“Call me Jeremy.” Some weeks ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no alcohol in my system, and nothing particular to interest me at home, I thought I would set about a little and see the beery part of the world.
Jeremy arrived at Jack’s gate filled with anticipation. This was not his first rodeo, as far as beer tastings go, but tonight was different. This was his first tasting as an official Sydney On Tap member. Tonight he would have to prove himself.
He was greeted by the familiar, beardy visage of Jack Jones and was immediately offered a cocktail. “Strange,” he thought, as he drained the glass, “I was expecting beer.” Had he come unprepared? He was not a cocktail-reviewer, he was cut from a different cloth entirely.
There too were whispers of a hazing for the newest member. His mind raced, scrambling to think of what alcohol-related feat he would be asked to perform. (Fortunately, as he would later recall, they failed to deliver).
These fears dissipated as he sat at the table amongst the rest of that night’s crew: Andrew, Beau, Emma, Suni and, of course, Jack himself. Before them lay a trio of Young Henry’s varieties and Jeremy’s healthily budding beer gut growled in approval.
But it would have to wait until after the obligatory photoshoot. In various combinations and increasingly experimental poses, the crew was under the gaze of Jack’s camera.
“Jeremy, huddle in closer to Beau, please”
“Beau, put your nose to the beer bottle and look at it intently”
“Now let’s try again but in height order”
It was time for the tasting. First came Young Henry’s Natural Lager. After a brief discussion, the crew came to their conclusions:
Emma: Smooth AF
Beau: Subtle Taste
It was a winner. Tonight was a night of firsts in more ways than one, and next Jack presented his latest innovation: palate-cleansers. The crackers that filled this role were immediately embraced and unanimously earned the highest marks, despite not being beer. After stuffing their faces with crackers, Young Henry’s Real Ale was poured:
Andrew: Very nice, smooth taste
Jack: That’s a goodin’
Jeremy: Beautiful and brown, like a newborn pup
This is what they’d signed up for. Immediately popular and leaving the crew thirsty for more, Real Ale earned top marks all round. But they had to stop themselves from downing it all then and there, for there was one more beer to try - Young Henry’s Hop Ale:
Suni: Yes. Good.
Hop Ale ultimately tied with Real Ale for first place. It was a high note on which to end this night’s tasting, and for the rest of the night everyone enjoyed repeatedly tasting all the beers over and over. And over.
And what about Jeremy? He walked home that night with a sense of pride. He had finally found a purpose. He could now drink loads of beers and justify it by saying he had to review them.
Special thanks to Young Henry’s for providing us with the night’s beers!
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thoughts & feelings - extended edition
This is where we at Sydney On Tap post all the things that couldn't fit into the paragraphs on each bar page, or the comments under each beer.