Thursday, June 15, 2006

Day 3, Tuesday 6th: Running, School and Brewing

I woke up about 5:30 and got ready to go for a run. It was still pitch dark outside, cool, and a light rain falling. Peter had told me about a bicycle track built on an old rail alignment starting about one km from his place (Adamstown). I was able to find it without too much trouble and headed off in the dark. The occasional walker or cyclist appeared out of the gloom every now and then. The track extended for 5-km, mostly with forest on either side and one interesting old rail tunnel. I ran to the end and then back again; during the run night gradually gave way to a grey and cloudy day. I covered about 13 km all up, mostly at lower aerobic heart rate, but a stint later in the run at upper aerobic. I can't say that ifelt a fresh as a daisy, but it was good to be out running in a different setting.

After breakfast we got ready and went to the school that Tatsuya hopes to attend next year in Year 11, Kotara High. Had a good meeting with the deputy head and got all the information we need and a good understanding of what will be involved for him.

We were back at Peter's by 10:00. I had pre-arranged to be picked up by a good friend, David Lamotte, an important person in the Australian home brewing world. Always reluctant to accept accolades or take the spotlight, David is the brains and energy behind the Australian Craftbrewer web site and forum and has been one of the key organisers of the New South Wales Home Brewing Championships for several years. David took us for a drive up the Hunter Valley to a place just outside Cessnock, the gateway to Pokolbin area, to visit not a winery, but a small commercial brewery called Potters (so named because it is built beside half a dozen large relic kilns built of bricks, the shapes of which just happen to be reminiscent of brewing kettles).

David knew the head brewer and so we had a good look over the equipment and interesting chat while keeping an eye on wort running from the mash tun to the boiler. I sampled the beers on tap and was extremely impressed with how balanced and well-crafted they were. A delightful soft, well rounded koelsch was the pick of the regular beers, though a more muscly American golden ale from a conditioning tank featuring Amarillo and Cascade hops was much more to my taste.

After having a couple of Ridgy Didge pies (steak and kidney for me) and calling in at David's home to exchange some goodies from Japan for a few home-brewing ingredients, we were back at Peter's by 3:30. We then left with Peter for a 30-minute drive south to Toronto. Peter and his wife own a house on the waterfront of Lake Macquarie. They intend to move there late next year, at which point Tatsuya will still have his final year of school to go. So we wanted to make sure he would understand that life would not be quite so convenient then as during the first year. He seemed to think that having the largest coastal lake in NSW at his disposal was ample compensation.

Dinner that night was delicious slow-cooked corned beef with lashings of white sauce and mashed potato. Yum!

1 comment:

Rachel said...

After reading all of this I feel like I need to live on the other side of the world for awhile so I can come back and enjoy it all as much as you have!
Sounds like you had a fantastic time while you were here. I especially love the description at the start of the Nosh run.