There’s never been a better time to be a Northern Beaches beer lover, and now the Northern Northern Beaches have a convenient place to visit. On 30 July, Modus Operandi Brewing opened its big roller door to the public and they’ve hit the ground running in a big way. This correspondent paid a visit the weekend before last and spied the Father’s Day menu. A couple of phone calls later and illiards and I had convinced our better halves that Father’s Day really should be spent in a brewery with our families. Now for me in particular I was tempting fate. In the early days of Murray’s at Manly, I had convinced the missus to go there for Father’s Day. The menu looked great and a couple of new beers were on offer. The next thing I know she’s invited her dad and 15 of her family. In a portent for the future of that venue, the day was an unmitigated disaster. Entrees took an hour and a half, mains arrived after 3 hours, which was irrelevant as half the family had purchased burgers from around the corner. “Never again”, said the missus.
Fortunately, Modus Operandi‘s planning looked better from the get go. Simple menu, two sittings and plenty of staff. We’d snaffled a terrific table surrounded by brewing equipment and out of the way of foot traffic, so the matchbox cars could be hurled around without fear of OH&S sanction – gees, we could almost kick back with 6 kids in tow. Modus Operandi has a great layout. Rustic furniture is laid out inside and outside the brewery. They’ve made the most of the high ceilings and included a funky mezzanine section as well. The music selection is fabulous and embodies the US influence that permeates all aspects of Modus Operandi’s being. To find out more about the inspiration of the creation of Modus Operandi, check out Crafty Pint’s excellent article and interview with the owners and brewer. They’ve done the hard yards in the planning for the venture and it is paying off already. Some of Sydney’s beer doyennes were there – @boatmanpat, @OZBeer_MD and @DRsOrdersBrewin to name a few and @Untappd was going off with check ins.
The food was great. I’d had a sneak peek the week before and thoroughly enjoyed a thickly gelatinous beef rib, and the kids hoovered up the corn cobs. Father’s Day offered brisket, roast port and barramundi. All were magnificent and the table quietened as our families devoured their good sized portions. The regular menu is all about the US and all the favourites are there. But enough about the food – how’s the beer? Well, firstly for a brewery that’s only been open for a little over a month – there’s plenty of choice. Their “Rainbow Rack” with 7 good sized portions covers the current regular range. The beer list is pictured and a good range of styles is available. Maybe it is the influence of winter, but I’m a sucker for anything dark or an amber/red style at the moment. The Former Tenant (a red IPA) and the Silent Knight (porter) are excellent examples of their type, but the star was their first special – a black lager called 3.30. This was coffee infused and tasted bigger than its 5% ABV. A great accompaniment to our sticky date pud.
So, even for an insular peninsula type like me, Mona Vale seems like a trek. Don’t let that for one moment deter you. Modus Operandi is worth the trip. They’ve gone to plenty of effort – from the stories about their beer names, to their merchandise and to their beers themselves. Future events are promised, including Australia’s biggest beer cans (see Crafty’s article) – and it won’t be long before we’re gracing Modus Operandi’s threshold again. The Northern Beaches – god’s country indeed.