Why are some blokes more likely to open up to taxi driver? Rather than let our mates share with strangers, let’s assure them that it is ok for them to tell us they’re not ok. It’s true that oils ain’t oils, so here’s a perfect liquid to lubricate those conversations.

ORIGIN. Braeside, Victoria
ABV. 4.4%
SIZE. 330mL bottle
STYLE. Pale Ale

Who doesn’t root for the underdog? It seems we all love a story about those that have fought against insurmountable odds to bring about some type of positive change. The Kiwis are so proud of Kate Sheppard’s contribution in inspiring suffrage movements all over the world and installing women’s rights in NZ that she’s been acknowledged on the $10 note. Ironically, she initially only got involved as a means to fight for liquor prohibition – thankfully that didn’t get through Parliament! Back home in Australia we all know the story of Sir John Kerr, our then Governor-General who gave the boat a little rock and dismissed our Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.

The story of Matt and Andrea Houghton may not be so well known, but it’s just as inspiring.  It starts off with a poor uni student spending his spare hours home brewing and dreaming of travelling through historical brewing locations such as Brugge, Boulder and Bavaria. And post-degree that became a reality. With backpack on, Matt’s dreams came alive, seeing first-hand the role those century-old breweries had in history and social importance. The story continues with his reunion with wife Andrea back home in the land of the bland – VB or Carlton anyone! It was from that moment on that they knew they had to rock the beer boat and serve up craft beers that would open eyes and palates all over Australia.

In 2009 they launched Boatrocker Brewery along with their first two beers via gypsy brewing. Besides opening the eyes of Melbourne’s beer lovers, they also got the attention of the judges at various international beer awards. But what really set the boat rocking, was the couple’s first purchase when setting up their Braeside home in Melbourne’s South-East in 2012. Rather than tanks, pumps and bottling lines, they kicked it off with the purchase of 60 wine barrels, ensuring first and foremost they could pursue Matt’s passion for Belgian-style ales and barrel ageing.

Although not aged in barrel or flipping any boat upside down, this 4.4% sessional new-world hop ale is indeed an eye-opener. Unlike your typical pale, the nose is stacked with tropical notes and stone fruit aromas. The mouth is as intense as the nose and finishes with mild hop bitterness.

Ladies and gentleman, may we say God save the boat-rockers because nothing will save our craft breweries from a lucrative buyout offer!