I’ve been to Rocks a few times, both in its original and beautiful Harts Pub in the Rocks (it still is) and twice for lunch and a few cleansing ales in their relatively new Alexandria brew pub. Set in a strange new industrial estate, surrounded by Hillsong Church and a never ending number of kids play centres, the pub itself feels quite secluded with a well designed outdoor courtyard and quite large open brewery to gawk at. Tip for young players though. Don’t come in the school holidays. The parking is a nightmare.
The menu runs the typical gamut of southern American drinking food – burgers, pulled this, smoked that, loaded waffle fries, nachos and chicken wings. While I love eating this stuff, I’m fussy and would like to see places using a bit of imagination, but the standard of cooking here is very good. Last visit I had the sausage board, which was an outstanding assortment of grilled chorizo and German goodness. This time around I had the Louisiana style hot wings, smothered in Franks Hot Sauce and accompanied by a deliciously cooling and creamy blue cheese sauce and celery sticks. As the sauce all over my face could attest – magnificent. I could eat my body weight in them. My lovely wife had the cheese burger, and if you can judge by the fact it disappeared before I finished my first chicken wing, it was pretty damn good.
The beer? On both occasions I haven’t really been able to get stuck in, having responsibilities and all that, but everything I’ve drunk has been enjoyable. This time around I had the The Boxer Red Ale as a settler, which would be a good session beer, with malt, dried fruits and esters without sweetness or a rich palate. The Governor Golden Ale went perfectly with the spicy hot wings, offering tropical fruit aromas, followed with flavours of pineapple, grassy hops and a good caramel malt backing. Looking back on some old notes, I drunk The Hangman Pale Ale on my last visit, with pineapple, passionfruit and grassy hops sidling up perfectly with the food. Their best beer is The Butcher Porter though (disclaimer – I am a lover of porter and you will be seeing many a review in these pages as the weather cools). As a finisher last visit, it displayed rich chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts and a solid bitterness that works deep into the finish, along with a luscious mouthfeel.
I’d like to go back, settle in for a while and check out the atmosphere at night and get to know that The Butcher a little better.