Euphoria abounded in Sydney town last night, and Back of the Ferry got a double helping. The first part of the evening was spent in a brewery with the good folk from 4 Pines and a couple of hundred of their closest friends celebrating 4 Pines 5th birthday. It’s a sensational achievement and it is great to see them going from strength to strength. They’ve been celebrating hard all week at the pub – and the $5 pints on Sunday night were extremely popular. 4 Pines has become the spiritual home of Back of the Ferry both immediately after a voyage and for general bevvy and we wish them many happy returns and hope for many more birthdays to come.
I was lucky enough to bend the ear of 4 Pines brewing legend, Andrew Tweddell for awhile over his latest concoction – 4 Pines El Dorado IPA. I asked him what his favourite has been of all the beers he’s put out over the years. He really struggled, but ultimately settled on the Mosaic Amber (which was a ripper). I guess it’s a hard call to make you’ve pumped out over 50 varieties in 5 years. The brewing team has grown at 4 Pines and they’ve got some new bevvies on the way for Canada Day and July 4. El Dorado IPA will be front and centre and this is worth getting all red, white and blue for. Great colour, finely bittered with a lip smacking aftertaste. Eminently sessionable – could this be contender for another in 4 Pines’ permanent line-up?
It takes plenty to drag me out of a brewery, but whilst 4 Pines’ birthday comes around only once a year, a do or die match for World Cup qualification comes around only once every 4 years if that. So I freed myself from the powerful clutches of El Dorado and hot footed it to a pub in Manly to cheer the Socceroos on. The boys laboured under the combined effect of home expectations, rain and a tenacious opposition, but we got there. Man of the match (other than Marco Bresciano) was Holger Osieck. How ballsy was the call to replace the rightly popular Tim Cahill and wunderkind Robbie Kruse? But in the end how right was it? Holger’s a terrific bloke. I met him at the 4 Pines, funnily enough, and he was incredibly humble. I hope they stick with him. He loves a good beer and backs himself. BTW, I know Aussies expect to qualify for the World Cup, but I reckon each time we qualify should be cherished. We have 22 million people, but play 4 football codes and have an average domestic league at best. Our players generally have to introduce themselves to each other before each game given how far flung they are. Any qualification is a monumental achievement – 3 in a row is taking it to a new level.