It might not be time for a victory ale just yet, but this cold craft is perfect for sharing over a conversation with mate, as you recall the many times you’ve been punched in the face during these overwhelmingly difficult times.
Origin – Torquay, Victoria
ABV – 5.8%
Size – 330mL can
Style – India Pale Ale
“Everything moves in cycles. Twice a century, the ocean lets us know just how small we really are. A winter storm comes out of Antarctica tearing up the Pacific, and it sends a huge swell north 2,000 miles. When it hits Bells Beach, it will turn into the biggest surf this planet has ever seen, and I will be there.” Sound familiar? You bet it does because that was how Bodhi described the 50-year storm in Point Break, a movie that you have seen at least one million times! It's the storm that sent Bodhi to his watery grave, but like the man said, “it's not tragic to die doing what you love.”
While it's the most famous, Bell's Beach is just one of many in the Victorian town that's known as the Surf Capital of Australia. Yet while Torquay's history is etched in surfboard and surfwear manufacture, with Rip Curl, Quicksilver and Piping Hot all calling the hamlet home, if the rise in the number of breweries on the Surfcoast Highway is anything to go by, it's future may be in brewing. And it’s not surfing legends Mick Parkinson and Mick Fanning leading the way – they opted to open up their little brewing brand Balter a fraction further north – it is a local lad and his longboard, Renn Blackman.
Before taking over the iconic Surfrider restaurant with wife Jess and opening Blackman's Brewery, Renn did stints at The Monk in Freo and a spell at the Old Swan Brewery on the banks of the iconic river. From there he joined the Aussie enclave at London's Camden Town Brewery before being lured back to True South on Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay. It was when True South decided to cease on-site brewing operations to increase restaurant capacity that Renn and Jess determined it was their time to shine. Purchasing the no longer needed kit from True South, it was installed in the former restaurant, and in late 2013 the first beers flowed. And fine beers they were too – something noticed by local and peers alike, with Blackman's declared 2019's Champion Small Brewery at the Australian Beer Awards.
It's not a surprise that they were awarded such a piece of silverware after tasting a lager like this. An IPL, the Juicy Banger is a lager hopped to the levels you'd typically expect to find in an IPA. The Mosaic, Falconer’s Flight and Amarillo create big grapefruit and citrus aromas and flavours, that dominate what's otherwise a clean and crisply bitter drop.
It’s the sort of beer you, me or Johnny Utah could sit down to after catching the bad guys or just a few nice left-hand breaks!