The Wheatsheaf Hotel
By Franz Scheurer
Driving along the backstreets in the western suburbs of Adelaide, you might pass an ordinary looking watering hole in Thebarton called the Wheatsheaf Hotel. Expect a couple of Holden utes, maybe even an old panel van or a battered Kombi, a smattering of Falcons and Commodores and a Harley Davidson or two, parked outside, conveying the message that this is a working manís pub.
Once inside youíll be surprised by an almost art deco fit-out with comfortable, sat-in furniture and a rustic but trendy feel. Looking around youíll find a very eclectic gaggle of customers. All shapes and sizes, all kinds of attire, seemingly covering the whole social and professional spectrum.
Thereís an odd occurrence near the end of the bar, where a slender, elegant suit-clad gentleman is obviously arguing heatedly with a 7 foot, 18 stone, tattoo-covered biker, and it seems heís winning the argument. Ambling over, and shamelessly listening in, I discover that they argue about the difficulty of producing a chocolate flavoured beer when the high fat content in the chocolate prevents the forming of a perfect head. Nearby a couple of sunnie-clad, spiked-hair blondes nod in agreement whilst sipping a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and a guy, looking like the local plumber with mud on his overalls, is obviously in raptures over a particularly good expression of a 20 year old Talisker. Something strike you as odd here?
Not like any suburban pub that I know!
This might have something to do with the passion for exceptional booze of publicans Emily and Jade. There are more than 50 different beers, in excess of 40 well-chosen wines, many of them by the glass, and at least a couple of dozen special Single Malts, listed on blackboards behind the bar. This is a serious place of alcohol worship, a temple to quality and rarity, and the pilgrims arrive in a steady stream to pay homage.
Emilyís experience running some of the best pubs in Adelaide is a matter of record, and thereís probably no one in Australia with even half of Jadeís beer knowledge. Itís a brilliant combination and the drinkers are the winners. Another nice touch is the fact that there are no pokies. Entertainment is provided by regular live music and old fashioned conversation.
If you live in Adelaide, youíre very lucky to have a pub like this; if youíre visiting Adelaide, go and have a beer, wine, or whisky there and experience what youíre probably missing out on in your own city.
This has to be my favourite Aussie pub!
The Wheatsheaf Hotel
39 George Street
Tel.: 08 8443 4546