Guest Post: Sydney travel and beer guide

I’ve never been to Australia, but it is definitely on my bucket list.  Recently, another blogger, Nicole, reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in a guest blog post.  Of course I said yes.  So here is a little about Nicole and what she has to say about Sydney Travel and Beer.

When thinking about Australia, the first place which comes to your mind is probably Sydney, unique centrepiece of exotic coastal nooks, amazing cultural-historical heritage and greatest cosmopolitan pleasures that one city can offer. But, while you’re rushing to face with precious sites that make Harbour city special place on the planet, why wouldn’t you reveal its other side and visit some of the greatest “Amber fluid” hideouts. If this sounds tempting, stick to my travel & beer guide and make yourself unforgettable Sydney walkabout:

Darling Harbour

As one of the most vibrant touristic oasis in Sydney, Darling Harbour is regular stop station for visitors and Aussies, mostly due to its attractive beside the water position and entertaining scene. If you head for this lovely Sydney’s area (and I’m sure you will), spend relaxing moments in Chinese Garden of Friendship, serene space hosting lush willows and picturesque koi ponds or admire breathless sceneries of Australian underwater treasures at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.


This area’s beer kingdom is Pamphouse Bar whose greatest “specialty”, Thunderbolt Strong Ale, remain to delight beer lovers since 80’s. Here you can also enjoy in popular Aussies’ craft beers, such as Tooheys New and Hahn Premium Light and feel impressive local brewing art.

The Rocks

Sydney’s historical superstar, The Rocks offer comprehensive past-time story, what you’ll realize by visiting Rocks Discovery Museum and make a journey through historical evolvement of this firstly colonized part of Australian land.


Visit to this area is not a true experience without going to Lord Nelson brewery, the oldest Australian pub brewery, established in 1841. Its impressive beer list includes natural, award-winning ales, where I recommend trying citrusy Australian Pale Ale, Three sheets and reddish Old Admiral featuring powerful bitter taste. To expand your experience of The Rocks beer scene, go to Harts Pub and ask for original Rocks brewing legend, Boxer Red Ale.

Randwick City

Randwick City is area which definitely proves that opulent Victorian era greatly touched Sydney, and you’ll best feel that energy by experiencing authentic Victorian villa in Avonmore on the Park. This suburb also hides extraordinary beery spirit, so you can go to The Coast Restaurant at The Coast Golf Club and enjoy in terrific views and pretty affordable beers.


Another beer nook I found worth visiting in Randwick City is Bat Country Pub, excellent for trying Young Henry’s on tap and Boag’s Premium Lager and enjoying in 60s-70s music hits.

Sydney’s Beaches

As popular coastal paradise among Aussies, Manly beach is also real tourist marine Mecca, especially attractive for waves riding lovers.


Australian sun will make you thirsty, but don’t worry, just come by to 4 Pines Brewing Company and fuel your body with original Aussies’ Pale Ale, stout and other tasteful beery liquids.

4 pines

More serene, but nothing less enjoying is leisure Coogee beach, which I found great for casual-style swimming, snorkelling and, of course, beer drinking in its recognizable Beer Garden.

Surry Hills

Sydney’s bohemian vibe exudes from city’s true artistic kingdom, Surry Hills. Apart from dozens of authentic restaurants and boutiques situated in fabulous Crown Street, Surry Hills abounds with craft beer tasting spots, such as Royal Albert Hotel, unavoidable place for drinking Moo Brew stout and Black Dog Brewery old ale.

For full beer & snacks moments, I suggest going to Black Penny which serves craft beers from best local breweries. Vegetarians are encouraged to visit laid-back Yulli’s bar& restaurant, where along with yummy veggie meals you can try best local hand-crafted beers, preferably strong Mad Abbot Tripel and exotic Viking IPA (Indian Pale Ale).

The magic of merging your touristy Sydney journey with discovering its best beer spots can be best explained with K. Friedman’s sentence: “The beauty is in the eye of beer holder”.

Nicole is a travel addict and a passionate writer. She always seeks new adventures and she loves to share her experiences. She’s an architecture and interior design enthusiast. In her spare time, she loves to design furniture, clothes and jewellery. Also, she loves preparing and eating delicious food with her friends.

Have you ever been to Australia?  What beers would you recommend?

Gin Fizzes [Merry Christmas!]

Merry Christmas!

In celebration of this great holiday I’m sharing a family tradition.  Unfortunately, it isn’t a beer one, but it is delicious!

Merry Christmas from Santa and I

Merry Christmas from Santa and I

On Christmas morning, my mom makes Gin Fizzes!

Here’s the recipe:

Into a blender:

  • 6 TBsp. Rich Cream
  • 4 TBsp. Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Jigger Lime Juice
  • 1 Jigger Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 tsp, Orange Flower Water
  • 6 Jiggers Gin
  • 3 Egg Whites (Can add whole eggs if desired)
  • 3/4 Cup Soda Water
  • 10 ice cubes

Blend.  Then add more ice to fill the blender.  Blend till ice is very small.  Makes six drinks.


