Elbeau Room, Manly

Beer lovers following the craft ale artisan journey won’t necessarily find new flavours of beer in this posting, but I’m sure there will be an appreciation for the spirit of growth for the market!

My journey home tonight took me on a detour opposite Manly wharf to a new bar, Elbeau Room (how very continental). As I understand it, the name has something to do with Manly Council agreeing to 94 covers (the trade term for the number of punters allowed), there being no room to swing a cat, and the craft idea of fine bees in European styles… I don’t know about the marketing, I only drink what’s on offer.

You walk into the candle-lit Elbeau Room – there’s some crooner (Frank Sinatra et al) taking you back to your parent’s generation, a comforting memory – and you mingle affectionately amongst the clientele. For the gents, 4 or 5 stand-up tables on your left with barstool a as you enter, and a row of ‘low-seaters’ opposite on the right, something for the ladies. It’s definitely an intimate atmosphere – I quite like it.

They actually opened last night – but look out for the official opening night in he next 10 days – and it just goes to show how poor is the marketing in Manly that word did not get out to backoftheferry.com until this evening’s happenstance.

Three beers on offer tonight…
– Dad & Dave’s Pale Ale
– Rocks Governor Golden Ale
– Two Birds Sunset Ale

Before i get into the beers themselves, let’s get into the people a little.

Dave and Joel are ex-Garfish (Dave’s a chef)… no, unlike Garfish (not widely advertised) there’s no BYO at this joint. BTW, Dave’s still at Garfish, working out his notice – I guess it’s cheaper to eat the same food at Elbeau Room 🙂

Joel and Will are ex-4 Pines (traitors in the eyes of some, no doubt) – it’s a small industry with a massive market… Question: if Dave is still at Garfish, is Joel still at 4 Pines? Doesn’t matter – I bet they miss him like Hell.

NB the business upstairs are happy with the sound-proofing.

Dave is a natural with the punter – softly spoken, charming & bearded (yes, you’d almost expect that from a beer lover).

Rocks Brewery helped with the plumbing of the taps – so they get exclusivity of their 7 offerings over the next year, along with Two Birds (3 offerings). Craft ale and free houses probably need the balance the other way around, but in year 1, it’s a start.

Pale Ale – also available in the Steyn at the end of the Corso, it’s a perfectly pleasant, drinkable beer, but not yet anything to write home about.

Golden Ale – show me the difference between this and other Australian golden ales… oh, yeh, that’s right, I get to enjoy this one in a pleasant bar in Manly!

Amber Ale – also marketed as “Sunset Ale”, it’s an old familiar, perfectly kept in the cellar (is it possible to screw it up, like an English real ale?), the joy is flavour with ambience.

Every second Thursday will be launch night for the 3rd tap, with $5 / beer on tap – the punters then do a Colosseum “thumbs-up” majority vote to advise management if this is the ale to put on the 3rd tap. What happens if they get get the “thumbs down”?

So, is this a wine bar or a beer pub? They are trying to be both. No doubt we’ll have to do a vino tasting soirée but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.


They are also on Facebook – aren’t we all.

Synopsis: getting off the ferry, it’s great to have another bar on the way home to mingle with a friend or two, especially whilst the 4 Pines have been closed this week for kitchen refurbishments (open again now, thank God).

Jamie Kennedy lost to Emma Gilchrist in the beermats catching championship this evening – 36 mats!