This is the first festival that I have attended in Sydney at Harts Pub, but def not the first time I have attended the pub for beers. This festival was quite short notice, it was only the cook mentioning it too me a week back while there at Thursday happy happy, which is the coolest hour all week. Half Price pints in Sydney is quite the special on Thursdays between 5-7. It especially works for me as I’m only a 15 minute walk away from work.
The Festival was held on February 5, which happened to be Sydneys’ 7th day in the row of 30+ temperatures, which was playing with everyones mood, not just mine. But my lawyer mate and I mate it down for the festival by 230 and I was amazed the place was not more packed. Had people not heard about the 24 beers that were meant to be special on tap? was it not advertised effectively? To me I was pleased it wasn’t packed but the guys running the pub have to make rent/wages etc, so for them it would have been better to have more people into the pub to reach capacity and drain the beers, so that the next event can be organised. Spreading the word on Craft Beer is the key with these events, by introducing 1 new person to craft, means one less Macro Tap drinker.
Look upon arrival I could see a few familiar faces at Harts, and the obvious bar staff that make it pleasant and welcoming. There were 12 taps inside the pub, and 12 out in the area the Shangri-La use for their hotel. ON the patio it must have been 40 degrees, but inside there is AIR CON, and those that missed the show def missed drinking beers in air con comfort.
1. Bridge Road – Bling IPA
2. Bridge Road – Pale Ale
3. Three Ravens – Dark Smoked Beer (German Rauchbier)
4. Holgate -Road Trip IPA-
5. Brick Kiln Road Wheat
6. Mountain Goat – Hightaile Ale
7. Otway Estate – Red Lager
8. Byron Bay – Dark Lager
9. White Rabbit – Wit
10. 2 Brothers – Gypsy Cider
11. 4 pines – IPA
12. Stone & Wood – Lager
I’m not the kind of blogg guy that reviews beers and rates them, find other people to do that. So the festival was meant to be something special that the brewers can give the locals or new people at Harts. Out of these beers we definitely thought the Bridge Road Bling IPA & 4 Pines (Manly) IPA and 3 Ravens smoked beer were the standouts on the inside beers. Thus tokens were used on multi’s on these beers. So YES the public likes these beers Bridge and 3 Ravens.
Stone & Wood Lager seems to be widely available and sold in Dan Murphys, so I wasn’t really interested in re-trying something that was meant to be a beer that was on for a festival. Festivals are times for breweries to show some balls and display beers for beer drinkers to experiment with. Stone & Wood & 2 Brothers are brewers that I was hoping to find something interesting from, but unfortunately we were left with Cider and Lager.
The festival inside was very casual and everyone was jovial with new people people. We met some new people, ran into some local home brewers and everyone was talking about The Local Taphouse Festival that is on 12th Feb in Darlinghurst. Without doubt this is the kind of event to bring new ‘guys or gals’ interested in trying new beers.
Tickets for festival were $25 for 5 tickets, and each beer cost 1 ticket. So pretty much as per other events where its coupon or ticket per beer.
With my mate and I, we tended to keep our Glasses and use the new beer to pour half each into one anothers glass, so we each got to sample half/pint samples. Most US Festivals have small sample sizes.
Outside Festival Beers.
13. Murrays Brewing – Punk Belgian
14. Australia Brewing – Galaxy Pale
15. Doctors Orders – Black IPA
16. Hunter Beer – Wit
17. Mudgee Brewing – Rye Beer
18. Schwartz Brewery – Summer Time
19. Paddys Brew – Fat Bastard
20. Underground Brew – Wheat
21. Lord Nelson – One Eye Rye
22. Pickled Monkey Golden Ale
23. Rocks Brew – Brown
24. Rocks Brew – Governers Ale
Out of these outside beers we both liked different beers, but I enjoyed the Australia Brewery Pale and Doctors Orders Black IPA the most out of these. The outside was so hot it was almost unbearable to get out there and get the beer in plastic cups. But look outside had a host of brewers who turned up to the event. For that alone Harts deserves kudos for getting brewers to the event to talk to beer lovers who drink their beers and can answer the questions.
This post is not a definitive review,but somehow it will end up in a google search where you will click and read this drunken festival review.
Overall this festival was well run, and not over-crowded, but that is good for me the beer drinker but not good for the pub who is trying to tap every keg and make enough money to justify these festivals. The more mates we bring to these events the more successful they are. I thought Harts Pub did a good job as the first one I have been to in Australia and with a brewer dinner in March they are definitely trying to create their own identity on the Sydney bar map.
This Saturday is Local Taphouse Festival which everyone was talking about on Saturday. Hopefully with 2 weeks of interesting beers at these bars in Sydney other bars will have some balls to put some of these brewers on tap, and these brewers will in turn have balls to brew some further interesting beers that go beyond the fucking 4.5% pale ales that are on the market.
A friend who runs a bar in Vancouver once told me, a craft brewer asked why he can’t get his beer on tap in his bar? and the bar owner replied ‘why what do you have?” to which the brewer replied ‘ a pale ale’ .. to which the bar owner said ‘every brewery does one of those, you make something interesting and I will put it on’.
If you have read this, what did you think of the festival ? beers? did anything blow you away?