Wollongong

A tasty break from work

A photo of the taps at the brewery that I nicked from the Illawarra Brewing Facebook page. Why? Because I still weird about taking a photo of a schooner of beer while people are watching.

A photo of the taps at the brewery that I nicked from the Illawarra Brewing Facebook page. Why? Because I still weird about taking a photo of the schooner of beer I’m drinking when people are watching.

A sign that you might be a beer geek – you use your meal break at work to head to a bar so you can try a new beer.
A sign you are a beer geek – you do the above two days in a row.
That’s what I’ve gone and done. While on last week’s bar crawl, I found out that His Boy Elroy was due to get some Young Henry’s Hop Ale on tap. That’s just what they did a day or so later, so yesterday I took an early dinner break (working night shift, you see) and headed to the bar for one of those beers.
I thought I’d be clever and order something to eat there as well – and so I didn’t look odd drinking a beer by myself. But they’d stopped serving. So a Hop Ale and a side order of looking odd it is then. While there was nothing at all wrong with the beer, I reckon I prefer some of the other offerings from Young Henry’s over this one. That said, you offered me a schooner of this and I’d certainly not knock it back.
Today, I was flicking through Twitter and saw a tweet from the Illawarra Brewing Company that said they’d just put The Sneaky One by Grainfed Brewing on tap. And so less than a half-hour later I was sitting in the bar looking out at the water under an overcast sky and enjoying a Sneaky One as a sneaky one.
Pilfering liberally from the work of Crafty Pint, The Sneaky One is the work of Lachie MacBean, a barman at Newcastle’s Albion Hotel. Seems, after some encouragement from Mr Crafty Pint and another brewer, Lachie headed down to the Illawarra Brewing Company to make his first full batch.
It went on tap first at the Albion but, because the Illawarra Brewing Company was involved, it went on their swinging taps a week later. It’s a quite intriguing beer – it seems to straddle the space between a pilsner and pale ale. I say that because it has a soft mouthfeel like a pilsner but, for some reason, I found myself taking a mouthful and expecting a hit of passionfruit flavour from some hops.
That hit never quite came (though I have no reason why I was expecting it, other than the possibility that I am stupid) but the expectation was oddly pleasurable. As was the beer as a whole – it’s definitely come out at the right time of year because it’s tailor-made for summer drinking.
And an interesting footnote – when I burped after finishing the beer I got a slight flavour of lemon, which I hadn’t noticed in the beer itself. So that’s something else you’ve got to look forward to when you try it.
Would I drink it again?: While sticking with the preference for other Young Henry’s beers over the Hop Ale, I wouldn’t knock one back if it was going. As for the Grainfed, I could definitely go another.

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