Sunday, July 21, 2013

Good burgers in Hobart?

The Corner Bite is pretty good.  Home made pattie cooked fresh in a toasted pide with bacon, egg, cheese and onion.  $6.00.  Corner Augusta and Creek Roads, Lenah Valley.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

The Great Tassie Curried Scallop Pie Rater and Locator

UPDATED 4 May 2013
It's a culinary delicacy peculiar to the island state, and a historical indication of the place things from the deep used to have on the great food pecking order of Anglo Saxon Australia; eg the days when fish & seafood was something cooked by:
  • New Australians;
  • Catholics on Friday;
  • People who couldn't afford RED MEAT.
The curried scallop pie is quintessentially Tasmanian, and with the primary ingredient trading between $35 and $55 a kilo, visitors today gawp in amazement to see them encased in flaky pastry, swimming in white sauce spiced up with a dash of Keen's Curry and bunged in a glass fronted warmer for a day or two.

Well, here at Tassieblather, we reckon they're great, and after searching the web, we've discovered there's no buyers' guide as to where these little pastry pockets of flavour are available, what the quality's like, or how many scallys you're likely to get. Not neccesarily limited to the coast or the city, you'll find curried scallop pies available statewide. Our reviewers have only managed to get to a few southern outlets so far, but if you've got a favourite provider of what must be the Tasmanian national dish, please drop us a line and a report and we'll follow up with a tasting.

Characteristics of a good curried scallop pie:
  • Local scallops (ask the counter staff). Frozen, imported scallops are an absolute negative.
  • At least four scallops in a pie. Five is great. Six is booming.
  • Sauce that has a nice tang, but isn't too overpowering for the scallops.
  • Likewise, sauce that isn't too glutinous.
Anyhow, onto the pies and their providers:

UPDATE: 3 May 2013

Reviewer: @digbyhabel

Pie bought from: Various, Northern Tasmania

I am currently travelling around Tasmania looking for the best scallop pie so your blog will be helpful.

Tried 3 so far and rated them on Presentation, Top Pastry, Bottom Pastry, Amount of Scallops and Taste. The maximum score is 35 points (taste and amount of scallops were rated higher)
The results so far:

The Tinnies version is quite an experience - huge volume, fabulous mild green curry sauce and masses of scallops.

Date: 22/1/2012
Reviewer: @drnaomi
Pie bought from: Jackman McRoss Bakery
Brand: Own
Locations: Main Road New Town, Victoria Street CBD & Hampden Road Battery Point
Pastry: Great
Sauce:  Wasabi instead of Keens
# of scallops: 7+
Local scallops: Unsure
Price: $7.20 Take away
Rating: 9
Notes: "scallop, leek, peas, wakame, peppercorns, wasabi.....seriously, I could die right now and not regret a thing."...Naomi

Pie bought from: Golden Tulip Patisserie
Brand: Own
Address: Channel Court Kingston and Magnet Court Sandy Bay
Date: 24 January 2013
Pastry: Solid - Potato topping
Sauce: Nice tang
# of scallops: 5-6
Local scallops: Y
Price: $7.00
Rating: 6

Pie bought from: Gingerbread House Bakery
Brand: Own
Address: Dover
Date: 25/4/2008
Pastry: Excellent
Sauce: V Good
# of scallops: 4 or 5
Local scallops: Y
Price: $5.50
Rating: 8
Notes: All pies are excellent

Pie bought from: Cripps Bakery
Brand: ? Unsure if they make their own
Address: Bellerieve

Date: 30/08/2008
Pastry: Good
Sauce: Average
# of scallops: 3 or 4
Local scallops ?
Price $5.00
Rating 6

Pie bought from: Platter Pie Café
Brand: Own
Address: Hamilton
Date: 9/10/2008
Pastry: Excellent
Sauce: Excellent
# of scallops: 4 or 5
Local scallops: Y
Price: $6.00
Rating: 8.5
Notes: All pies are excellent. Possibly best pies in Tasmania.

