Thus, let us drink beer! – Australian special, part 2
If you have ever been to Sydney, chances are that you passed through The Rocks, a neighborhood of quaint laneways against the backdrop of Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge.
It is fabled that The Rocks harbour the city’s first and oldest pubs, so the Endeavour Brew Bar and its Tap Rooms finds itself in suitable company.
Housed in a Queen Anne Revival style of architecture building from the 1800s, which was refurbished by accolade-decorated architects Welsh + Major, and adjoining the Brew Bar and the Endeavour Tap Rooms, the art deco referenced establishments adhere to the credo to only use all-Australian, seasonally harvested ingredients sourced directly from local hop and barley farmers with no adage of preservatives.
What makes liquid emissions of the of Endeavour Brewery’s four key lines and four rotating taps unique is the well-balanced mélange between North America’s hop culture and European malt flavours and somehow managing to sandwich a distinct Australian flavour.
Favourites of the range include the Reserve Amber Ale, a brew that is developing its sweet malty- and bitterness in the bottle as well as the English styled Growers Golden Ale with its subtle malty hop bitterness.
While I usually am not a big Red beer aficionado, Endeavour’s Red Ale got something going for it as the hop aromatics offer a bit of “je ne sais quoi” compared to the other brews crowding the market.
My better half likes the Mid 3.5 Pale Ale, which proves to be a drinkable companion for the warmer days in Sydney with an ABV that won’t tip you over if you decide to have one early on, not unlike their Lager, which is a reliable European style, flavoursome one.
However, my favourite of the many excellent Endeavour brews is by far the deliciously, rich Stacked IPA, which was created in their Brew Bar micro-brewery and named after the unique way that they stack their tanks.
A wonderful big IPA with punchy aromas of tropical and citrus fruits. Packed to the gills with three different hops, it creates a clean, bitter finish that leaves you humble narrator thirsting for more.
The Tap Rooms’ brews are substantiated with an exquisite restaurant menu, offering sustenance in form of smoked produce to match the flavours of their beers and putting an Australian flavour on the art that is American barbeque.
The Harbour Bridge and the Rocks are must-see sights if you ever find yourself in Sydney and while you are there, you’d deprive yourself from an exquisite, welcoming and palatable experience if you decided to not hit Endeavour’s Tap Rooms to sample the range.
Having just returned from Melbourne’s Good Beer Week and been able to sample more of their range, Two Birds Brewing established its place on the forefront of my Australian favourites:
Founded by Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen, Two Birds Brewing constitutes Australia’s first female owned brewing company – a company that houses all arms of the operations under one roof, including their in-house packaging line.
Located in Spotswood, an inner-western suburb of Melbourne, Two Birds produce sophisticated yet approachable beers whose labels are not only eye-catching and colourful yet what they decorate is delicious to the max:
The mid-strength Two Birds’ Trail Blazer is a nice Australian lager was created in collaboration with the local Western Bulldogs AFL Women's team for the 2018 season – an ode to the strength of women that is not only a great beverage for a day out on the oval but also further afield.
My favourite Two Birds brew is the Two Birds Taco:
Yes, a full-strength fruit beer and a liquid thing of beauty.
What a beer! I had my first sip on a hot day and the subtle zesty flavours derived from the Citra and Amerillo hops lend it its distinct crispiness.
Two Birds’ Sunset red ale with its tropical and citrus aromas back by a spine of more than a mere hint of coffee and rich malt flavours, it makes a near ideal beer to accompany food.
Two Birds’ Golden Ale is the staple of the line: Less exotic than the rest of the range, this one is the most approachable one.
Another Two Birds’ favourite is the fruity Pilsner made from Kiwi hops: Think fruity aromas a la grapes, herbs, gooseberry and white peach.
Does sound weird?
Well, it is a delight.
Given my weak spot for the Two Birds line, I jumped on their take of trying a barrel aged Belgian Ales: A rich, divine big one, to say the very, very least.
Summa summarum, I have yet to sample an emission from Two Birds Brewing that comes close to not being a winner and I look forward to what the brewery has in store for future releases.
Let’s zero in on the Sydney inner-West suburb of Marrickville and a brewer that lives and breathes its inclusive ethos “We brew for you” by nurturing relationships and sourcing ingredients from local businesses, shall we?
Batch Brewing Co. is the empire of two Americanos, i.e. Andrew Fineran and Chris Sidwa. An empire that was built on the remains of a former panel-beater shop and one that has morphed into a buzzing, working hangout, adjacent to the actual brewery, with a “drink local” concept for locals to taste the latest batch, laze on couches, sustain themselves with fare from the changing line-up of food trucks and take home 1.89-litre growlers or 640-millilitre bombers filled with their beer of choice.
And choice there is: The staples of the line include American pale ale and an IPA, which are complemented by a range that changes every two weeks with new, innovative, limited release batches popping up on a regular basis, inspired by the seasons and whatever tickles their fancy.
The core range most prominently epitomized by their Lager Just Beer, Pale Ale of American nature as well as a West Coast PA, is complemented by Pash the Magic Dragon is a surprisingly palatable sour, and Elisie, a nitrogen-carbonated milk stout (with lactose, not real milk).
Batch Brewing Co. equips their brews with date stamping, letting not only connoisseurs know when exactly when a brew was made and when to consume it to get the most out of it, underpinned by the notion that it should be consumed as close to its source as possible with a firm focus on Sydney and maintaining a link between the sources of the ingredients.
Displaying the weather report for Barellan, where their malt is from, behind their bar is merely the visible tip of the iceberg.
Visiting the bar means that you can peek into the brewery, strike up a chat with a knowledgeable staff member and immerse yourself in the cultural biotope they have created, putting a visit to Batch Brewing Co. on your must-visit list when it comes to Australian beer explorations.
For more, read Thus, let us drink beer! – Australian special, part 1.
Photos of Endeavor Brewery and Batch Brewing Co. by @k.a.vv
Two Birds Brewing image from brewery website