Australia shuts down between Christmas and Australia Day. I’m used to not being able to get anything done from Dec 24-Jan 4, but the extra three weeks of inability to arrange any meetings, get anybody’s advice on anything or generally DO ANYTHING AT WORK other than plan and generally tidy up is really annoying. Next year I’ll arrange my work so that I have quiet things to do so I won’t get so stressed about the slowness of the pace. And I’ll take some of my holiday time then too, given that the Sydney Ashes Test will be on.
This year Louise and I decided to go on summer holiday before Christmas, which was a good idea in that it was cheaper and less busy than it would have been after the festivities. We had a great time in Port Macquarie (an hour’s flight north of Sydney), swimming, reading, walking and (of course) boozing.
Port Macquarie is home to the Little Brewing Company, Kylie and Warwick Little’s two-and-a-half-year old micro. It’s doing pretty well, winning awards and brewing beers people want to drink. We sampled the standard Wicked Elf range at the brewery – Pale, Pilsener and Witbier – and had a good chat with Kylie, while Warwick and his offsider tended the brewing equipment a few yards away. We were lucky to also be able to taste one of the brewery’s Mad Abbot range from the tap too, their Dubbel. Louise bought me four packs of the Dubbel and Tripel as my Christmas present and we caught a cab to a winery…
Late the other night I cracked open a Dubbel. The Littles are huge fans of Belgian Trappist beers and this is a pretty good version of one of those. It’s strong enough at 6.9%, but doesn’t knock you over the head with alcohol. As it warms (don’t drink it out of the fridge, cellar temperature please) the flavours become more obvious – spice and vine fruits, sweet but not too sweet. I’d prefer the head to stick around a bit longer but other than that I have no complaints at all. An excellent beer that will no doubt develop if you keep one for a year or so in a dark place. Looking forward to trying a Tripel soon.
At some point in the future the Littles are planning a cafe in town to sell their beer (and other NSW micros, I think Kylie said) but they’re concentrating on brewing the beer for now, as demand is outstripping supply. If you find yourself in Port Mac get a cab over and pay them a visit.