After almost four years of the Back of the Ferry blog’s existence, it is little wonder that we’ve pretty much drained any bottle shop of any uniques within a kilometre of Circular Quay Wharf 3 . That’s unique for either this blog or our Untappd account. One venue, which is pretty adjacent to Wharf 3 (it’s actually opposite Wharf 6) is the Australian Wine Centre. As its name would suggest, this isn’t a beer drinker’s bottle, but to their credit they’ll occasionally stock a unique or two. They introduced BotF to Swell Brewery, and to date this correspondent hasn’t seen Swell beers anywhere else. They also stock 4 Pines, which we obviously like, and they’ll occasionally stock an odd sized can of Peroni or Becks, which are assured is brewed overseas.
This correspondent pulled in this evening hoping for a 4 pack of Swell, but that seems to be off the shelves at the moment. Instead, eyes were drawn to a stylish squat bottle with a yellow horizontal stripe proclaiming the word “Linfa”. At $6.90 a stubbie, I wasn’t doing to gamble with a six-pack so I grabbed a couple for illiards and I to try. The man behind the counter asked if I’d tried it and he said “Look – before you pour it into the glass…” I cut him off “We’re drinking this on the ferry”. “Hmmm, OK. Look, open it and let it air and let it warm up – it’s a little fizzy”. “No worries, we’ll knock the top off, put it on the stern and drink it last”.
So with drinking instructions memorised, I headed to the 6pm where, for the second time in a week, the founding foursome (who appear in the @Untappd photo) rode together. The sunsets have been magnificent lately, probably enhanced by a petro-chemical haze (an illiards phrase TM), and tonight was no exception. With a sense of anticipation we gave the Birranova Linfa the full Back of the Ferry beerp0rn treatment and then left it on the stern as instructed.
That’s where we should have left it – on the stern. Unfortunately, Back of the Ferry etiquette demands that we leave the stern cleaner that we left it, so we had to dispose of the contents of the Birranova Linfa. We’ve drunk some pretty ordinary stuff on the Back of the Ferry, but nothing so hard to drink as this. This correspondent has occasionally home brewed and those brews were distinguished by fizziness. The Birranova Linfa reminded me of those batches. Fortunately, I’d bought one stubbie each for me and illiards and not 22l of Grolsch bottles full of over-carbonated homebrew. It wasn’t just the fizziness, the taste wasn’t that great. Malty, fizzy – we struggled to get it down before we docked.
So – don’t stop introducing the uniques, Australian Wine Centre. Every now and then a dud will slip through. I’ll give another Birranova variety a go – but Linfa – no thanks.