High Tea at Harts Pub: Two Birds Brewing & Hunter Beer Co

Harts Pub in the Rocks hosted a high tea with a difference. The only brews on offer were craft beers brewed by women brewers.

Jess Wolfgang from Hunter Beer Co and Jayne Lewis from Two Birds Brewing introduced their range of craft beers, each paired with a selection of high tea tasty bites from Harts Pub kitchen. The women-only event is part of the week-long Sydney Craft Beer Week, which runs in conjunction with Crave Sydney.

High Tea at Harts Pub
High Tea at Harts Pub

Hunter Beer Co is a small brewery in the Hunter Valley established in 2003 at Potters Hotel & Brewery. Originally, it brewed St Arnou products before brewing the first Hunter beer, the Hunter Kolsch followed by a European style Lager and a Bock. Currently producing six beers on tap and in bottle all year round, the small production is available on site as well as Harts Pub in Sydney. Jess is an experienced brewer and has been brewing for the Hunter Beer Co for four and a half year.

High Tea at Harts Pub
L-R: Jayne Lewis (Two Birds Brewing), Jess Wolfgang (Hunter Beer Co)

Jayne Lewis is one half of Two Birds Brewing, the other being Danielle Allen who manages the marketing aspects of the business. The idea for Two Birds Brewing was borne during a trip together to the US and led to establishing the brand in 2011 and producing two different styles of craft ales. Jayne has been brewing for 10 years with an experience spanning Little Creatures and Mountain Goat.

Served on arrival in tea cups, the Hunter Ginger Beer set the tone of the afternoon. The beer is not sweet or sugary, a true ale made with hops and a lot of fresh ginger which give it a spicy and earthy character. An easy-drinking, refreshing ginger beer that is perfect on hot summer days.

High Tea at Harts Pub
Two Birds Brewing Golden Ale

Two Birds Brewing Golden Ale made from Australian and New Zealand hops and is an easy drinking beer. It has an apricot note with a little honey from the malt. Made for hot days, the beer goes with the richness of the smoked salmon, cucumber and dill mayonnaise sandwiches with which it is matched.

High Tea at Harts Pub
Hunter Beer Co Forbidden Orange

Next is the Hunter Beer Co Forbidden Orange, a Belgian style ale based on forbidden fruit with orange zest added to it. Jess explains that the zest brought a lot of orange character at the start with a light zing on the palate but fades to reveal more fruity esters. Paired with blue cheese, onion jam and pale ale poached pear tartelettes, the orange is meant to cut through the richness of the blue cheese but it was somewhat lost on the palate.

High Tea at Harts Pub
Sunset Ale

The second beer from Two Birds Brewing is the Sunset Ale, a brew that Jayne has had on mind for five years before it eventuated. It uses Citra, and Australian grown Cascade hops and has more malt and hops character. The beer goes well with food such as the fried prawn twisters with chilli, lime and mint dipping sauce and fried crocodile.

High Tea at Harts Pub

Otaku is a collaboration brew between Two Birds Brewing and Young Henrys. The German style beer is influenced by the use of seaweed, brown rice syrup before being passed through green tea which gives a smoky note and enhances the umami characters. The seaweed is more subtle on the palate than the nose, and it is paired with baby scones with strawberry, jam and Chantilly cream.

High Tea at Harts Pub
Hunter Bock

Hunter Bock is a dark German style lager with roasted coffee and chocolate flavours. Rich in malt with a distinctive chocolate character, the beer is sweet and smooth with mocha flavours, and caramel characters as it warms up. The beer is great match to the creaminess of the panna cotta great with its chocolate flavour and smooth caramels.

High Tea at Harts Pub
Hunter Beer Co Coffee Porter

And to end the high tea, Hunter Beer Co Coffee Porter was served, a beer infused with coffee using beans from local roasters in the Hunter Valley. The beans are roasted at a lower temperature for longer period as not to burn them then soaked in cold water for seven hours so as not to have any bitterness. Smooth, very chocolaty with strong coffee notes, the beer is paired with a little chocolate mousse made with a red ale infusion.

The High Tea at Harts Pub with Two Birds Brewing & Hunter Beer Co was a delightful way to spend an afternoon in the company of girlfriends tasting the various styles of craft beer and learning about them from the women who brew them.  Pairing different styles of beer to food  demonstrates the versatility of the ales from the easy sipping style to the bolder flavours that match rich desserts.

Sydney Craft Beer Week runs from October 20 to October 28, 2012 with over 60 events for craft beer lovers. The full schedule of events is in the website below.

Sydney Craft Beer Week

Hunter Beer Co

Two Birds Brewing


High Tea at Harts Pub was held on Saturday 20th October, 2012. Gourmantic and guest attended event as media guests.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.