Sydney Craft Beer Week. What a gem. Thank god for Twitter otherwise I would have been left alone perishing in thoughts that craft beer simply didn’t exist in Australia. Sure, the commercial beer of Oz is great (and we are not talking Fosters here) but it’s not Craft Beer the way I know it.
Another instance of me wasting time by browsing the #Sydney hashtag on Twitter meant that I discovered that not only does craft beer exist in Sydney, there was a whole week devoted to it coming up in October! I began my research and browsed events. Knowing I would have Saturdays off from work I booked in a Comedy and Craft Beer show as a surprise gift to Lorenzo. He loves stand-up and we both love good beer. So that seemed like a perfect way to spend our Saturday night. A few weeks later I wanted to be sure I booked in at least one other event, so I continued browsing events and discovered that the same day, October 29th, there was an event at Hart’s Pub called Brunch with the Brewer’s. I was sold. Beer and Brunch? This must be some kind of heaven.
Lorenzo and I arrived at Hart’s Pub nearly a half hour early in anticipation of our beer filled brunch. And when we arrived we were greeted by one of the coolest little pubs I’ve seen in Sydney to date. For its small size, Hart’s offers a huge variety of craft beers, tasting paddles and, according to FourSquare, great food as well!
We waited patiently as we watched one of the final games of the World Series (and American sports! Seriously, this pub is a winner). When it was time for the brunch we headed upstairs and took a seat. Let the food and beer flow!
Each table was given full bottles and glasses of beer to taste along with and in between courses. Most tastings consist of just a couple of sips of each brew, so we were given a real treat. Naturally, I enjoyed the first beer that was set in front of me. The “Welcome Beer” was a Pale Ale from the Rocks Brewing Company. Little did I know the vast array of flavors that were about to hit me.
First course was char-grilled sourdough bread and spicy chorizo sausages. I like sausage. Chorizo is even better. But beer that perfectly compliments the spicy flavor and the flame-infused smokiness of the bread? Ho-my-god! The first course was so good it inadvertently ruined the rest of the meal for me. We paired these dreamy sausages with Two Birds Golden Ale. Wow. It was the perfect match like chocolate and peanut butter, strawberries and Champagne or french fries and ice cream. Yea it was that good.
The organizers of the brunch and many things Craft Beer Week were the blokes of BeerMenTV. They started in with a little expertise as they began describing the flavors found in each brew.
You’ll notice the flavor of the Two Birds really compliments the sausage. But really, if you have both beer and food together, who cares, you’re already winning.
And there you have it. Winning.
We moved through a number of courses, including veggie frittata, chicken vol-au-vent and baked beans with more bread. It was the perfect accompaniment to the brews on offer.
I was introduced to so many new brews and breweries in Australia that I have my work cut out for me in the coming months. I may as well scrap all my travel plans and just go on a beer tour of the country at this rate.
Some of the beers we sampled:
4 Pines-Kolsch; must.get.to.Manly.
Stone & Wood-Pacific Ale; this alongside the Two Birds were my favorites, I would tell you why and how they were different but I don’t remember anymore and my notes simply have stars next to them. Just know that they have my recommendations.
Rocks Brewing-Butcher Porter; I like porters, so what? Sue me if that’s not girly enough for you.
There were eight total beers on offer including a full glass welcome and a full glass farwell brew. The men of BeerMenTV were wonderful hosts, even if they did stereotype me as a loud American by not letting me use a microphone to answer questions (in the end when the host heard my delicate voice he gave me the mic, but still).
Hart’s Pub was a winner. I’m already plotting my return, especially since it is such a short walk from work! Long hours equal early evenings drinking.