Whilst staying over in Manly visiting the Q Station we decided to check out the 4 Pines Brewing Company. We had tasted their Kolsch (and liked it) at The Montpellier Public House and thought their website was pretty funky, so there were high expectations.
We visited at lunchtime and although it was a bit quiet when we first arrived, it soon started to fill up. The day crowd seems to be mainly tourists, both young and old, and some with kids. I would imagine in the evening the atmosphere is completely different, with a more younger local crowd.
The brewery unfortunately is located directly opposite the ferry terminal, on the second floor of an apartment block, with views of the busy road below and the ugly ferry terminal directly in front, blocking the seascape.
We perched ourselves at a high table on the balcony, which would have been ideal if the brewery was located somewhere with a nice view but unfortunately we just gazed out at the cars and dreamed of what the view would be like if the buildings weren't in the way. It might be best to sit at the lower tables as the chairs looked a bit comfier than the high wooden stools and would be ideal for lounging around on a Sunday afternoon.
We ordered the tasting rack which contained five of their handcrafted beers, ranging from the lighter Hefeweizen, to the darker Stout. It's great to taste real beer, not the usual Carlton or Tooheys you're forced to order in most pubs. Our favourite was the Kolsch, but on a nice summers day the Hefeweizen would go down a treat. Similarly in the winter the Stout would be the beer of choice. After finishing the rack we wiled away the afternoon enjoying a few more beers from the menu.
The brewery room itself is visible through glass windows and the interior is all dark wood with lots of chalkboards scattered about with info on the beers and the company's ethos. We didn't order any food but from looking at the menu and what other people ordered, they serve up the usual pub food - sharing bites, burgers, schnitzels - perfect beer food.
Beers finished, we headed off in search of more Manly watering holes. I'm not sure if a return visit to 4 Pines is on the cards, although I would like to see what the atmosphere is like at night. I think though if they moved somewhere with a more interesting view, this place could be worth the trip across the water.
Are you a beer lover? What types do you like?