Should the start of the work year signal the end of the holiday mood?
Surely not! With the new year comes a promise to treat yourself more kindly and properly disconnect from the office, wherever that maybe.
Vale Brewing’s new Sunset Sessions are on every second Friday over summer, with the next one on January 19 and a bonus one on Australia Day.
Prepare to stretch out on the Taphouse lawns overlooking the vineyards and bask in the late afternoon sun as it drops down to the horizon.
There will be live entertainment under the big McLaren Vale sky, with a relaxed food and drink offering to ease you into the weekend.
Head chef John Rankin has curated an all-new, big flavoured lawn menu that, he said, “will offer something for everyone”.
“The new lawn menu is a celebration of regional food and good times with friends,” he said.
“It’s crafted for group enjoyment, with the menu highlighting the best seasonal produce, inviting mates to savour and relish the joy of communal dining.
“We’re taking the essential flavours of sun-drenched McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu region and promising a memorable culinary journey.”
Among the pizzas is a Spanish-inspired one with succulent South Australian prawns, chorizo, capsicum, chilli and fresh basil.
Rankin has also included a selection of sliders and a tasting plate.
“We’re serving up a classic slow-and-low-cooked brisket slider with added heat from jalapenos and chipotle mayo,” he said.
“We also have a miso-infused pork belly slider with a perfect balance of tender meat and unctuousness, topped with sprigs of watercress, red onion and a sprinkling of fresh chilli.
“And for the final slider, we’re delivering an authentic taste of South Carolina barbeque, bringing together a juicy turkey burger and tangy mustard-based sauce.”
The tasting plate offers a flavoursome selection of house-made pastrami and pickles, locally-made prosciutto, cheeses and olives, lavosh and focaccia.
Even a side of chips promises to be a taste sensation: cooked in beef fat and served with a spicy tomato sauce.
For the Sunset Sessions, there will be a new addition to the icy cold Vale beers on tap – their Parched Az, a New Zealand pilsner that, to quote the marketing, “is as refreshing as a Tasman sea-breeze on a North Island summer day”.
Brewed with New Zealand’s renowned Nelson Sauvin hops to deliver notes of passionfruit, gooseberry and wine grapes, it is a “kick-back worthy combination of malt and fruity flavour”.
The limited release of Parched Az includes take home Growlers, which are half price during the Sunset Sessions, and just 100 cartons of tinnies that can be purchased to take home and enjoy.
The Growlers are also half price on weekdays, should a repeat visit be in order.
Sunset Sessions run from 5pm until 8pm.