Friday 19 April 2024

More Than Twenty Minutes Needed*

Moving on from Perth, which I really liked, via Kangaroo Island - hardly saw a one - the fair city of Adelaide was our next stop. On the way to Adelaide, we stopped for a too short hour in the German town of Hahndorf. It was a beautiful Sunday and the town with its German bakeries offering bretzen, streusel and more and dotted with bratwurst stands was very enticing. As we strolled around looking for pubs noting and enjoying the scene, we came upon the Hahndorf Brewing Co, so in we went. A reasonably German like large pub with a rammed bar greeted us. We were immediately attracted to typical German porcelain fonts offering Helles and Weissbier and ordered both, oddly served in UK style dimple mugs. Then we people watched until departure, being joined by several other soaks from the bus.  Birds of a feather and all that. Sadly, with one exception, it was the last weissbier we came across. A great shame as it is a style that certainly suits the Aussie weather. I wonder why?

On arrival in Adelaide, we had a rather long - too long for some moaners on the tour - trip round while the knowledgable driver described every building and statue. I kind of liked it as the city was a mix of Victorian architecture and new shiny buildings, with lots of green space and, I noted happily, plenty of pubs.  I was pleased that the driver had the enthusiasm for it all.

The trip had the advantage of giving a better sense of our surroundings, and thus we were able to nip out from our handily placed hotel onto the central Rundle Street and the last night of a carnival. This with the various street acts and the throng provided a great atmosphere. We drank some beer and ate some food in a place with a very boisterous character and a good beer choice. As a nightcap, we nipped into the Exeter Hotel on the way "home" with the intention of getting a beer to drink on one of the tables outside.

We didn't do that, though. Instead, we found ourselves in a proper public bar, with a central bar serving the room we were in and another room opposite. It was basic, unspoilt with wooden floors, a few bar stools, a handful of characterful locals and a couple of rather fearsome women serving. We immediately knew we were in safe hands. It was stunningly good. Even on a warm Adelaide night, indoors here was way preferable. This was smashing.

It turned out to be a Cooper's of Adelaide tied house, with a reasonable number of their beers on offer. I settled on Pale Ale - fermented in the keg as are all their beers - and took in the scene. It was amusing to see some people - tourists I assume - entering, looking round and leaving with a look of dismay and concern on their faces. This was a proper pub. Looking through t'internet, I note it hasn't changed much for many years, and good for them. It was immediately and deservedly catapulted into one of my top pubs anywhere. If you are ever in that neck of the woods, don't miss it.


The next day was free and after the Botanic Gardens, museums and more we had a drink in another pub, dominated by Cooper's beers. There (the Austral?) I sampled, Mild, Sparkling and Barrel aged stout, as well as an anniversary ale.  All live beers.

We returned to the Exeter for our last drinks that night. Dark for me this time. All Cooper's beers were just fab, though in fairness, it was best to knock an atmosphere of CO2 out of them first! But the real winner was visiting the Exeter Hotel.

*Adelaide is known as the twenty-minute city, as nowhere is more than twenty minutes away from anywhere else. Confession: E was on local wine by the Exeter Hotel.

Pub culture fact. This was a schooner area. Next - more pub culture, less tourism.


retiredmartin said...

Enjoyed that a lot Peter, as I lived in coastal Adelaide for 5 months (sort of sabbatical) and hadn't begun my drinking career. Adelaide known as a wowser town so interested to know there are so many pubs. 35 years since I left, I really ought to go back.

Tandleman said...

I liked it a lot Martin.

Lambicman said...

Pubs seem to called hotels?

retiredmartin said...

I'm no expert but I had a pictorial guide to Adelaide buildings and all the licensed premised were indeed hotels, at least in the 19thC

Professor Pie-Tin said...

Enjoying your Oz reports.
I went briefly to Sydney for the Johnny Wilko RWC and have often wanted to return - I like the Aussies very much - but Mrs PPT has a pathological fear of spiders and snakes which she's convinced lurk in every bedroom and refuses to go.
Which is a shame.