Pie bought from: Food Van at Eaglehawk Neck Blowhole car park
Brand: Own
Address: Doo Town
Date: 23/02/2009
Pastry: V Good
Sauce: V Good-maybe a bit too spicy for scallops
# of scallops 5
Local scallops Y
Price $6.00
Rating: 7
Notes: They also sell DooTown Venison and red wine pies!

Pie bought from: Richmond Café
Brand: Smith's
Address: Bridge Road Richmond
Date: 28/02/2009
Pastry: Good
Sauce: Average-Glutinous –not enough curry
# of scallops: 3
Local scallops: Y
Price: $6.00
Rating: 5
Notes: these pies also available from Smith's pie van at Salamanca Market. Have spoken to staff in van and they use Victorian scallops during off season in Tasmania. Not as mortal a sin as using frozen scallops, that's for sure.

Pie bought from: Mure's Lower Deck
Brand: Own
Address: Constitution Dock Hobart
Date: To be reviewed
# of scallops:
Local scallops:

Pie bought from: Harbour Lights Cafe, Sullivan's Cove
Brand: "A local bakery"
Date: 5/3/2009
Pastry: Good. held together well. Nice flavour.
Sauce: Nice balance of curry and viscosity.
# of scallops: 4
Local scallops: Unsure.
Price: $6.90
Rating: 7.5/10
Notes: Scallops quite plump & tasty. Unsure if local or frozen. Perhaps the price indicates local.

Pie bought from: Cygnet Commercial Hotel (aka the "bottom pub")
Brand: OwnAddress: Cygnet
Website/LocationDate: 8/5/2009 (updated from 13/4)Pastry: Good
Sauce: Average. Not that strong.
# of scallops: 5-6
Local scallops: Perhaps not, as bought out of season.
Price $5.00
Rating: 6
Notes. Reheated from frozen, as bought for me by Dad.

Pie bought from: Petty Sessions Cafe
Brand: Own
Address: Huon Highway Franklin.
Pastry: Excellent. Very flaky. Pie shaped like a raindrop.
Sauce: Minimal. Low curry flavour.
# of scallops: 4 or 5
Local scallops: Unknown.
Price: $10.00
Rating: 7
Notes: High price mainly due to pie being served to table. Takeaway price probably cheaper.

Pie bought from: Richmond Bakery
Brand: Own
Address: Edward Street Richmond

Date: To be reviewed
# of scallops:
Local scallops:

Pie bought from: Take away shops, Petrol Stations, etc
Brand: National Pies
Date: To be reviewed
# of scallops:
Local scallops:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Map of Tasmanian Booze Makers

This is a map I have created of all the breweries, cideries and distilleries that I know of in Tasmania.  A link doesn't neccesarily indicate exact location or existence of a cellar door/visitor facility, so please call ahead or do some other form of research before lobbing at their door.  If there's any that I've missed, or detail that needs updating, please drop me a line.

Also, any and all reviews of product, facilities and hospitality etc are more than welcome.

View Breweries, Cideries and Distilleries of Tasmania in a larger map

Friday, March 09, 2012

Breweries, Cideries and Distilleries of Tasmania

 Here's a map of all the breweries, cideries and distilleries in Tasmania that I know of with a cellar door.  A handy little guide for a road trip.  I'm not guaranteeing anything about opening times, location, or even if they actually do have a cellar door, so do call relevant establishments before making the journey.  Please drop me any feedback via the comments board.

There's also a couple of pubs and bottle shops around the island that carry a decent stock of the local stuff (The New Sydney pub in Hobart springs to mind).


Monday, March 28, 2011

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Bottled water rant

Woolies New Town, about an hour ago: The LARGE BOTTLE of WATER is cheaper than the SMALL BOTTLE of WATER by 11 cents. That's $3.27 for a LITRE of WATER versus $5.91 for a LITRE of WATER. The difference? The smaller one has a coloured lid and a Disney picture. Yeah, the supermarkets are all about the consumer.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Vale Norman Hetherington

The man behind Mr Squiggle has sadly passed on.

