My flute teacher used to say before I played, ‘take a deep breath, so you can be in it’. That is not bad advice as you lean in to talk with a mate over this beer about more than just what happened at band camp!

Origin – Forster, New South Wales
ABV – 6.4%
Size – 375mL can
Style – West Coast IPA

The people who compile the annual Darwin Awards say that 2022 was a busy year for stupidity. Named in honour of Charles Darwin, father of evolution, to 'commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it', the posthumous winner went to a crime gone awry in Belgium. A pair of would-be thieves hatched a plan to withdraw cash from an ATM machine using dynamite. Unfortunately, they overestimated the quantity needed for the explosion and demolished the entire building with themselves inside it!

If they keep going the way they are, the Lambert brothers from Forster might find themselves with the 2023 title. Despite having good intentions to tag and release sharks off the coast and in the rivers surrounding the town, catching 300kg, three-metre bull sharks- is risky, especially if you can't swim! Rowing a kayak, the lads drop the bait off in the middle of the night and then race back to the shore as quickly as possible, where the rods are set up. On one occasion off Stony Point, the brothers found themselves being circled by fins even before they dropped the bait right into the mouth of a shark below them. Remarkably the pair still have all their fingers and toes!

Fiercely local since founding the town's first brewery in 2017, David and Helen Black tend to name their beers after the local surroundings, beaches and waterways; One Mile IPA is a shout-out to one of the mid-north coasts' best surf breaks and the Booti KNEIPA named after the regions National Park. That trend continues with this liquid tribute to the shark-infested point where the Lambert's fight sharks for sport. A Gold medal winner at the recent 2023 Royal Queensland Beer Awards, the limited-release Stony Point is a hop machine. Loaded with Nectaron and Mosaic, a grapefruit rind fires forth, soon joined by vast aromas of nectarine, peach and citrus, before finishing with a firm bitterness.

It might not be worth winning a Darwin for, but I'd happily beg, borrow or steal to get my hands on another.