Bitter Phew, 137 Oxford Street, Paddington
Late on a warm, sunny Sydney day, my beer scout, Mr Malty, marched me up Oxford Street to the remarkable Bitter Phew bar.
We strode up the narrow, dark staircase at number 137 and into the homely watering hole, lit gently by oblique winter sun slanting through open windows.
Tuesday, 4.30pm, workday barely ended, and already beer lovers hugged their stools behind the bar, facing 12 taps and an obliging barman. Overhead, a whiteboard listed the wild-ferment cider and 11 craft beers currently on tap.
We ordered two Victorian beers – a pale golden, French-style farmhouse ale and a robust American brown ale – then finished on an exotic, sour, challenging brew from Italian brewer, Birrificio del Ducato.
The owners, Aaron Edwards and Jay Pollard, search widely for cutting-edge beers and rotate them through the moving feast on tap, making Bitter Phew a must-visit for beer lovers.
Castlemaine XXXX Gold Australian Pale Ale 375ml six-pack $15
Australia’s market leading mid-strength beer, XXXX Gold Lager, has a new mid-strength sibling (3.5 per alcohol) – XXXX Gold Australian Pale Ale. A press release describes the beer, accurately, as having, “less bitter and hoppy flavour than other pale ale styles in the market”. It’s an easy drinking quaffer destined to offend no one.
Woolshed Brewery Amazon Ale 330ml $4.90
Woolshed Brewery dedicated its first beer to Amazon Creek, a picturesque waterway near the brewery, located on the Murray River, South Australia. The mid-gold-amber coloured ale offers rich caramel-like malt flavours, cut through with citrus-like hops flavours and finishing with a lingering hops bitterness. A portion of wheat malt gives the palate notable briskness.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 11 and 12 August 2015 in goodfood.com.au and the Canberra Times