It is still technically winter in Sydney, but you wouldn’t know it. BotF’s glorious hometown has been basking in sunny days in the mid 20’s and the ferry rides home barely require a jacket. The weather brought all the old salties out the other evening and the 4 founding members and Cam from Melbourne congregated out the back to work through the big issues. The news about Essendon had just been announced and we owed to our Melbourne colleague to discuss the Southern sport (even though the Sydney Swans are the reigning premiers). For the record, the only person to come out of this sorry saga with any credibility is Dr Reid. His letter to James Hird is a beauty – the good doctor should not go down. I would also fine Essendon 12 points next year as well.
illiards has discovered a new grog shop on his way to the ferry and so we were able to give an Untappd unique the full Back of the Ferry beerporn treatment. Bridgeport Brewing has started distributing a few of its range in Australia – both in bottles and on tap. illiards picked up a six pack of Kingpin Double Red Ale for this particular journey and it was a fine choice. It would have been even better if the weather had been colder, because at 7.5% it knits a pretty thick beer vest. This is a rich, meaty, flavoursome beer. If you look hard enough there’s a couple of other Bridgeport offerings around including the very good Hop Czar.
This correspondent’s place of work has moved from West Wynyard – the epicentre of Sydney’s CBD bar scene, but not so far away that new additions can’t be checked out. The Barber Shop can be found at 89 York Street. As is the penchant for a number of Sydney’s small bars (Uncle Mings, Stitch) the entrance is easily missed. In the case of the Barber Shop, there is a genuine Barber’s Shop on the street front with the old fashioned barber’s chairs and I think that you can actually get a hipster beard trim during the day (that, or they are really carrying the faux entrance thing to an extreme). There’s a sliding steel door at the back of the shop, which opens up to a really well appointed old time bar. Along much of the right hand wall is a long bar stocked to its eyeballs with spirits – most notably gin.
Like many of the small bars emerging in Sydney, it’s far more about spirits and cocktails than beer. The beer list is tight, but features stalwarts like Feral Hop Hog, White Rabbit Dark, Knappstein ets, with which you can’t go wrong. Given the balmy weather I took my beer out the back, where a large area is chained off. I popped over the chains to get a photo and noticed a sternly worded sign about the only entrance is on 89 York Street. This back area is in the same back alley that provides the entrance to Baxters. A security guard has the unfortunate job of preventing would be patrons entering The Barber Shop from the rear – which apparently isn’t allowed under some development restriction. That will get pretty hard as the queue can get pretty long for Baxters and the temptation to step over the knee high chain and slip into the Barber Shop would be pretty strong.
So another West Wynyard special. That would make it close to 20 bars now in this pocket of Sydney. Long may they flourish and grow in number.