“We’ve been open five weeks and you’re the first person to order a Stevie Nicks,” the bartender of the Dock tells Time Out, as he hands over a frosty concoction of Carter Premium Lager, Coke and Amaretto -a surprisingly great combination of liquids. "The guy who invented the drink just really, really
loved Stevie Nicks." This exchange pretty much sums up the vibe of the Dock in Redfern, opened by Jed Clarke, formerly known as the Beer Baron, whose late-night alcohol-delivery service was sadly quashed by the Fun Police recently. We wouldn’t be surprised if Clarke’s reason for opening a bar was because he just “really, really loves beer.” We can’t think of a better reason - can you?
With its peeling paint, dim lighting, comfy reclaimed furniture and chalked-up list of original, cheeky drinks on the blackboard, the Dock suits the Redfern Street location down to a tee. It’s refreshingly unpretentious and awesomely authentic. You can sit yourself on a vintage chair in the window while cradling a frothy Skittlebrow - a glass of Carter Lager poured on top of a handful of Skittles - and wonder why the hell no one ever thought of mixing American candy and a cold one before. With every sip the flavour of the skittles intensifies until you reach the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: ice-cold Skittles washed white for a post-beer sugary snack.
Accompanying their swag of tricked-up beer cocktails is a list of well-made old favourites. Whisky and Amaretto Sours are there, as is a potent Old Fashioned. The shots on offer are playful and fun and smack of first-year uni, when Fluffy Ducks were the height of sophistication. The Jam Doughnut is a layered short glass of Chambord and Baileys with a strawberry sugar rim and nearly tops the real thing, while the Flaming Moe (sing it with us: "at Flaming Moe's/Where liquor in a mug/Can warm you like a hug") arrives as a fire-topped concoction of absinthe and a dark ‘secret ingredient.’ If you’re serious about liver assassination and all-round hard drinking, get yourself into a short glass of Toni’s Rocketfuel: a mix of Jack Daniels, absinthe and Jägermeister topped with Mother energy drink and a pop-rock chaser. Boom.
At the moment there’s only popcorn to accompany your drinks, but that may change in the future. In the meantime head to the Dock for a round of hearty tongue-in-cheek boozing.