It’s no secret that independent record stores have been on the endangered species list for awhile. As a result, ten years ago Record Store Day was born, an international movement sparked by a shitty compressed mp3 world. This year’s RSD takes place on April 22. And while, in a perfect world EVERY DAY would be record store day, until then we’re happy to help give things a nudge in the right direction.
Back when we were a young spring chicken of a brewery (OK, we are still a spring chicken, but back when we were an even springier chicken), The Courty were on the receiving end of some of the very first kegs that rolled out our brewery doors. They were also the first place to pour Newtowner. So as we celebrate another trip around the sun, we thought it would make sense to corner Dean Bruce from Newtown stalwart The Courty for a chat. Plus, we were all ready to get the dirt on any doping scandals within their famous crab racing but Dean assures us it’s just good clean fun.
Get your mind out of the gutter, not THAT kind of shag. This Perth bar is named for the resident cormorants who hang out round the jetty. These birds know what’s up, The Shag occupies one of the most primo waterfront positions in town. Olivia Hosking’s been enjoying the scenery for seven years now but we chose a week where she was really busy overseeing some renovations to give her a Young Henrys grilling. To be fair, it was more of a gentle sauté …
In February our beloved brewery cat Blackie was hit by a car. Within a couple of hours we’d received a message from Glenn Smith aka Glenno. Unprompted, he had produced a faithful rendering of Blackie and posted it to Instagram saying, “This is a portrait of Blackie...a much loved cat that always smooched about people down at Young Henrys brewery. I don't know how she died, but it sucks and drawing this cheered me up. I'm lucky I can draw my way to better thoughts.” (Of course we agreed such a thoughtful tribute deserved pride of place on a t-shirt for the staff to remember her by.)
This is fairly typical behaviour of Glenno. The artist/musician/beer lover has been a part of the Young Henrys family since the very early days. Along with curating numerous exhibitions, he's behind many of the t-shirt designs immortalising some of our most treasured characters - the gents and ladies of Old Fashioned Love, the Beer Wizard, the Hops Man (and of course Blackie). We chatted, fittingly over ‘The Black Cat’ black rice ale, about art and music, and life and death, about cats with necrotic tails and how drawing is like “accidental yoga”…
On a scale of wheat to chaff, it’s clear which end The Golden Barley sits on. The exterior is a Tooth & Co stunner from 1939, and tucked away behind it is one of the best beer gardens of the Inner West. We met up with publican Penny Hewlett, who runs the GB with her husband Andie, and chatted about what it’s like to actually live at the pub (rather than it just seeming like you live at the pub). When we asked about noise she said, “If I can’t hear anything I’m more worried because there aren’t enough people having a good time.” Instant legend status.
These sweet yellow tins started their life on the sketchpad of Lee McConnell. He’s the artist behind all of the album art for Dune Rats’ The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit - 12 in total, one of which features Dunies Lager. It’s a homage to the classic Australian lager tins of old, and it's now become Young Henrys Dunies Lager IRL. It’s art imitating life or life imitating art, or maybe it's beer imitating art imitating beer…Who knows. It's thirst quenching whatever it is.
We caught up with the man behind the art...Lee’s from up the coast at Forster, but these days he kicks it in Freshwater Sydney and Monday through Friday you’ll find him designing for Mambo. Makes sense then that his art feels so coastal. If you held it up to your ear you’d probably hear the ocean. We chatted to Lee about life and art and dream collabs...
Had a beer in Brisbane lately? It’s going off like a cane toad in a sock. Rattle off a list of the game-changers and chances are you’re name-checking one of the venues Jamie Webb has a hand in—Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Sonny’s House of Blues, Seymour’s Cocktails & Oysters, Hope & Anchor—in terms of venue styles, he’s almost gathered the full set.
Webb cut his hospo chops in NYC, working in bars on the weekend to round out a nine-to-five in the music business. After coming back to Australia, he ran venues in Sydney but took a hit from the GFC, and landed back in hometown Brisbane. Thank the gods of Brissie nightlife he did...
Picture a map of Australia, with each city portrayed by its best known musical export. Sydney and Melbourne would be overrun, but head out of the big smoke and things would get interesting. If the Big Prawn could turn it’s beady eyes inland it might lock gaze with the Big Phil Jamieson, and no Sunny Coast road trip would be complete without a stop at the Big Pineapple, 100 clicks north of the Big Robert Forster. And Newcastle, surely, would be repped by an oversized silver chair.
Which is a roundabout way of saying it seems only fitting that ex-Silverchair bassist and Newie ex-pat, Chris Joannou would return and again add to the cultural fabric of his hometown. In 2014 he teamed up with Chris Johnson to convert Joannou’s parents’ drive-through dry cleaners into a buzzing venue. The Edwards tips its hat to its past life, with vintage laundry equipment now repurposed as beer fonts and light shades, as well as a functioning coin-op laundry. Which must make it one of the rare places you can go for a session on the froths and go home cleaner and fresher than you set out. Plus no trip to the Eddies should be complete without a visit to its vinyl shop, run by the legendary Chris Dunn of Waterfront Records.
We’ve been loving what The Edwards have been doing in Newcastle West,
Back in 2014 Rising Sun popped up in the back streets of Newtown, pairing piping hot bowls of ramen with a motorcycle workshop, filling that uniquely ramen-and-bike-shaped hole in our lives we didn’t even know we had. In 2016 the sun rose again, now in their permanent home in the old Mitre 10 just behind King Street. And the good people of Sydney have rewarded all their hard work by SMAC’ing them with the title of Best Eats in FBi Radio’s 2016 Sydney Music Art & Culture awards.
We couldn’t be happier for them—nicest guys in the business! Admittedly, a motorbike workshop serving ramen is a niche field, but these guys are definitely the nicest in it. We wanted to say congratulations, and what better way then by asking Nick from Rising Sun to give away the secrets to their successful business. Or at least, one of them—this recipe for delicious beery pippies...
Kieran Yewdall puts his pants on one leg at a time, same as the rest of us. Except once his pants are on, he’s a Time Out 'Publican of the Year' award winner, something he shares with business partner Michael Shaughnessy. The award, that is, not the pants. Together they are The Catfish, a Fitzroy local built on the solid foundations of good booze and music.
We spoke to Kieran, then like a dirty cop playing one suspect off against another, we fed Kieran’s answers back to Mike. Turns out, they've got their stories straight. As Mike puts it, “He pretty much nailed it. He’s like my second wife, we know each other very well, but I did add a few extra bits in.” Cheers fellas.