Aiport beers hit the spot

The next few posts will comprise my travel/beer diary as Bill of Beer discovers more of Australia and the beers they are brewing. This is the final post in the six-part series.

The sixth and final day of our beer and league tour was upon us and neither of us were too happy to be heading home. Sure it meant a return to the familiarity of my local liquor stores, but Sydney decided to turn on a real blinder for us and the sun beat down as we headed into Manly for the last time.

At lunchtime we found ourselves on the Manly Beachfront in a bar called Sugar Lounge. We picked up on a recurring theme in Sydney, and the Northern Beaches in particular. We had found that when dining you usually had to make a choice between good service or good food, the two very seldom went hand in hand and Sugar Lounge lived up to its predecessors.

After entering and finding ourselves our own menus and a table, we had to wait quite some time before the waitress found us amongst the three other groups that were in there. We quickly ordered some drinks, not knowing how long it would be before we saw her again. The waitress returned not too long after with our drinks and we placed an order for a platter and a pork belly pizza to share. I was quite intrigued by the beer that I ordered when it arrived in a brown paper bag. Doss Blockos was the name and it hailed from Victoria, it was fairly typical of the beers you find in Australia; quite light in flavour and colour with nothing too interesting going on inside the bottle, but it did have some cool packaging.

Some time later the waitress returned with our platter and a plate of pork belly, but no pizza. To her credit she left the pork belly for us while she corrected the order. We had an outside table and were sipping water from some plastic bottles we had bought at the 7-11, this was obviously frowned upon as the waitress then asked us not to place the bottles on the table, I assume they didn’t want to advertise the fact that they don’t supply you with water if you’re dining there.

Our pizza finally arrived, so we had that and moved on, but not before the waitress asked if we wanted to tip them when I was paying the bill; I politely declined.

The remainder of our day included more ice cream and some lazing on the beach before a frantic mad dash to the airport after underestimating the distances on the map.

James Squire at the airport

The rush was a little premature and we were on the other side of customs with time to kill, best hit the bar then. Fortunately, we stumbled across one that had James Squire and I resumed my taste testing of Australian beer. By this point of the journey my beer palate had been thoroughly run through its paces and the James Squire beers were a welcome and pleasant respite. I tried three of the range at the airport and surprisingly on the plane home too (Qantas) and they were all ‘reliable’ beers, they didn’t do anything too exciting but were still good beers.

Overall, it was a pretty successful trip to Australia, I made my way through 45 new beers in a paltry six days, weeding out a few horrors and bookmarking some stellars. I muled a couple extra beers home that we didn’t quite get to and have since tried them and they were pretty impressive as well. Aussie have definitely proven they can make some good beer now and I’m looking forward to the next trip to knock a few more off the checklist.

‘Beer of the Day’ goes to Four Wives Pilsner.

Beers by order of appearance:

  • Doss Blockos by East 9th Brewing Co.
  • Four Wives Pilsner by James Squire
  • One Fifty Lashes by James Squire
  • The Chancer Golden Ale by James Squire

This final blog also calls for some extra awards.

‘Beer of the Trip’ goes to Icon 2IPA by Murray’s.

And with that… ‘Brewery of the Tour’, in turn goes to Murray’s Craft Brewing Co.

The Doss Blockos at Sugar Lounge

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