It was a love of craft beer that prompted the arrival of Albert's Post in Mt Albert. Owners Steve and Anna Gough dropped their respective accounting and marketing jobs to start a "pizza bar" that is all about community, well-cooked food and a decent beer selection. Ironically it also led Steve's own brewing production to slow down at home.
The family-run gastropub can be found in the old 1970s Mt Albert post office on New North Road next to the long-standing Triniti of Silver. The innards of the oddly shaped brick building were stripped back from its former tacky souvenir shop shell to reveal a stunning stained glass ceiling and thick exposed beams. Together with Anna's dad, the group installed booth seating, bar leaners and a courtyard out the front. It's homely yet modern.
You'll find 12 rotating beers on tap at the venue, with names like Panhead, Emersons leading the charge. A tasting paddle ($20) is the ideal way to go so you can sample four at once — pick your own or leave your drinking destiny in the hands of the bar staff. Elsewhere, there's Lion Red and Speights in classic big bots ($12.50), a well-priced cocktail list ($12-14) and your general spread of local and international wines.
On the menu you'll find cuisine that falls under the gastropub banner, which makes an easy choice for the weekend and suitable for sharing. There's hand-stretched pizzas, burgers (include kaarage chicken and halloumi), salads, cheese and charcuterie boards and larger plates like fish and chips, barbecue pork ribs and ribeye steak. For the colder months the menu will evolve to feature a caramelised beef hotpot, four-hour lamb shoulder and a vegan dark chocolate mousse.
To capture the community vibe, the Goughs have created a kid-friendly area in the old cylindrical turrets with Netflix, toys and books that is apparently packed to the brim on the weekends while the oldies sit back and work through the drinks list. Also staying true to the classic pub vibe, there's comedy on the first Thursday of every month, live music on the weekends and a quiz night during the week. And if you don't feel like driving after all that merriment, there's a train station right next door.