*** I’d like to apoogize to the good people at 4 Pines. This article was actually done back in late August, but being a complete newb at the time when it came to WordPress, I didn’t realize this was marked as a draft and not published until just now. I’m still putting it up in its original format. Once again guys, I’m sorry and I’ll make sure this doesn’t happen again. – JP 28/11/2013 ***
It was a gorgeous, bright day as I took my seat on the Circular Quay to Manly ferry. The Sun was shining with not a hint of cloud in the sky. I took this as a sign that my afternoon at the 4 Pines brewery would be a pleasant one; I wasn’t let down.
The place was bustling with folks finishing up their Sunday lunches as I settled in to start my very late breakfast of, you guessed it, beer. I grabbed a 4 Pines Extra Special Bitter and found a nice spot overlooking the wharf to enjoy my malty little treat. The bitterness of this ale was in contrast to all the smiling faces of patrons around the bar. Everyone seemed to be soaking in this hot winters day and truly enjoying the food and beverage. Many were putting back a tasting paddle, containing the 4 Pines staples of Kölsh, Stout, Pale Ale, Hefeweizen and ESB (my selection), as well as a few of their Keller Door series beers: Canadian Ale, Amber Real Ale, and Belgian Golden Ale.
I was lucky enough to get to have a chat with Lucy at the 4 Pines venue. She tells me that 4 Pines was started with the old “We should start our own brewery” after founder, Darren, and his Dad realized there simply wasn’t any good place in Manly to go out and get one. Now, unlike most of us who have drunkenly said “I should start a brewery/buy a bar/buy a boat” (whatever your fantasy may be), they got started and in 2008, 4 Pines was born.
In the last 5 years, 4 Pines had seen a lot of success, not just locally, but on a national scale. You can find their staple brews at your average venue serving craft beer as well as bottle shops like BWS. Their creative Keller Door series can be found at your more craft beer specific locations. This success can be attributed to the mass appeal of their regular beers, as well as the love the brewers put into their beer. As Lucy puts it “The beer is amazing. It’s fantastic beer; it’s made with love. The brewers are a such tight team and so is the venue staff. It’s just through good word of mouth”.
In an ever-growing craft beer scene, 4 Pines has put themselves in a great position to continue being strong with what I like to call “Welcome” beers for those new to craft beer, as well as new and creative seasonal beers they call “Keller Door” to satisfy the taste buds of the more demanding palette. I asked Chris Willcock, Chief Brewer for 4 Pines, about his thoughts on the future of craft beer and where he thinks 4 Pines sits in it. “Craft beer is here to stay and will only become stronger in the upcoming years as we craft brewers continue to work together to educate the uninitiated. As the industry establishes itself, I think that the consistency of beer quality, flexibility and innovation (season styles etc) will become increasingly important to our consumers. My role will be to make sure 4 Pines maintains our focus in these areas”.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank both Lucy and Chris for their time for answering questions from a little fledgling blog like myself. You can thank them as well by picking up a 6 pack at your local BWS, or by grabbing a pint at your local. If you’re in the Manly area, make sure to head into the 4 Pines brewery at 29/43-45 E Esplanade. If you do head in, you’ll experience an amazing staff, some phenomenal food, and some top-notch beer. I had a chance to have the ploughman’s board while there as well as the duck salad (I needed something light to cure a hangover). Both were made beautifully and the portion sizes are generous.
For more information, check out www.4pinesbeer.com.au