I had a brief interaction with Norman Hetherington on the letters pages of the Sydney Morning Herald back in December 2000. Paul Barry had interviewed Howard appointed MD of the ABC, Jonathan Shier on Media Watch. As a direct reaction, Media Watch was pulled from the airwaves:

I nominate Mr Squiggle as Paul Barry's replacement. Mr Shier should have no problem pulling those strings for his own benefit.

Scott Plimpton , Munich, Germany, December 1.
His reply:

We are the creators of Mr Squiggle and we think Scott Plimpton 's suggestion (Letters, December 2) that Mr Squiggle should replace Paul Barry on Media Watch an interesting idea.

Thank you, Scott, but no.

Mr Squiggle, like so many other Australians, loves his ABC, and is most unhappy with the direction it is taking these days.

Things are much better organised on the Moon.

Norman and Margaret Hetherington,

Mosman, December 2.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

And now for some Tassie fiction

By my old mate, our man in The Netherlands, Andrew Balcombe:

Logging magnate eaten by white shark

A fictional story about fishing and the ever widening blood slick on the surface of the water.

The dinghy came off the runners and the old man walked into the shallows. The water was flat and smooth all the way from Northwest Bay to Bruny Island. The row would only take twenty minutes before he reached his favorite fishing hole.

Voices of children and the clunk of a cricket bat hitting a ball reached out across the water. He took it slow. It was hot for this time of the morning and there was no cooling breeze.

The large sinker took the bait rapidly to the bottom, a few moments later there was a tug and he began pulling in the line with his hand. A flathead landed on the floor next to his shoe. He used it to hold the fish down and removed the hook.

The flathead gasped for air and stared into his eyes, he struck its head with the backside of his knife blade and it lay still.

The eyes continued to stare into his until he remembered to take a breath. His gaze shifted to the shore. Cliffs stretched towards a small pebble beach. Swells from a passing ferry rolled onto the beach, making a gentle shushing noise.

With a plop, the sinker plunged into the water again ahead of a freshly baited hook.

He waited out its descent, and felt like he was being watched. The sound of breaking water behind him made him turn and the dingy rocked on a fresh swell.

The white belly of a shark disappeared below the black water. It had been a large one, he thought. The great whites in these parts rarely showed themselves and he felt privileged to have witnessed the site.

Quiet returned and his gaze moved to the open water around him. The mirror-like surface of the channel remained smooth all the way to Dennes Point. A far-off smudge of gray hung in the air, materializing into a flock of shearwaters searching for fish shoals. White triangles of yacht sails punctured the horizon, going no-where in the dead calm.

He felt the tug of the next fish and gave the line a yank to set the hook. When the tugging increased, he pulled the line into the boat. The fish was bigger than its predecessor. It flapped on the dinghy’s bottom sending vibrations through its hull into the water. It took two strikes from the knife to make it stop.

Again the old man felt like he was being watched, he turned and saw the slightest of ripples across the surface of the water behind the dinghy. Beneath the ripple was a flash of white.

He had read that commercial fishing forced some species of sharks to find other food sources. He wondered if the flathead he was catching, were now on the white sharks menu.

The freshly baited hook dropped into the darkness, by the time it struck the bottom, the white shark was forgotten. He focused on his own reflection in the water.

The distant chug of a marine diesel intruded on his thoughts then suddenly went silent. He lifted his eyes and saw the Bayliner drift to a halt fifty meters away. He recognized the luxury yacht. It belonged to Gary Smyth, the logging magnate.

He exported hardwoods as woodchips to places like Japan. Some people said the company was also responsible for dirty tricks against those who opposed it. But what did the old man know, back in his day, trees were seen as an obstacle for farmers clearing land. Now, all that he ever heard and saw was that they needed more trees, because the earth was getting too hot.

A white figure stripped to a pair of swimming trunks appeared on the yacht’s foredeck. The sight reminded the old man of the white shark. He recognized the man from his shock of dark hair from the newspaper photos.

He had read that Smyth had used an army of lawyers to deal with a troublesome nature activist. The case had been wrapped up in six months. Smyth’s bulldozers were back in business and the activist had declared bankruptcy.

