Well, obviously not my first Aussie beer ever. I have been here before, and I’ve sunk the odd pint/stubbie of the stuff back in England over the years too. But this was my first beer as a visa’d-up resident of Sydney.
It made sense to make it a good one, so Louise took me to The Australian Hotel, deep in the heart of Sydney’s The Rocks. The Australian has a good range of draft beers, runs a beer festival (which I somehow missed despite being in town both days it was on) and attracts a good mix of tourists and locals. It’s also quite old, but don’t let’s start working out if it’s the oldest pub in Sydney or not as there are at least three others that claim that title and we’d be here all night.
What to have? For some reason I chose Little Creatures Pale Ale from the eight taps in front of me. I’ve had the stuff before, but only in little bottles in the UK and I’d remembered being pretty unimpressed. But the only other beer on tap at the time that wasn’t a lager was Scharer’s Bock, and despite a recommendation from Louise I wasn’t in the mood for slightly sweet German-style beer. I wanted a bit of bite.
And boy, did I get it. Little Creatures Pale Ale smacks you round the chops with hops, and the grapefruit follows closely behind. It’s bitter and refreshing. You couldn’t drink it all night (especially not at $8 a pint) but it was just what the doctor ordered and worked well alongside an excellent chorizo pizza. Perhaps the one I’d had before was a bit old.
Little Creatures is a Fremantle, Western Australia, brewer and their wares are widely available in Australia and elsewhere. They’ve also started putting their Pale Ale into pint bottles, which is a sure way to win my approval. Read more on Australian beer quantities at Aussie Beer 101.