The Beaufort, if you’ve yet to make its acquaintance, is a pickle-pushing, swash buckling, rock’n’roll dive-bar (minus the scunge), where you can get a Cherry’n’Jerry (cherry Coke, Sailor Jerry rum), grease your wheels with some deep-fried pickles, and carve ‘hold fast!’ into the bar. Really – they’ll even give you the tool to do it.
This joint is a nautically themed hangover in waiting, captained by one Dave Kerr. A bartender from way back and sometimes-bars-writer, he’s done enough time on both sides of the plank to know what makes a good boozer.
It goes without saying that there’s tat. Candles burn, King Kong sits behind the bar, and while we lament the $6000 worth of taxidermy fish that were dreamed of but never came to pass, we respect the bartender who prioritises a Hoshizaki ice machine over stuffed carp.
It’s likely there will be arm-wrestling, and inevitable that there will be shots, so you might want to stretch out at one of the many tables if you’ve got a couple of pals. If, on the other hand, you’re here to talk rigs over a few schooners, the anatomically educational bar is the place to be. Just be prepared to take a few pickleback hits – that's a whisky shot with a pickle-liquor chaser, since you’re asking, and it's the reason your night will go wrong.
You might want to at least start with good intentions, and for that there's Shaky Pete’s Ginger Beer. It’s a scurvy-wasting tankard of house-made ginger syrup, lemon and gin, floated with Extra Special Bitter. Picture a mild mannered shandy, cutting loose on shore leave – and all the more delicious for costing but $12.
They’re serving proper mixed drinks at mixed drink prices here, and amen to that. Bloody Marys; a genuine Dark and Stormy of Goslings rum, ginger beer and lime, and Whisky Macs – that fiddy-fiddy mix of Stones Green Ginger wine and whisky, it's occasionally on tap, and $12, on the nose.
Kerr wants this to be a bar for everyone, especially locals, so while he’s offering the drinks he likes: rotating craft beers (currently Growler brown ale), and a sharp Boulevardier (rye, Campari, vermouth), destitute students can still enjoy a frosty tinnie for a fresh $5. How egalitarian.
Between the beers, the fat cheeseburgers, and what sounds like one hell of an ice-cream sandwich (deep-fried sugar coated bread, slapped around cornflake-milk flavoured ice cream) the Beaufort is like a kick to the liver and a fond embrace all in one.
Bring some pals. Wear your boat shoes, and get pickled.