Up The Windsor Road … and more Craft Beers

“I’m Tony Packard from Tony Packard Holden, just up the Windsor Road from Baulkham Hills and let me get it right for yoooooouuuuuuu!”

Yes it WAS the golden age of television. If you wanted to make an impact there was only one way to do it. Cheap, loud and ubiquitous. For those who are too young (or sadly too old) to remember, Tony Packard was … ahh bugger it … google him and find out for yourself. Actually, You Tube him and see for yourself and while I’m at it, thank you to those thoughtful videotape operators who recorded hours of television commercial breaks from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s that remind us so vividly of our chain smoking, beer guzzling, pantyhose wearing, sexist, non-stick selves. “Where do you hide your Coolabah? Stuffed down my Razzamatazz, if you don’t mind.”

But I digress ( funny that). I never made a commercial for Tony Packard, though I did meet him once. Thoroughly obsessed with his own self image, he confided that the real reason people journeyed up the aforementioned two lane track was not to buy a car, but to meet him and no doubt bathe in his self constructed celebrity. A short, unsuccessful career in politics followed, then fraud charges, bankruptcy, finding Jesus as the true saviour, the usual story. He did marry a Penthouse Pet however. Wonder how that’s going?

He was of course one of many. “Owner Drivers” we called them. Here’s a list that comes to mind.

Ron Hodgson ‘Update with…”,

Chris Marshall from Chris Marshall Pianos and Organs “and as Donna and I say …..”

(Father) John Cootes,

Bailey McBride (I wonder what happened to poor little Shona),

the Little Do-er, “Tell ’em the price son!”

Pete from PG Interiors. A personal favourite, Pete would disport himself on a fake leatherette ( yes FAKE leatherette) lounge, silk shirt open to the navel revealing a fatal solarium tan and a relief map of gold chains.  A couple of hired bimbos would ruffle his coiff and he’d yell at us! Yes yell! No doubt to wake us from our late night TV slumber. I often wonder what happened to Pete. No I don’t.

I’m sure that you will have your own favourites to add to the list. This is incumbent upon you being, a) of appropriate age and b) a resident of the Sydney Metropolitan Area. If not, then you will have no idea what or who I’m talking about. Owner Drivers are by nature a local phenomenon. Each city or indeed good size town had one …. or several hundred in the case of Melbourne. In the days when regional television networks existed ( I think there were more than 40 at one time) each regional centre had its own Owner Driver, his face beaming at you from a billboard welcoming you to Dubbo or Goulburn or Narrabri or The Big Pineapple, because he was usually the Mayor as well as the local Toyota Dealer.

Indeed this spray will only resonate with my own offspring and anyone else who grew up within the broadcast footprint of WIN4 Wollongong if I mention, “Windang Road in Windang”, “Mitchell’s Fruits and Snowy River Meats …” and the perennial favourites, “Tank World ….. World of Tanks” and (insert business name here) Doing it Right for You! Some of you may have detected a musical meter in the preceding prose and you would be right. Wollongong prides itself on its musical pedigree having given us …. um …. no that’s Newcastle isn’t.

Anyway, that’s not what I was talking about. The Windsor Road and going up it. Did so last week. Well in fact it was the OLD Windsor Road as opposed to the Windsor Road. The Old Windsor Road being newer makes it just a little more confusing but it all makes sense when I explain that our destination was The Australian Brewery at Rouse Hill soon to be the demographic centre of Sydney ( if they can get a train to it). And fittingly so. The Australian Brewery is a cracker! Extraordinary Craft Beers and fabulous food. which make it the ideal setting for our second episode of “It’s The Beer Talking, with Doug Anderson.”

Doug’s guest this Ep was his old Fairfax sparring mate and host of Fox Sport’s The Back Page, Tony Twinkle* Squires. The two make spectacular company, aided and abetted by Neal Cameron’s superb craft beer tasting menu. Keep watching this space for details regarding the premiere of the series. In the meantime, some more craft beers that I’m sure even Neal couldn’t imagine ….


Landing Strip.
Brazilian Brewing Company, Sao Paolo.
Following hard on the heels of their mega successful Bikini Wax Pale Ale comes this golden Pilsener Style Beer sure to be big on the beaches this summer. Tendency to get a little yeasty if not cellared carefully but definitely worth a try!

Very (very) Pale Ale.
Emo Brewing Company, Newtown NSW.
Best avoided altogether
Rum, Sodomy & The Lash.
Last Hussars Brewery, Sandhurst U.K.
A Dark Red India Pale Ale with Chocolate undertones. Best in the company of Old Etonians, a sturdy Vindaloo and handful of supplicant coolies (preferably in Hyderabad or out of sight of the wife!)

Sticky Date Amber Ale.
Colo-Rectal Brewing Company. Missenden Road, Camperdown NSW
Recovered from its disastrous Get a Date up your Date promotion campaign of 2011
( the enema angle was never going to catch on), this traditional if somewhat viscous Abbey Style Ale maintains a loyal following. Definitely an acquired taste but if you can handle it “coming out the way it went in” this could be the Ale for you.
Must work harder on the slogans! (Ed.)

 Push Your Stool In?  Extremely Bright Ale.
Fabulous Brewing Co. Darlinghurst NSW
A hit at this years Mardi Gras with its fruity undertones and Amyl Nitrate Nose.
The Fab Boys are looking to crack the export market so watch this space! As ever “the Stool” as its become known, is best with a little bronzer, chaps and a back, sack and crack wax!

* Watch The Episode to find out why www.itsthebeertalking.com.au

Neal Cameron, Tony Squires, Doug Anderson & David Ward getting down to business.

Neal Cameron, Tony Squires, Doug Anderson & David Ward getting down to business.

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