Friday, January 25, 2013

Sun, Sea and Cyclists!

We went to Mt Barker to see the start of stage two of the Tour Down Under. Spectators are encouraged to get an autograph from the riders before they start, and you can see them all going through their preparations before the race.

It does feel a little invasive as though they are penned in cages and we are watching their behaviour. They are just normal (albeit phenomenally fit) people and we are gawping at them like zoo exhibits. It felt uncomfortable.

He may be a superstar champion cyclist, but even Geraint Thomas has to queue for the loo
The Sky Jag with coffee cart attached
Ian Stannard
Andy Schleck - unhappy
Andy Schleck - happy
Jens Voigt
And they're off...
We popped into Hahndorf to wait for them to pedal past, treating ourselves to a white chocolate chai latte and a dark chocolate hot chocolate. Well, we were at the No 5 Chocolate Cafe and it would have been rude not to.

Hahndorf is decorated in the TDU colours
Chris Sutton
We called in at the Hans Heysen Academy to look at some of his artwork, of which more later, and then Him Outdoors had to be rewarded with a trip to the Gulf Brewery. Happily they had a TV in there showing the cycling so we could sip our beers watching the end of the race.

We had a tasting tray with a selection of six beers: Cabin Boy Half Wit (4%) - a cloudy, lightly carbonated Belgian wheat beer with a taste of pears and a spicy, coriander finish; Harvest Moon Organic Beer (4.6%) - a soft bodied beer with a stonefruit flavour and a smoky aftertaste, like smoked peaches; Kitten 9 Tails Oktoberfest (4.3%) - a very malty German amber lager with a taste of caramel malts and stewed rhubarb, surprisingly drinkable; Humpback Pale Ale (4.2%) - an English pale ale with caramel flavours and a balanced bitterness; Trade Winds IPA (6%) - an English IPA with a full malt body and lingering bitterness, like a smoky peat whisky; Smoke Stack Rauchbier (5%) - up front smokiness with a sweetness to follow which isn't entirely pleasant.

Suitably fortified, we drove out to Port Adelaide, which is still working as a port, as well as certain areas becoming gentrified. It has boats, old colonial buildings and a lighthouse, which is enough to keep me happy, and there's a brewery to delight Him Outdoors.

The One and All is a tall ship built as part of South Australia's 250th Jubilee celebrations. She was commonly used for sail training and short voyages, particularly for youth at risk.

One and All
And this is the Port Dock Brewery Hotel. It came into being as a licensed premises in 1855. In 1909, however, a local preacher and temperance crusader, the Reverend J Kirby, launched a vehement crusade against the number of pubs in the port, and the Port Dock lost its licence.

Before the licence was granted again in 1986 the hotel was a boarding house, a stevedore's office and even a bordello. It is now restored to former glory and includes a boutique brewery, which we had to visit.

Black Diamond Bitter (5%) - a dark amber English-style bitter made with crystal malt and East Kent Golding hops to produce a 'robust, nutty, hoppy bitter' with a 'grassy floral bouquet'.

Port Dock Pale Ale - a fruity and malty pale ale with a golden hue and a bitter finish.

Old Preacher (7.5%) - a strong dark ale with a coffee aroma and a chocolate flavour due to an assortment of black, roast and crystal malets. The taste is slightly roasted but not burned, like lightly toasted almonds.

Black Bart Milk Stout- it has a sour milk aroma but a smooth creamy mouthfeel and a rich caramel flavour with a golden syrup finish. As lactose is added into the boil it is apparently known as 'mother's milk', although I would be worried about anybody's mother with this emanating from them.

Ginja - Fresh ginger is sterilized, minced, and added to the mash, and sugar syrup while the beer is fermenting to produce this sweet spicy drop like liquid crystalised ginger.

The Port Dock Brewery Hotel
The knit-bombers appear to have been out in force ensuring the street furniture doesn't catch a chill.

We finished off the day with a trip out to Semaphore, which is Adelaide's first seaside village.  It has all the usual amusements, restaurants and jetties you would expect to find plus a few scultpures, a time ball and a wonderful white sandy beach.

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