Dory taught us an important lesson in the face of adversity. Yet never giving up can be easier said than done. Grab this beer to share with a mate over a chat about how you can help him to ‘just keep swimming’.
Origin – Forster, New South Wales.
ABV – 8.2%
Size – 375mL can
Style – Imperial Stout
Back in the '80s, before kid's birthday parties were pretentious all-day affairs and every kid received a pass the parcel prize so their feelings weren't hurt, there was only one thing every kid cared about: Which cake their mum made them from the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book. Let's face it, if your mum didn't make you a cake out of this book, she didn't love you enough! Kids fantasised about the cake they would beg their mothers to make. And for mums, unlike today's must-have Instagramable masterpieces, the baking ability was irrelevant, it was all about the tradition and the mesmerised faces as the lights went down and the candles lit up. First published in 1980, it has sold more than a million copies - that's an awful lot of rocket ship and train cakes that have been attempted over the years.
Yet to celebrate their third birthday, Coastal Brewing Company choose to bake, or more accurately brew, a rocket ship of an altogether different kind, in this super smooth, 8.2 per cent ABV delight. While it's named The Grandis after the tallest tree in NSW, one that's located not far from Coastal Brewing's home town in Forster, it also seems a fitting name for the tall order of not only surviving but flourishing during the first 3 years.
And what a journey it's been since David and Helen Black walked away from successful careers in the corporate world spanning more than two decades, relocated to the picturesque town where the husband and wife team spent many a holiday, and set up arguably the best microbrewery on the NSW north coast.
While traditionally sunny holiday destinations are known for crafts that are cold and crisp, following this, their second barrel age program release, Coastal Brewing, and by default Forster itself, is rapidly getting a reputation for the dark and delightful. Brewed using cacao nibs and local Forster Little Street Roasters coffee the batch was split. Half went into Bourbon barrels, the other half into ex-Bourbon barrels - ones that had previously been home to maple syrup and vanilla extracts. Blended again before canning, the result is nothing short of incredible. The ageing in Jack Daniels barrels certainly carries the spirit, while the additional hints of maple and vanilla help it maintain a sense of balance, one that becomes ever more surefooted as it warms.
Throw in the requisite dark chocolate and coffee characters, and you've got yourself a beer that's equal parts strong and sweet – just like the figure of eight racing car chocolate cake my mum made for my third birthday!