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THE NOBLE HOPS
The Redfern rum-soaked small bar known as The Angry Pirate is in the midst of a
rebirth, and will soon be opening its doors as a beer-lover's paradise.
Angry Pirate co-owner Peter
Groom is teaming up with
new business partner Joe
Wee to create a destination venue in
the up-and-coming bar scene of the
inner Sydney suburb, Redfern.
"We'd been running The Angry
Pirate for a couple of years and
my business partner is moving off
overseas, we had a look around
and we decided to put it on the
market, and then we met Joe and
in the beginning it was looking like
a straight transaction, but the more
we got talking together we basically
fell into step," says Groom. "He was
like 'I have this idea' and I thought
'that sounds like a fucking cool idea'
and very quickly we just started
marching in the same direction."
And that direction just happens
to be craft beer.
"Ideally we will make this place
a destination for discerning beer
drinkers, but we also want it to be a
neighbourhood bar," says Wee. "So
the idea is to create a venue that
is accessible to everybody -- and
200m from the train station, it's an
Wee goes on to add that the
urban revival of the Redfern area is
working in their favour -- however he
and Groom are also happy to fly a
little under the radar.
"We don't want something that
stands out too much. We're going
for something quite industrial
looking and very basic -- brick walls,
no crazy furniture," says Wee.
Groom concurs, saying that they
are aiming to preserve the intimacy
of the original.
"Coming on from what The
Angry Pirate was, which was this
vibe of dimly lit smuggler's den
sort of thing, and the transition and
exposing the brickwork, the bar is
going to maintain that intimacy, but
it will sort of metamorphosis into the
next rendition," he says.
There will be 10 taps of rotating
beer, with at least half the real estate
being reserved for local breweries
-- a conservative number given the
ambitions the duo have.
"We can only fit ten taps, we tried
to get as many as we can," says Wee.
"The issue is that the venue is so
small we don't know how much beer
we can push in the Redfern area."
However, they are confident that
given the thirst for beer in the area,
the bar will attract a large number of
local and not-so-local customers.
"I know that we're giving the
people in this area something like
The Local Taphouse, whereby if you
live round here and into Zetland
and Alexandria and Waterloo, you
don't have to schlep all the way
over to Darlinghurst or to Newtown
-- you can just come here and try
some interesting and tasty beers,"
Wee explains that the plan is to have
a focus on inner west breweries
with their mates at Batch, Willie the
Boatman and Young Henrys and the
rest, all at the top of the list when it
comes to kegs. And their beer plans
don't stop there.
"We're going to have brewer tap
takeovers and more, particularly
for the Inner West brewers because
Pete and I know them pretty well,"
says Wee. "And we also want do
some collaboration brews with
them so that we can do our own
Groom is particularly excited to
create a local brew for their suburb.
"As far as we know there is
no one brewing a Redfern beer
-- Newtown can have the [Young
Henrys] Newtowner, but Redfern
needs a Redferner or whatever
we decide to call it," he says. "It's
very exciting. Certainly for me. Out
of the two of us, I'm the one with
the hospo experience -- creating
cocktails and infusions and so on --
before The Angry Pirate, during The
Angry Pirate, and now, and it's really
exciting for me to have met Joe and
be working with him and be part
of the new Noble Hops, because
Joe comes with all of this brewing
experience that I think is really
exciting and really interesting."
In the fridge, the boys say that
the list will extend to 20 or 30
interesting international and
Australian brews that will also be
"Not so much a core range
but more crazy stuff," says Wee.
"It gives us a bit more freedom
but also people will think 'oh they
have something that I haven't
Groom says that they have
high hopes for the bar, given that
there was a trend toward beer
even when it was still the Angry
Pirate -- particularly with their
"One of the things I found really,
really, interesting, when we had The
Angry Pirate we saw so many ladies
coming in and drinking craft beer
and taking a real interest in brands
like The Grifter and Stone & Wood
and others," he says.
While the cocktail list in The Noble
Hops will be reined in from what it
was during its Angry Pirate Days,
Groom says that he is keen to
experiment with beer.
"We've got a couple of ideas up
our sleeves with sort of 'marrying'
drinks, like beers in cocktails and
that sort of thing. But we don't
want to show our hand too much,
we want to keep a few things
"Looking at how well certain
things went previously -- I know a lot
of people did this but we did bacon-
washed bourbon and we spiced
our own rum which was very, very
popular -- we'll be taking aspects
of that. I've been having a little bit
of a look at using hops and those
sorts of things, particularly with the
darker beers that we can really do
some fun stuff with," says Groom.
125 Redfern St, Redfern, NSW
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