Lompoc Brewing announces annual Holiday Beer Extravaganza

c-sonsWho wants to hang out with me Tuesday, December 2nd from 4-6PM at Lompoc’s newly renovated Sidebar for their Holiday Beer Extravaganza?

PORTLAND, Ore. – Just as Santa has eight reindeer, so does Lompoc have eight different holiday beers, including one brewed for Hanukkah. The annual Lompoc Holiday Beer Extravaganza will celebrate the release of them all on Tuesday, Dec. 2 from 4pm to Midnight at the newly renovated Sidebar, Lompoc’s barrel tasting room at 3901 N Williams Ave.

This year’s lineup of holiday seasonals includes Blitzen, a spiced golden ale; Jolly Bock Lager; C-sons Greetings Imperial IPA; Old Tavern Rat Barleywine; Brewdolph Belgian-style Red; 2013 Bourbon Barrel Aged Holiday Cheer, a vanilla porter aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels; Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Cheval de Trait Belge, a dark Belgian strong ale aged in Maryhill Winery Pinot noir barrels; and the triumphant return of 8 Malty Nights, a chocolate rye beer brewed in honor of Hanukkah.
The holiday celebration will take place in the recently renovated Sidebar, which has added a roll up glass door to allow in more light, booth seating, expanded taps and an all-new menu of small plates designed for sharing. There will be complimentary appetizers featured at the event.
All beers will also be available at the other Lompoc pubs on Dec. 2 as well, including Lompoc Tavern on NW 23rd Ave, Oaks Bottom Public House on SE Bybee Blvd, Hedge House on SE Division St, and Fifth Quadrant on N Failing and Williams. C-sons Greetings and Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Tavern Rat are also available in 22 ounce bottles, at a cost of $5 and $12, respectively.BEER DESCRIPTIONS

8 MALTY NIGHTS: Dark brown in color and lightly hopped with English style hops, this chocolate rye beer features a roasted chocolate flavor and a sweet finish. Raise a glass and toast l’chaim to Portland’s first Hanukkah seasonal. 6.5% ABV
2013 BOURBON BARREL AGED HOLIDAY CHEER: Aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels for eight months, this robust vanilla porter combines big chocolate flavor and a full body with mellow vanilla notes, compliments of whole vanilla beans in the conditioning tank. 6.8% ABV  I’m wicked excited for this one!
BLITZEN: This bright, straw-colored holiday favorite is dry-hopped with Centennial hops, dried apricots and coriander. The hops lend a slight spicy and earthy aroma, while the apricots provide a faint sweetness with a fruity flavor and aroma. 4.6% ABVBREWDOLPH: This Belgian style red ale features a malty and creamy body. Brewed with the Belgian Ardennes yeast strain, it boasts a mild fruitiness and a spicy clove character. 7.7% ABV

C-SONS GREETINGS: Brewed and dry-hopped with all seven “C” hops, this beer features a deep copper color with a piney, citrusy, floral and resinous aroma. A rich, caramel malt finish and an endless developing hop presence complement its full hop flavor. 8.0% ABV
JOLLY BOCK: This lager was brewed with a generous amount of Munich malt to develop the deep amber color and rich malt flavor. The malty flavor is balanced with a spicy hop bitterness. 7.3% ABVOLD TAVERN RAT: This dark amber-colored barleywine was aged for almost a year prior to its release. It has a strong bitterness that is balanced by the sweetness of caramel and toffee flavors. 9.4% ABV

PINOT NOIR BARREL AGED CHEVAL DE TRAIT BELGE: This dark Belgian strong ale was aged in Maryhill Winery Pinot noir barrels for four months. It has a malty body with notes of chocolate, tobacco, oak and plum, finishing dry and slightly tart. 8.5% ABV

So who’s with me?

Tomorrow: Brews for New Avenues (BFNA)

Who’s in Portland this weekend?  Would love to see this even hit capacity!

PORTLAND, OREGON: – Some of Oregon’s most sought-after beers will be at the third annual Brews for New Avenues (BFNA), the nonprofit beer event that hosts Portland’s only live auction of unique craft beers. Oregon breweries and private collectors are partnering with New Avenues for Youth’s ambassador board to produce an all-star auction list that is garnering national attention from beer writers and enthusiasts, including Hair of the Dog’s Dave (single bottles sell for $2,000 at other auctions), three bottles from de Garde and Deschutes’ The Abyss (2006 – 2013 full vertical). The full list of beers can be viewed at!2014-event/c4ww

Brews for New Avenues will have on tap over 40 international and domestic craft beer kegs, including Cantillon’s Iris and de Struise’s Imperialist, alongside Cascade’s Honey Ginger Lime, Upright’s Engelberg and 10 Barrel’s Uberlliner (an imperial version of “German Sparkle Party Berlinerweisse” and has never been sold in the Portland market). This year, Brews will also feature a bigger, better “Wall of Beer,” where event attendees can donate $10 and select one mystery bottle. Some bottles will be rare, others just delicious. Additional highlights include beer-centric raffle items, chocolate stout beer floats, food carts (People’s Pig and Pulehu Pizza) and live music (The Get Ahead and The Sentiments).

