Then again, while I saw this as a positive, it is perhaps to the business’ detriment as it was noticeably quiet despite its proximity to the harbour. Though perhaps it’s more of a haunt for locals who would’ve undoubtedly been working during my visit.
My first beer was the 111 (pronounced one one one) IPA, its namesake being a ‘Nelson’ in cricket which is a superstition that bad things happen at that score, possibly because of the number’s resemblance to a wicket without bails. The beer was created in memory of one of the original shareholders of the pub and being one of the better IPAs I’ve consumed it was well worth the $4.80 for a pot.
The range at the hotel was more than decent. Pale Ales seem to be the specialty but there are plenty of other options to keep punters happy. They also have the Coopers’ Pale and Sparkling Ales on tap.
The service I got at the bar was friendly and both bartenders were attentive, and more than happy to answer my questions and educate me on their range. Points to both of them, one a middle-aged man, the other a young lass, probably mid-twenties, for knowing their beers and helping me to make a decision.
My next beer, the 3 Sheets pale ale, was another good rendition of an Australian brewing stalwart; rich and golden in colour with strong citrus notes and a strong bitter finish. Also well worth the $4.80 a pot.
The restaurant is upstairs from the pub area and unfortunately (and understandably) was closed during my quick visit. Looking at the menu, the range of food is excellent. There’s a wide variety of pub grub on offer and it’s decently priced. There’s also a gallery on their website with some tantalisingly good-looking dishes so while I can’t really comment on the food, they at least market their restaurant well.
Overall the experience was a good one but would’ve been better [although somewhat less entertaining] if one white-haired fellow by the bar wasn’t swearing his head off for the whole world to hear. At first I thought it was just an enthusiastic/slightly tipsy patron but later he came over and asked me if I was “one one one-ing” (in reference to my beverage), then after a short conversation told me he’d like me to try one of our other beers. So, possibly the/a proprietor; not sure if that makes the display of every profanity under the sun better or worse.
- Location – The Rocks, Sydney
- Type – Brewery Cellar Door
- Rating: 1.5 / 2 range + 1 / 1 food + 1 / 2 ambiance = 3.5 / 5
- Likelihood of making an ass of yourself – Nil to low (unless you’re the owner)
- Plus – good mix of people; you’d fit in whether you’re wearing a sharp suit or high vis
- Minus – the swearing by the proprietor and nit-picking a bit but the furniture felt a bit cheap n’ nasty and didn’t really compliment the old school cosiness of the stone and dark wood interior.