The catgut in his hand jerked and he gave it a yank. It tugged back and he began pulling it into the dinghy. This time, a rock cod rose to the surface, its belly distended from a busted woofer valve. The fish were common and none too tasty. It went back into the water and he watched it struggle towards the bottom. He saw a dark shadow move over the fish and it was gone.

The din of a harsh laugh cut through the silence and the old man saw Smyth joined on deck by a woman. She held a green bottle out to the man. He took it and gave it a shake. There was a pop and he sprayed foaming champagne towards her.

“Hey, that’s my new blouse you bugger,” she shrieked.

“Oh no, your all dirty, looks like you need a wash then.”

With a single heave the woman was dropped over the rails of the Bayliner and into the water. Smyth stood at the yacht’s railing laughing.

“There, all clean now. You hate doing the wash anyway you lazy cow.”

Smyth then stripped off his shorts and shoes and dived head first into the water. A moment later the woman hooted with laughter.
“Stop it Gary, we’re in public.”
“I don’t see no-one except that old geezer, chill out sweets.”

The old man knew that this activity at the best of times was probably hazardous when alcohol was involved. The presence of a shark in the area meant it was even more hazardous than usual.

He cupped his hands together over his mouth and hollered.
The two faces above the water turned as one in his direction. He was about to yell again when Smyth responded.
“Hey yerself, old man, we’re just having some fun, go back and play with your tackle.”
“Ha,” snorted the woman. “Tackle, good one.”

The old man was about to shout ‘shark’ when he saw the flash of white. It had been just beneath the surface between his dingy and the pair in the water.
Some people never listened to reason he thought to himself.

“Shark,” he yelled.

The dark grey dorsal sliced through the surface of the water at what the old man guessed was about twenty knots.
He didn’t waste his breath by yelling again, instead he just pointed. It was not necessary now as. Smyth and his wife had already seen it. Both however failed to come up with a joke to describe the sudden appearance of a four-metre white shark coming towards them.

The fountain of water from the shark’s massive tail washed over the deck of the Bayliner. The old man expected more of a fight from the couple, but it was soon still after the initial frenzy of thrashing water and terrified screams.

A few minutes later he wound in his fishing line and rowed across the widening blood slick and tied his dinghy to the B,ayliner’s stern.

He swung his legs over the gunnels and stepped into the yacht’s cockpit. An open bottle of champagne was sitting on a silver tray. So he lifted it and took a swig. The police would take a while to arrive, so he put up his feet and threw some champagne over the side, just in case the shark was still around to taste it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

By Popular Demand

I have been told in no uncertain terms (Hi Olga) that there have not been enough photos of Penny posted on the web of late.

I am, of course, more than happy to oblige.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Penelope Frances Plimpton

Our beautiful daughter Penny has arrived She was delivered by Caeserian on June 10 2010 at 10.49am, two weeks early.

She's weighed in at 4.09 Kg and is absolutley stunning. Both Katie and Penny are doing great. It was very hard to leave them tonight, but both seemed to be sleeping peacefully.

Thanks to all at the Queen Alex Ward, Royal Hobart Hospital. Yay Public Health!

There will be a lot more written about young Penny and her family from hereon in.

There's an album of photos from her first day here.

Think I need to sleep now.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

We've moved!

After a couple of years, and countless BBQs, we have finally shifted out of Bonnington Road. Farewell, adieu, you served us well.

Now, after a week or so at Nor's flat (thank you kind lady), Katie, Yve and I have moved into Andrew & Tracey's abode in Liverpool Street while they're trekking around France for six months. It's a beaut house with a beaut kitchen, beaut heat pump and a beaut view. And to boot, we've got custody of their three beaut cats (Mingus, Wolfie and Mozart).

Here's Katie and Yve sur la table so to speak for our first proper meal in the house.

