One of the only places I had decided that I must visit in Sydney, before I arrived was The Lord Nelson. I had read about it before so I had high expectations. After I was done at my stop at The Glenmore on Wednesday afternoon, I walked down the road to the brewpub. It was time for more beer and of course some lunch.
The Lord Nelson is Sydney's oldest licensed hotel and brewery. That probably makes it the cities oldest brewery as well. It was founded in 1841 and restored thanks to a photograph from 1852.
As the name might suggest, it styles itself on an English pub, though is clearly catering for the international market. Sitting down by the window you can see how thick the walls are and no matter how hot it was outside (very hot) it seems to stay quite cool inside. There may be some AC lurking somewhere but it was not noticeable so might be mainly down to the cool stonework. The opposite may be true in winter so there is the obligatory oversized fireplace to make it cozy and warm.
The shiny brewery sits at the back of the pub behind large glass windows. Personally I prefer a brewpub with no barrier between customers and the equipment other than a railing or something. Let them smell that brewday malt and hop aroma.
Half pints were $4.70 so not too bad, though more expensive than Paddy's $4.40 per schooner. It seemed that the longer I stayed in Sydney, the more Paddy's Brewery seemed tempting if you wanted value for money. Pity it was so out of the way from where I was in the CBD.
I started off with the Quayle Ale which had a flowery aroma and reminded me of fresh cut hay (yes I live in the countryside, but not on a farm!). Toasted malt was the order of the day and it was light and refreshing. A great summer beer.
Next was the royal red instead of Trafalgar pale ale. Only 3.9% so a potential session beer? Somewhat spicy, pretty malt driven and full on fruit. I did find it over carbonated for what it was meant to be, the only fault I had with the beer. I enjoyed the lingering bitterness it left in my mouth.
Interestingly there was an English couple beside me who specifically warned me against Royal red. I however rather enjoyed it.
Next round started off with Three sheets which of course means something in both the beer and nautical world alike. It was similar Quayle but a little more citrusy. Quite a lovely beer I thought.
Victory bitter was next and it was a lovely deep red packed full of malty goodness. Full on caramel and dried fruit with a fantastic bitter and spicy finish. Lovely beer and not as over carbonated as the others.
The final round started off with Broadside Belgian dubbel. A fruity Belgian beer packed full of estery, spicy yeasty goodness and bubblegum. The finish was boozy, bordering on acetone but stopped short of being unpleasant to drink. We both rather enjoyed it.
Old Admiral was another strong beer. A strong ale of 6.1% that left me a little disappointed. It may not be the beers fault because it was served ice cold, perhaps colder than the other beers which in Aussie fashion were all too cold as well. It was also way too fizzy for the type of beer it was. Malty caramel body, boozy fruity finish. Not much I could say about it. I wonder if it had warmed up a little, would it have stood out a little more?
Finally we come to Nelsons blood, a porter packed full of chocolate and coffee flavours and aromas. In fact the coffee was like strong French espresso. You know, the ones in tiny thimbles that pour like bovril or marmite. A fruity middle with a lactic and bitter finish. Plenty of flavour in this one and the perfect beer to finish off with.
Conclusion? I enjoyed my time. The beer was excellent, if a little on the dull side and the food was pretty good too that I remember, I believe we both had chicken burgers. The Lord Nelson should certainly be visited by any beer lover on a trip to Sydney.