Sydney is an astoundingly beautiful city. I fell in love with it the day I arrived but it was on my visit to Manly that it stole my heart forever. My destination had two purposes. Firstly was just visiting Manly itself. I absolutely love the ferry system in Sydney and if I lived there, I would have to live near a ferry port. In fact Manly would be my choice for somewhere to live. One of the reasons for this is the second reason for visiting, oh who am I kidding? It was the primary reason of course.
The 4 pines brewing company has been here since 2008 and is one of my favourite brewpubs I have ever been to, anywhere in the world. You simply can't miss it when you get off the ferry, just turn your head slightly to the right and you will see it in front of you on the 1st floor (2nd if American) balcony. Walk up the steps on the right hand side and you can either enter through the balcony like we did, or through the main bar itself.
Beer descriptions are above the bar but don't worry, you don't have to risk hurting your neck and instead can just read from the menu on the table.
The brewery is clearly visible through the glass. In fact you have to go in to the brewery itself if you want to buy takeaway beer etc. Probably something to do with the brewery being a separate entity to the pub and some licensing quirk means only the brewery can sell the beer.
I had to start off with a sample tray of course, and they were good sized samples too. A side of some of the best Calamari I have ever had went down very well. The tray was $15 for 5 beers.
Thee beers themselves were world class I thought. The heffe was a good Munich style heffe with a slightly dry/sour finish but not sour enough to put my wife off.
The Kolsch was a light lemon citric lager with a light, soft and fluffy body and a peppery finish.
The Pale Ale was in your face grapefruit and topical fruits. An utterly uncompromising and beautiful beer. Surprisingly this was not my favourite, it was close second.
The ESB was my favourite. Probably the best ESB I have ever had with fruity rasiny malt characters with chocolate and a hint of coffee, but nowhere near porter territory. This is the beer I ordered a pint of and at $9.50 it was quite reasonable compared to Redoak.
There was also the stout which was served notro kegged but packed full of flavour at the same time. The caramel and vanilla finish rounded off the strong chocolate and coffee middle.
And here is my pint of ESB. An absolute pleasure of a beer to drink and I had more than one of these beauties.
I noticed the specials board and it was Tuesday so we stayed for dinner and had Curry and a pint for $25 which is fantastic value in Sydney where you might pay that for just a basic main course and often times more.
I was so tempted by the Ribs and pint on Wednesday that we came back the next night and another great evening. This meant I never got back to Redoak with my wife but I'm content with that decision.
Even though we were not sitting on the balcony, we still had the open air view such is the design of the pub. You can keep an eye out for the ferry from here if you need to use it to get back to the CBD as we did.
I have included the food menu, though really you might as well take a look at the PDF on their website for a better view.
On the Wednesday night I grabbed two 6 packs to bring back to the hotel. A 6 pack costs about $20 in any bottleshop, though sometimes a little less.
As far as I'm concerned, this is the best place to drink in Sydney bar none. And I have more to write about from the Sydney area as well!