And here's Katie, stirring the pot, with the bun:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Keating! Banished from ABC Local Radio

Thanks to incorrect claims under Parliamentary privilege by Senators Eric Abetz and David Bushby, and a timid ABC Management, Keating! The Musical will not receive any airtime on ABC local radio, as is the norm with any other event that occurs in Southern Tasmania

Full story here.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Camping @ Bay of Fires

A bunch of us headed to the north east coast of Tasmania last weekend for a camping expedition to the beautiful Bay Of Fires. The majority of us were there from Friday night till Tuesday, so had a good chance to settle in and get with the earth.

The weather was absolutley perfect. I think we had about twenty minutes of rain. the water was beautiful, and we were swimming constantly, both at the beach and in a couple of lagoons. Katie and I even got to road test a tent (thanks Braz & Sophie) before we decide on what we'll go with.

Of course there was much drinking, sitting round the fire and other general merriment. "Fivesies" is a new tradition at the end of the afternoon, nad funnily, a continuation of "Happy hour" that I remember my parents and their friends indulging in when we camped as kids.

And then, on the way home, we stopped off in reputedly Tasmania's smallest town (the town signs in both directions are on the same pole!), Llandaff, where Katie's Great x6 (and our kid's Great x7) Grandfather, Robert Barber was buried in 1870. Katie's Dad, Ivan knows some of his story:

"John Barber was a convict, transported from Great Yarmouth for stealing a length of rope. He somehow ended up woking for the Lynne family, there are several Lynne family graves at Llandaff. They owned the Apslawn estate, Sir William Lynne was the first premier of NSW. The Lynne family financed John Barber's return to England where his conviction was quashed. He then obviously returned to Apslawn..."

Tassie, everybody's got a connection!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Mojitos on Murray Street?

Spotted flying above a building opposite the State Treasury today:

Is there another plan afoot for March 20?
Viva Cuba!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Butcher's Apron Must Go

The Sunday Tasmanian didn't publish my letter regarding a new Tasmanian Flag, as raised by State Labor MP, Lisa Singh recently.

So here it is:

Why stop with removing the red lion passant from the Tasmanian flag (Flag Your Ideas, SunTas 6.12.2009)? It won’t truly be a new flag until the Butcher’s Apron in the top left corner is consigned to the dustbin of history.

Let’s have a state flag that is forward looking, unique and truly represents the Tasmania of today, not an irrelevant carbon copy from an age of cowtowing to a now expired empire.

Scott Plimpton

West Hobart

It's rubbish!

Flag your ideas

Flag your ideas

Sunday Tasmanian (Australia) - Sunday, December 6, 2009
Author: Danielle McKay
The Sunday Tasmanian 's recent front-page report about Denison MHA Lisa Singh's call for a new Tasmanian flag sparked a wave of letters-- some critical, some complimentary. Danielle McKay explores the mood for change

CAN you imagine a Tasmanian flag with a Tasmanian devil on it? A butterfly perhaps? Or even a blue gum?

These are just some of the dozens of suggestions that have flooded into the office of Labor MHA Lisa Singh since her call early last month for a new Tasmanian flag .

Ms Singh raised the contentious issue during Celebrate Tasmania Day on November 8. She suggested removing the imperial lion, which has been part of the flag since its creation in 1869, because it was antiquated and irrelevant, replacing it with a unique Tasmanian symbol.

Ms Singh said she had received a mass of support, which had firmed her views.

``I believe the Tasmanian devil should be represented on the flag instead of the lion and I want to put that forward as a firm proposal,'' she said.

``The reasoning is that I believe, given the very real threat faced by devils from the facial tumour disease, we must do everything we can do to promote it.

``There is no more appropriate symbolic demonstration of our commitment to the survival of the devil than to have it featured on our flag .''

Long-standing Tasmanian devil campaigner Nick Mooney said the devil would be ideal regardless of the current disease battle.

``The main decision should be around getting away from the stupid bloody lion and getting something that is relevant on there,'' Mr Mooney said.

``The devil would be a great option, but there are also other great options like the blue gum, waratah, wattlebird, swift parrot, native-hen or eastern quoll.

