, is on an all too infrequent visit to Australia. Even when TfT does make it back to Australia it is not often that he gets to Sydney, but he makes the most of it when he’s here. TfT is an enthusiastic spruiker of the delights of the Back of the Ferry – and he was very keen to share its delights with 3 of his Swiss work colleagues. I made the trip across to meet TfT and the Swiss trio and it was a rocky old voyage. I hoped that our three inductees – who come from a landlocked country – could hack the swell.
We attempted to make our way out the back, but for the 3rd day running the stern was barricaded and the crew wouldn’t even let us down the side. So we took our position on the upstairs veranda bar. As we posed for the obligatory induction shots – beer in hand – we received the unfortunate news that the trip would be dry. Nonetheless, the voyage was eventful. The rollercoaster through the heads was exciting. The sight of the Manly Ferry coming the other way launching itself out of the water to such an extent that its propeller was visible. TfT and our Swiss inductees caught the ferry back later that evening and advised that ore than few passengers had been unable to cope with the swell, judging by some of the pavement pizzas that were visible.
Overseas guests always get the full blown Back of the Ferry treatment. It is not just about the Back of the Ferry or bars before or after the ferry journey. The full blown treatment also involves a trip to Sydney’s North Head, which provides one of the best free views of Sydney Harbour and of the path of the Manly Ferry. On this particular afternoon, it was blowing an absolute gale, but that probably served to enhance the experience. The height of North Head is vertigo inducing, but that is what provides such a wonderful perspective of South Head, the ocean facing properties of the Eastern suburbs, the city skyline and the Harbour. Naturally, after North Head, the traditional post ferry induction continued at induction favourites, 4 Pines and Murray’s at Manly. It’s got to be said that Murray’s latest menu is actually pretty at the moment – and a good feed and plenty of beers were had by all.
And now to our inductees and the all important questions.
Favourite beverage: Cuba Libre
Favourite sport to spectate: Ice Hockey
Area of trivial expertise: All Ice Hockey
Favourite beverage: Caipirinha
Favourite sport to spectate: Downhill skiing
Area of trivial expertise: Travelling (Daniel had recently 2 weeks on the West Coast of Africa)
Favourite beverage: Red wine
Favourite sport to spectate: Football (the round ball variety)
Area of trivial expertise: European cars from 1970 onwards
The boys loved Manly so much they returned the next day (by ferry, of course). Induction ceremony witnessed by bladdamasta and Tony from Toowoomba.
And now to the obligatory new beer. The boy’s at Porters Balgowlah had a new beer in the fridge. This beer had a very distinctive and clear label. A closer examination of the label reveals that this is not a boast of being the best pale ale going around, but rather that it is the first beer from Dad & Dave’s Brewing. Back of the Ferry is proud of its insular peninsula origins and we are delighted to see a new brew from the suburb of North Curl Curl. Whilst #1 Pale Ale’s creators are from North Curl Curl, I’m pretty sure that this is a contract brew. They’ve come up with a pretty good recipe. The number 1 theme comes through with the revelation that there is one hop and one malt used in the mix. Very sessionable, and I look forward to seeing it in a kegs in a few local haunts.
These 3 Swiss gentlemen are good company, willing to try most Aussie beverages & happy to be a part of the beer culture as they travel. I was lucky enough to partake in the odd ale with them last night in Sydney, tonight in Melbourne and look forward to more of the same in Brisbane on Wednesday evening – where I plan to break their hold on an old fave of mine & their own, Fat Yak.
Bring on the Sunshine State and some Knappstein Lager, as well as anything else that they are yet to try. All work and no play makes for a loooong day. QLD promises to be a good beer tasting experience for our Swiss mates.
The Cabarlah Kid