One of the insular peninsula’s best bottleshops is Porter’s at Balgowlah – as we’ve commented often. Their Facebook page is often updated with their new arrivals and recently they announced a new permanent addition to the bottleshop. Their “Growler Machine” is actually a keg and tap system that enables locals to fill up a growler with fresh draught beer. I ducked there on the weekend and picked up a growler of Dad and Dave’s #1 Pale Ale. They’ve already had Illawarra Brewing Pale Ale, Rocket Science’s Mad Hatter and Moa Methode available via the Growler Machine. They’ll sell you an empty Growler or they’ll let you fill up a Growler regardless of whose brand is on it. A new meaning “To growl” is making a case to be included in the dictionary alongside the existing 4 definitions. I’ve seen that a few bottleshops are “growling XYZ beer”. Apparently a bottleshop at Terry Hills has put on 7 taps. It’s definitely becoming a growing trend and is moving beyond brew pubs.
The old Murrays at Manly venue had well intentioned plans to introduce growler fills, but came unstuck due to some peculiarities in the licensing laws. I popped in for a quick bevvie to Rubber Duckie and overhead a North American accented woman explaining to a customer that they had “recently taken over”. I then quizzed a North American accented gent, who was attentively serving me about when the changeover occurred. “Tuesday”. “Going to keep the name?” “For now”. In response to an Untappd check in, Doc of Doctor’s Orders Brewing advised that new management was indeed in place “they are really going to kick it. More guest taps and guys. Always a Doctors Orders beer too”. I deliberately use the word “attentively”, because for the first time in a long time at Murrays/Rubber Duckie a staff member cared. Early days, but if they rotate the taps (including Murrays) it’ll be a place worth visiting.
Amazingly 4 Pines to my recollection has never served anything other than 4 Pines beer from its taps. That’s never worried the punters who continue to flock in unabated to sample the 4 Pines offerings. They continue to offer small batches through its Keller Door range. On Sunday, I sampled their Spring Ale. Another beauty. I can no longer keep up with the number of Keller Door offerings, but they rarely disappoint. There was something that was made with seawater recently that was a little underwhelming but there’s been nothing completely unpotable. Oh – and there’s no problem getting a Growler filled as long as it is a 4 Pines growler.