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.