Look over the old films and photos and there’s one thing that stands out; they comprise more than a single individual – there are no selfies! Instead frame after frame of family, friends and mates talking over and great beers such as this Comet

ORIGIN. Rosebery, New South Wales
ABV. 5.4%
SIZE. 330mL can
STYLE. Pale Ale

It was Wilfred Sheed who famously insulted the Frogs when he said ‘if the French were really intelligent, they’d speak English’. But in the back streets of Rosebery, in Sydney’s Inner South, it’s the French that are having the last laugh. It seems the English-speaking craft beer lovers have been seduced to pass on the hop-heavy IPA accompanied by a fried chicken sandwich fresh from a food truck, for a chance to savour a complex French Bière de Garde paired with a black Angus rib eye with a tarragon béarnaise!

Affectionately known as the Frenchies, the maître d’s responsible for this seduction are the thick-accented Vince de Soyres and Thomas Cauquil, the founders of Frenchies Bistro and Brewery. The pair’s friendship dates back to hospitality school in their homeland, where head chef Thomas discovered a love for terrine and head brewer Vince, well, a love for drinking craft beer. And while Vince was mastering his ‘craft’, and also learning a few things about brewing along the way, Thomas was cooking up a storm in the kitchens of Michelin star restaurants. Inspired by the French explorer Lapérouse who famously sailed into Sydney in 1788 only to discover Cook beat him to it by a few days, the pair hatched a plan and packed their bags, arriving themselves in mid-2014.

Following various jobs working in breweries and kitchens up and down the East-Coast, in 2017 the Frenchies’ installed their brewery and set out the couteau et fourchette’s in their shiny new bistronomy (in other words gastronomy in a bistro setting) and welcomed the first guests. One of the first beers out the door, a seasonal brew, was a tribute to the man that sparked their interest in a far-away land, Lapérouse. Next up was a core range including a Kolsch, an IPA, and this Comet Pale Ale, all designed to be versatile enough for stand-alone drinking or proper food pairing. Named after the Comet hop, which although a go-to back in the 1980s is now not commonly used, the aroma in the glass is clearly driven by the hops distinctive accent of grapefruit. Despite the flavour profile not being as complex as a consommé, there is an outstanding burst of citrus and a bitter earthiness, all bound together with a caramel malt sweetness.

With its big and bold flavours, it’s best to have this one with some duck Pâté or a good smelly washed rind cheese. Merci beaucoup Frenchies!