As men we're experts at keeping our cards close to our chest. But in the words of the late Kenny Rogers, 'you've got to know when to fold 'em'. Try sharing this frothy with a mate and help remove the stigma that is often associated with men talking openly.

Origin – Five Dock, New South Wales.
ABV – 6.0%
Size – 375mL can
Style –Indian Pale Ale

One look at Akasha’s new logo and branding had me thinking that leading trio of founder Dave Padden, head brewer George Atkin and sales guru Matt Denholm had had a spiritual awakening. My ruminating seemed to be confirmed when the relaunch press release pointed out that the evocative hop flower logo at the centre of the new look and feel was in fact the ‘fifth element – the secret juju that binds all the other elements in harmony, inviting people inside the temple of the hop to celebrate at the altar of flavour’.

Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise, given Akasha Brewing’s Five Dock home has been a space for worshipping beer ever since first opening its doors in 2015. Yet while it has been popular with locals since day one, after featuring heavily in the Hottest 100 again this past year, it seems Akasha has a swelling congregation of beer lovers now well beyond the neighbourhood - something that’s enabled the brewery to grow its capacity several times over and allows them now to send their beer farther and wider across the country. And although humbled by all the demand, it comes as no surprise to Dave that many folks love his beers with religious fervour. Despite being a hop lover at heart, he has built a reputation on drinkability - be it a big and burly triple IPA, a hoppy lager or a perfectly balanced pale ale, they all appeal to hop heads and new craft beer converts alike.

It’s an esteem, that combined with being a genuine stickler for that old marketing phrase about not compromising on quality, that has resulted in a broad appeal for each of their offerings, including this long-time parish favourite, the Hopsmith IPA. While the 2020 re-release is slightly paired back from the 7.2% version that was first released in 2017, the headlining hops of American West Coast style IPAs, Amarillo, Simcoe and Centennial, remain at its heart. It is a holy trinity of hops that continue to deliver the bold and assertive notes of citrus, pine and hints of grapefruit that it’s become famous for. Still balanced carefully by an earthy malt backbone and a pronounced bitter finish, it is wonderfully drinkable.

Bold statement, but even Muhammed would come off the mountain for a this one!