Love Actually is an unavoidable Christmas flick. But it’s not like that for everyone. So don't forget to take a moment to share this frosty with a mate this festive season…because that’s love, actually.
Origin – Cheltenham, Victoria
Size- 355mL can
Style- HAZY IPA
There’s plenty of romancing about the life of a shepherd. Perhaps the world’s most famous sheep, Shaun has a lot to do with it. The sheep of few words (actually, he communicates mostly with simple, though often expressive ‘Baaas'), is on air in 180 countries and is estimated to be worth almost a billion dollars. However since the beginning of time, shepherds have been the proverbial ditch diggers, the down-trodden. Even the angels came to the shepherd, the lowliest of all men, to share the news of the birth of Christ, as the story is told.
Though for any good shepherd it's never about the money, rather tending to the flock and caring for the individual. It was a calling that was accompanied by conviction of divine influence for Derek Hales and wife Diti. Albeit the sheep in this instance was the community of Cheltenham, and rather than providing clean water, ample forage and shelter, it was amber ales to quench the thirst, good ol' fashioned comfort food to fill the stomach and a brewpub to keep out the chill of cold Melbourne night. Indeed, within moments of entering the working brewery and restaurant that was opened in late 2015, you soon realise that the only bad thing about this shepherd is its name.
Their dedication, as it states on the website, to make 'good, great', is evident in everything they do. Feasibly it's the reason that since day one the sheep have come, and not just individuals, instead as a herd. And while many of them work their way through a beer list that makes a feature of Bad Shepherd's own creations, including a luscious Hazelnut Brown and an American style Pale Ale – Dereck's 'baby' that he's been perfecting since his earliest homebrewing days – is this recent offering that's become the talk of the town.
Backing himself to the extent that this is no one-off but a new addition to their core lineup, the first thing evident on the pour is a colour that seems a little closer to traditional IPA territory than some of the brekkie juice like Hazy’s. The malt takes a backseat, replaced with juicy and citrusy hop aromas, and flavours of orange, pineapple and a hint of passionfruit. While there's a smoothness to the mouthfeel, the resinous nature of the hops lends it a lean, dry finish.
Shaun has always been an irrepressible sheep that wants to push the boundaries – with boundary-pushing beers this good, conceivably Dereck and Diti can turn the tables on the financial outlook of the shepherd after all.