As beer, people we often complain about the lack of beer choices when we are dining out. It’s always funny when you see a beer menu that has a imported section and lists nothing but locally produced Eurolagers. Even more amusing is a premium section filled with gold labelled lagers from the big breweries. Now, these beers can have their place and they are not entirely without merit. Let’s face it though; we really do want something more. Sometimes we crave some bitterness and some hops to cut through something. Other times it’s nice to have some big chewy malt flavours. Either way it’s about flavour that you don’t often find in the big brands. That is why we need to celebrate a good beer list when we find one. Recently such a surprise was uncovered in Prospect just outside the Adelaide CBD.
Shanker’s is an Indian restaurant that has been in Prospect since 1985. They recently moved into their current premises, an old court building, on Prospect Road. The move and the expansion came partly as a result of winning just about every restaurant award available. I won’t go into details here as you can find that on their web site. With the move and expanded premises comes an increased focus on good beer. Particularly the focus has been on beer from small Australian breweries. The majority of the beers are from South Australian breweries but there are beers from breweries from around the country. They have picked a good range of styles that match well with the dishes on the menu. The staff has put a lot of thought into building a beer list that compliments the food they offer. The staff knows the beer and is really enthusiastic about what they offer. They want to talk about and explain the beers they have to people and they are knowledgeable enough to do it. This really refreshing and shows a real commitment to good beer and not just paying lip service to it.
In the recent past they have started to have some beer dinners featuring breweries and teaming up a number of their meals with a flight of beers from the brewery. On a recent trip around the mainland the Moo Brew guys dropped in and hosted a dinner. Local Adelaide brewery Beard and Brau have also hosted a dinner there in the past. From talking to the guys there are plans to do more of these in future too. It will be interesting to watch and see what themes they go with and the types of audience that gets attracted to these events. It’s always nice to see inquisitive non beer people rat these things. Sometimes it seems like we are all talking in an echo chamber so it is great when you see others walking into the circle. The response to these dinners has been very good from all reports too.
This type of effort from a non beer venue should really be applauded. It is great to see more venues dipping their toes into the good beer market. There are more bars, pubs and restaurants every day adding good beers to their list. The Crown and Sceptre in Adelaide is another great example. A bar known for its extensive wine, spirit and cocktail list has now added some great beers to the line up. This is a great venue for it as they already have an audience that is looking for flavour and greater options. They have recently added beer from Bridge Road Brewers, 8Wired and Murray’s to name just a couple.
When you find one of these venues let your fellow beer lovers know and reward them with your custom. Long term they hopefully inspire their regular custom to try something new. It will help in the short term if we can help them move some of the product over the bar.
Shanker’s Authentic Indian Cuisine
89 Prospect Road,
Prospect SA 5082
(08) 8342 1133