``Having an endemic plant or animal would be great. It's Tasmania's flag and the symbol should be Tasmanian .''

However, staunch monarchist and Liberal stalwart Michael Hodgman said the flag should be left alone.

``The Tasmanian flag is a historical feature, much older than the Australian national flag ,'' Mr Hodgman said.

``The use of the red lion passant in the flag from the British coat of arms reflects the fact that when the colony of Tasmania was established, we inherited some key foundations as to how we are governed.''

Mr Hodgman said the lion was important because it reminded Tasmanians of the rule of law, the system of being innocent until

proven guilty, the supremacy of parliament over the executive government of the day and the separation of powers.

``Anyone who understands and cares about our state's history realises the symbolism of what it represents,'' he said.

Australian National Flag Association state president Reg Watson said he had not met one person who supported the change.

``I'm amazed by how many people are commenting on the issue,'' Mr Watson said.

``Maybe it's the circles I move in but not one person has supported a change.

``It has renewed my drive to protect our symbols from further change, knowing that I'm acting on behalf of what I believe is the majority of Tasmanians .''

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Home made Prosciutto

I made some! Duncan & Jeannie had soem pigs slaughtered late last year. I salted a leg approx last December. Hung it in January 2009, and sliced into it yesterday (Dec 12). It pretty good.

Check out the pix here.

Will defo be making some more.

Monday, December 07, 2009

"Admiral" arrives home in Sullivan's Cove

The “Admiral”, which was relaunched in Huonville last week after an extensive restoration under the guidance of Bern Cuthbertson and the “Admirality” arrived back in her home port last Saturday.

Aboard for the final leg of the trip was the Governor of Tasmania, Peter Underwood. The vessel was greeted at Watermans’ Dock by the Lord Mayor, his deputy and a throng of family, friends and assorted others. It turned out that last Saturday was exactly 144 (tbc) years to the day that “Admiral” was first used as a Governor’s barge.

In his speech, Governor Underwood indicated that he would be happy for “Admiral” to serve as Governor’s barge once more, at least for the time he was the occupant of Government House.

The Governor also mentioned the fact that a permanent home needed to be found for “Admiral” somewhere on the waterfront. Currently there seems to be a bit of a battle raging between TasPorts, The State Government and the HCC as to where the vessel will eventually wind up.

Here’s hoping the various authorities come to their senses and the “Admiral” finds a home deserving of its long and direct link to the early years of Hobart’s European history.

There’s an album of photos from the day right here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Contrast in Sullivans Cove

This morning, Sea Shepherd's new high speed Japanese whaling ship chaser, the "Ady Gil" pulled into Hobart for some maintenance prior to heading way south for the whaling season in the Southern Ocean. It's a pretty fearsome looking machine...

Diggin the fully sick sub woofers in the cockpit too:

Hopefully, the Ady Gil will be a worthwhile investment in the ongoing stoush between the murderous Japanese whale slaughter fleet, and those fighting the good fight for these magnificent creatures. I fully support their efforts.

Now, over the other side of Elizabeth Street Pier, and in town for a completely different reason is the beautiful and very rare three masted schooner, the Shenandoah. Owned by an Italian milionaire, she's here until at least Christmas, entertaining some of the owner's guests. He's not actually coming to town. She was built in 1902, and is absolutely spectacular in every way:

Just another day in the life of the Port of Hobart.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Launch of The "Admiral"

Judy, Harry, Brent and I headed down to Huonville earlier today to see the launch of the "Admiral", a 28ft rowboat, which, as it was built in 1865 is the oldest boat still in existence in Australia. Restored by Dad's mate Bern "The old man of the sea" Cuthbertson and a cast of dozens ("The Admiralty"), she was relaunched today and is currently being rowed to Hobart re next Saturday at 11am, she will be greeted as she she ties up at her original berth of 145 years ago, Waterman's Dock.

It was a great local event, with a couple of dignitaries and some media in attendance (where WAS the Mayor of Huonville though? Surely not too busy?), a trio playing sea shanties, and old salts and kids galore all having a great time in the dismal fog on the side of the river.

