Love Actually is an unavoidable Christmas flick. But it’s not like that for everyone. So don't forget to take a moment to share this frosty with a mate this festive season…because that’s love, actually.

Origin – Coldstream, Victoria
ABV- 6.3%
Size- 375mL can
Style- Indian Pale Ale

It is the journey, not the destination. How often have we heard that phrase? Though like it or not, It's what you do on the way, the detours, planned or the result of some misadventure that create the memories. Notwithstanding it seems such a cliché, it's when your journey takes a detour that things get interesting, after all nobody wants to hear “I went on a road trip up the coast, we had a great time, the food was good, and then we came back” – that's the worst story ever! Regardless of whether it's intended or you just stumble across it, one detour that will be a highlight of any trip through the Yarra Valley is a visit to Detour Beer Co.

It's named both as a nod to the brewery's location between the two main highways running through the valley as well as beer representing a change of tack for the owners – Detour Beer Co sits where you previously found Napoleone Brewers and brews its beers on the same kit that once produced Napoleone beers. However, with the Napoleone family focusing its attention once more on cider, they brought in a new team to take over the brewery. 

Housed within an old dairy that dates back to 1860s, you'll find Detour beers pouring in front of the brewery in the same spot where the cows would once have been milked. And while the original dairy has been expanded significantly over time to include a restaurant, bakery, and providore as well as the brewery itself, the additions have been designed and landscaped in such a way that you'd swear the building had been around long before even the cows came home. At the reins is fourth-generation Napoleone, André, together with Glenn Harrison, formerly of Hargraves Hill. The pair had much to live up to when launching Detour in early 2019, particularly given the runaway success of Napoleone Cider, which continues to win a slew of awards.

It's fair to say however, with their first four entries in the IBA's walking away with a medal each, including gold for this IPA, they were up to the challenge. This is an IPA that's true to the style – bold, hoppy and full flavoured. The classic hop mix of Cascade, Centennial and Mosaic dish out aromas and flavours of citrus and stone fruit characters alongside biscuity malts and a polite smattering of bitterness that's smooth rather than aggressive.

It may be better to travel than to arrive, but after finding this Detour, I think I've reached my destination!