What: 3rd Annual Brews for New Avenues  degarde_logo

When: Saturday, September 6, 5pm to 10:30pm

Where: Leftbank Annex, 101 N Weidler St.

Entry: $10, 21+

All proceeds benefit New Avenues for Youth

Quote from Trevor and Lindsay of de Garde Brewing: “This is about the most fun beer event you’ll ever attend. The charitable aspect makes it that much better. Brews for New Avenues is beyond worth the admission price and it’s all for a great cause.”

About New Avenues for Youth

New Avenues for Youth is a Portland-based nonprofit organization committed to helping foster, at-risk and homeless youth gain the life skills necessary to lead healthy, independent lives and avoid lifelong homelessness.

About de Garde Brewing

de Garde Brewing is a small rural brewery in Tillamook, OR specializing in many diverse styles of ales, but with a focus on spontaneous fermentations inspired by the European farmhouse traditions.

Oregon Brewers Festival overcomes a wet and soggy opening day, attracts 85,000 people in celebration of craft beer

PORTLAND, Ore. – August 14, 2014 – There’s a first time for everything, and in the case of the Oregon Brewers Festival, it was a downpour on opening day. The 27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival took place July 23 through 27 at Waterfront Park in Portland. And while the rain kept some at bay, the mud puddles quickly dried and by the end of the weekend, attendance numbers rivaled those of the year before, coming in at 85,000 attendees.

photo 5
Beer lovers came from across the nation and around the world to join in the celebration; they included a group of brewers from The Netherlands who were invited to pour beer in the festival’s Specialty Tent. Event founder and director Art Larrance heralded the relationship a natural progression in the evolution of craft brewing worldwide, and announced plans to bring in brewers from New Zealand in 2015.
“Thirty some years ago, U.S. craft brewers were looking outside of the nation for beer inspiration,” explained Larrance. “Today, it’s come full circle; craft beer markets from around the world are looking to us for insight. We’re seeing a beer revolution in places like The Netherlands and New Zealand, and the emergence of a lot of innovative brewing. Our goals is to celebrate and share that with the craft beer lovers who attend our event.”
Amidst the celebration, the festival took time to honor the memory of those who involved in the beer industry who have passed away this year, including Jack Joyce, the founder of Rogue Ales who was to be this year’s Grand Marshal; and Vic Atiyeh, Oregon’s former governor who signed Oregon’s Brewpub Bill into law in 1985. The Festival also donated $15,000 to The Dougy Center, a Portland non-profit that benefits grieving children and families, during the event’s opening ceremonies.
Beer lovers enjoyed 88 beers in the main tents, and another 100 rotating beers in the Specialty Tent, which featured vintage, barrel aged, blends and one-off beers from the participants. All beer was served in tasting glasses, a change that was implemented last year to allow consumers to fully enjoy the sight, smell and taste of their beer. It has been announced that the Portland Police Bureau is requiring the festival to do away with glass in the future; the festival is currently working with a vendor to procure a high-quality clear plastic mug.

Hello from Team Boston!

Hello from Team Boston!

 In addition to beer tasting, there was live music all five days, food from six area restaurants, homebrewers brewing beer on site, and a collection of beer-related vendors ranging from wooden beer steins to glass blown pints to kilts. Minors and designated drivers received complimentary cups of handcrafted root beer in the Crater Lake Root Beer Garden.
Nearly 1,800 beer fans took advantage of the Hopworks Urban Brewery bike corral, where their bikes were monitored for free while they enjoyed the festival; their tips raised $500 for End Polio Now. The festival employed more than 2,200 volunteers to pour beer, sell tokens, and aid with recycling education.

View of OBF from the Burnside Bridge.

View of OBF from the Burnside Bridge.

The Oregon Brewers Festival was founded in 1988 as an opportunity to expose the public to microbrews at a time when the craft brewing industry was just getting off the ground. Today, that industry has succeeded, especially in Oregon, where 173 brewing companies operate 214 brewing facilities in 70 cities in Oregon. Portland has 56 breweries — more than any other city in the world – and the Portland metropolitan area is the largest craft brewing market in the US with the most number of breweries at 76. The total economic impact from the beer industry on Oregon’s economy is $2.83 billion; the total annual economic impact from the Oregon Brewers Festival in 2013 was $31.2 million.

Best friends for 10 years, professional drinkers for 7!

Best friends for 10 years, professional drinkers for 7!

The Oregon Brewers Festival always takes place the last full weekend in July. The 28th annual event will take placeJuly 22 through July 26, 2015. For more information, visit  

Will you be there?