Visit Fermentoren, a beer bar in central Copenhagen, and you’ll be surprised to spy a plucky Tasmanian brand on the menu. It’s called Two Metre Tall and it’s shipped in by Aaron Edwards and Jay Pollard, childhood friends whose desire to build a world-class beer bar in Sydney’s inner city resulted in Bitter Phew. The dark warren is hidden up a flight of nondescript stairs on Oxford Street. Pollard runs the bar in Denmark, but he’s also the man-on-the-ground, enticing Europe’s finest to add their names to the menu at Bitter Phew. Except “menu” doesn’t really do it: it’s a tome.
Among the 300-plus names on offer you’ll find imperial stouts, bourbon-barrel-aged brews, barleywines and sours you’re unlikely to see anywhere else. Match your brew with a double-stack from BL Burgers or a crackling-pork sandwich from Mr Crackles, both downstairs.
In fanatical beer community, it’s all about trying new things. Here that might be Big Shed Beer’s Cherry Popper apple and cherry cider; a funky Rodenbach lambic; or a classic from Belgium’s venerated Cantillon. The bar is also likely to have the latest releases from Sydney’s top breweries.
So, prepare for an education. Or, forget the list and ask the bartender what’s good.