The Admiral was one of Hobart's first ferries, built in 1865, and was licensed to carry thirty passengers across the Derwent. Once in fact, she ferried the whole Tasmanian Cabinet from Hobart to Bellerive (some may wish for today's Cabinet to be put on a ferry, perhaps not just to Bellerive though).

As Lord Mayor Rob Valentine put it, it's great to have this touchstone to Hobart's early years restored to working condition again. Let's just hope the powers that be can find somewhere to display her.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tasmanian BeerFest 2009

Well, the concept is finally right!

After four years or so, and three venues, the Tasmanian Beerfest 2009 at Princes Wharf was an absolute corker!

Lots of independent and major breweries from Tasmania and the mainland were there, pouring their liquid amber (and brown and black) for all to taste and enjoy. The weather was perfect at about 18 degrees, the crowd was happy, the food quality, and the music original (take a hint, Taste of Tasmania organisers!).

Photo by Harry Plimpton

Andrew and I even got in on the behind action, looking after the Tas Home Brew Supplies stand for half an hour or so while Mick went for a fag and a feed. He'd put together 100 litres of a tasty little wheat pale number, which they were giving away! Needless to say, the THBS stand was a very popular attraction (while it lasted).

Yep, congrats must go to the crew who organised the festival. Long may it stay independent and reign on Hobart's late spring calendar.

Friday, November 13, 2009

James Squire is Coming to Town

UPDATE 11 DECEMBER: Squires Salamanca Pub opened for business yesterday, under ownership of Paul and Tony Jubb, of the Customs House Hotel and other Sullivan's Cove drinking establishments. As yet there is no brewery on premises. Premier David Bartlett was spotted with a sly ten ounce there on the pub's second day of trade.

In what could be a bit of a shake-up for landlords in Hobart, the James Squire sub-brand of Tooheys-Lion Nathan (which is in turn owned by Japanese conglomerate Kirin Holdings, who also own Boags and PURA MILK) will be rolling out a microbrewery and pub in the Salamanca Square entertainment district of town.

According to their website, there are already four James Squire "Brewhouses" around the country.

In fact, we had drinks at the Sydney one the day after our wedding. It was a grand day. The food was expensive, the beer was great (yet also expensive), and some of it was made on premises. It will be interesting to see what the ratio of "Salamanca" product will be to their main brands, which currently come out of their brewery in Sydney (though could they now switch some production to Boag's Esk Brewery? Ve shall see).

Anyhow, it's good beer, and a new concept for Hobart (well, since St Ives closed it's microbrewery quite some years ago). It will be interesting to see how it goes, and how it affects the local scene.

I saw one local publican scurrying in the direction of the building site earlier today, after MD and Head Brewer, Chuck Hahn, announced on local radio that they would be opening soon. How soon? I spoke to a builder on site today, and he said they were aiming for four weeks from today. Which, if you look at my picture of the site, will be a sterling effort.

Anyhow, I daresay I'll be there on opening day, contributing to Kirin's bottom line (sorry, Tas Dairy Farmers) and celebrating another step in what is the renaissance of quality beer in Australia.

Actually, is it a renaissance or a whole new era?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Pearn's Steam Up Weekend

Katie and I tripped up to Westbury on Saturday for the annual Pearn's Steam Up Weekend.

Pearn's are basically a family owned agricultural contracting business that has been around for the best part of a century, and it seems they haven't ever got rid of any of their machinery. There's some pretty impressive stuff there.

My fave would have to be the huge black brontosauras-esque traction engine. Amazing to see it in full Victorian fire breathing action.

Anyhow, there's a heap of photos here.

Highly reccomended if you're touring the area.

Monday, November 02, 2009

MiniFest 2009

(click image for full size)

On Sunday afternoon, I rode down to Hobart's Domain for MiniFest Tasmania 2009.

Celebrating the fiftieth birthday of the iconic Mini and all it's derivatives and descendents, there were almost 220 examples on display from all over the country.

At 3pm, after the awarding of a multitude of different prizes, there was a parade lap around Hobart.

