Suspect a mate might be floundering in the storms of life. Grab this sauce for the seafarers and head over to craft a conversation.

Origin – Currumbin, QLD
ABV- 5.9%
Size- 375mL can
Style- Pale Ale

We’ve all heard the one about the horse that walks into the bar, but what about the story where the brewery owner goes surfing and punches a shark in the nose? As crazy as it sounds, it’s the real story behind Balter Brewing Company. That brewery owner is three times Australian Surfing Pro world champion Mick Fanning, who on live TV famously punched what is believed to be a great white in the nose during the J-Bay Open finals in 2015.

Jump forward a year, and word is that Mick was surfing in Hawaii with co-founders Joel Parkinson, Bede Durbidge and Josh Kerr when discussions moved to boyhood dreams of setting up a brewery. So on the site of an old radiator factory in their Gold Coast hometown of Currumbin they did just that. Although 'wax heads' may be stereotyped as not too bright, they were switched on enough to comprehend that neither drinking or dreaming of beer or a combined four times ASP World Titles, was going to be the ingredients for success. So they convinced former Stone & Wood brewer Scotty Hargrave to jump on board. His first batch was an XPA that was sold out in a weekend and picked up more medals than most sharks have teeth. But the boys weren’t just on a winner with their choice of staff or trophy winning beers, their philosophy deserves a world title! To balter is to dance artlessly without particular skill or grace, but usually with enjoyment. And it’s the enjoyment of bonding over a tasty beer that Balter is all about. The mantra revolves around their beer being more than just a drink, preferably something that draws us together; often being a companion to life’s great moments.

And companions don’t come trustier than this Strong Pale Ale. Rather than getting all up-in-your-face like their IPA, this well-structured ale is happy just to go on the journey with you. Although it looks like most ales in the glass, neither the aroma nor flavour share much in common with others of the style. While the nose itself is faint, with a touch of grains and caramel sweetness, a good swig reveals a craft that is hopped to the hilt, delivering juicy notes of paw paw, mango and citrus. However before you’re overwhelmed, the bitterness recedes, the flavours soften, and you’re left with a relatively dry finish.

If you’re looking for something with the bite of a great white, you’ll be disappointed. But when it comes to kicking back with some mates, you’ve found your beer.