I can recall three specific events involving Young Henrys that not only turned me onto their beer, but made me into a staunch advocate of the brand and culture that surrounds it.
Event #1: my work friend recommends I try the Newtowner at Surly’s.
I was having a beer with a friend from work one Thursday evening at Surly’s (an epic American BBQ Sports Bar in Surry Hills) and the Newtowner was on tap along with Stone & Wood’s Pacific Ale, Balter’s XPA, Feral’s Hop Hog, and other first-class beers (seriously, Surly’s is epic). I had been going pretty hard on the aforementioned beers and was looking to try something new. My friend recommended the Newtowner to me. I gave it a go and I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the beer but moved on to another one.
Event #2: my younger brother has his 21st at the Young Henrys Brewery in Newtown.
I met my brother and his group of motley mates at the Young Henrys Brewery. The crowd was one-half skater and one-half punk rock. The music was loud, the beer was fresh (and cheap) and poured into majestic things called growlers (for all intents and purposes a growler is a jug with a lid). Young Henrys slapped me in the face and in no way was I upset about that. I enjoyed many Newtowners that night.
Event #3: my school friend Tom calls me an idiot.
By now the Newtowner had become a regular feature in my life. I was confused by this. How had a brand that I was initially a bit skeptical about become such a mainstay in my life? I found out that the answer was a pretty simple one. I was out one night for a friend’s birthday. One of my good school friends, Tom, shouted me a beer – it was a Newtowner. Sipping away at the beer I explained my existential crisis to Tom.
Me: “Tom I’m not sure about Young Henrys but I’m starting to really like the Newtowner. What do you reckon?”
Tom: “I reckon they’re cool and they make good beer. You’re an idiot”
Tom walks off…
Tom was right. They are cool. The Newtowner is a good beer. I am an idiot. Young Henrys are the real deal. Case closed.
Unlike a lot of the beers I’ve reviewed, the Newtowner isn’t going to blow anyone away with an explosive combination of citrusy hops. I’ll be honest with you, no flavours really jump out at you upon first sip. But don’t let this alarm you. That’s the beauty of the Newtowner. It’s an uncomplicated, easy to drink beer – there are no surprises. It’s slightly hoppy and lightly bittered and that’s that.
For me, the Newtowner represents a new wave of Australian staple beers. It’s delicious and incredibly drinkable over the long run. You and your mates will be able to polish off a case of Newtowner no worries, and you’ll be all the better for it.
Eating: To give you an idea of just how good Surly’s really is, here’s a sample of what you could get for dinner:
- Smoked Pulled Pork & Beef Brisket
- Americana Stacked Fries
- A side of coleslaw
- A best-practice selection of condiments & sauces
Listening: Beehive & the Barracudas – Stuck on the Bus
Vibing: The Young Henrys Brewery in Newtown. An obvious (perhaps lazy) choice, but it’s a flawlessly executed piece of branding by the business. Young Henrys is about good taste, a brash aesthetic, and loud people, and you understand all of this the moment you step foot into the brewery.
Buy: Dan Murphy’s
Check out more from the Monthly Beer Digest series here.
Images taken with Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.