Unfortunately, the traffic lights weren't being manually run to keep all the cars together, so the parade was more a series of small bunches of cars.

I grabbed a few photos of the display and the town run.

There's an album here.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Terminus Hotel Then and Now

The Terminus Hotel in Launceston was owned by my Great Grandfather, John Tynan in the 1880's and 1890's. Here's a picture of (presumably) him and some other likely types outside it in approximately 1886. The image belongs to the State Library of Tasmania:
(Click for larger version)

And here's a pic Katie took of me outside the building some 123 years later. It ceased as The Terminus about 25 years ago, and it now trades as the City Park Grand Hotel and restaurant, unfortunately not a barrel or tap in sight:

(click for full size image)

John Tynan was quite a well known Launceston identity and at one stage played football in a Brewery/Landlords' league with one Mr James Boag, proprietor of Boag's Brewery, which is situated pretty well opposite the Terminus Hotel.

I found an obituary for John Tynan in The Axeman's Journal and Sporting News, July 1901 edition:

Click on the image for a readable version.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Battery Point Pathway: What the Candidates Think

Battery Point Foreshore @ Trumpeter Street. Photo by Jan Dallas.

Listed below are summaries of replies received from Hobart City Council candidates to an email sent by Tassieblather regarding their position on the proposed foreshore pathway around Battery point. Full replies are available by clicking on the relevant link.

SUMMARY (in order of response):

Marti Zucco: Supports full path

John Freeman: Supports full path.

Peter Sexton: Supports full path.

Damon Thomas: Supports "scramble track" option.

Corey Peterson: Supports full path. Concerns re: climate change, sea level rise, etc.

Leo Foley: Supports public foreshore access as an "absolute right", though "..would not want to jeopardise an unalienable right to access by insisting on the cycleway."

Toby Rowallan: Fully supports pathway, concerns re: finance and effects of climate change.

Wendy Heatley: Supports full path to wheelchair/cycle standard.

Rob Valentine: Believes scramble track "has merit". Many considerations re: Climate change, Crown Land, Building Standards, State Government, Local residents, Cost, Disability Discrimination Act.

Peter Brownscombe: Thinks there would be much higher benefits for many more Hobart ratepayers from development of a wide range of recreation areas on the Domain hill – but supports further examination of the costs and practicality of a low impact scramble track around the Battery Point foreshore.

Helen Burnet: No reply @ 15 October

Darlene Haigh: No reply @ 15 October

Dina Alexopolous: State Electoral Commission advises "no contact details disclosed by candidate's request."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Envirocrime: Grape Bar, Salamanca

I was just walking along Salamanca, it's a beautifully sunny Monday lunchtime. Seventeen degrees celsius according to the radio.

Grape Bar - no customers inside or out, six electric radiators going full pelt underneath their exterior umbrellas. I walked in to just tell them of this oversight, as I thought it must have been.

"Hi, you've got your radiators on outisde"
"Your outside radiators are on, and it's almost twenty degrees out there."
"No, they're on because some people like them on."
"But there's nobody there, it's a bit wasteful don't you think?"
Blank stare. Walk out of bar.

I mean ter say, these outdoor space heaters are enough of a blight on the environment (wear a jacket or go inside if you're cold!), let alone having them pumping the hydrocarbons when it's sunny in the middle of the day.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

HCC Candidate's reply: Marti Zucco

Text below of reply from Ald Marti Zucco, received 3 October:


I have always supported a walkway along the waterfront and will continue to do so.

So that the idea gets some momentum and we FINALLY get to see something happening the current view is to build in stages with the area that will require the most extensive works (and costs) be built at a later date. But this will still allow a link via the road system.

The intension is to have access at that point via the current road system.

This will at least see some action rather than the current stand off position.

The other stumbling block is that the HCC requires approval from the State Government for access across this area which has been a major issue. WHY? well maybe you can work it out as who lives in the area in question may be the answer.

As I have fought for public access to be maintained at Princess wharf I have the same view here.

I hope that answers your question.


Marti Zucco