Much like a shipwreck, we can sink in life too. Rather than choosing to drink this alone, and save yourself so to speak, share one with a mate as you figure out what to do to ensure you both get to the lifeboats.
Origin – Mt Kuring-Gai, New South Wales
ABV – 5.2 %
Size – 375mL can
Style – Pale Ale
'Help wanted: Viking. Must be friendly, local and interested in small-batch brewing. Crazed, bloodthirsty pillagers need not apply.' In a rare employment opportunity for a Viking, whose job market peaked about 1000 years ago when they terrorised Europe in their longboats and horned helmets, Ekim was seeking to find a new owner after ten years serving the community of Mt Kuring-Gai, the ad in the local paper read. Opened in 2009, unless you happened to know what you were looking for, it was quite conceivable that you had never heard of Ekim Brewing. It was no reflection on the beers because those in the know were well aware of the talent of the owner and founder, Mike Jorgensen. Ekim – a levidrome of Mike – was just one of those small breweries that reached a cult-like level of devotion from fans but never seemed to crack the mainstream.
While I’m not sure if it was part of the reason, or if Mike was simply battle weary from enthusiastically rebelling against mass produced beer in an effort to quench the thirst of the mightiest of warriors for over a decade, however in early 2020 Mike began seeking a worthy heir apparent to sell his business to. He found that owner in friend and brewery fridge mechanic Dion Scott. Two years on, working alongside Jorgensen’s protégé and now head brewery Ben Eatough, through some savvy social media, a presence at GABS Sydney and an increased focus on brew experimentation, the pair have managed to bring forth a new Viking age.
While the likes of the Valkyrie XPA and Odin Double IPA have generated talkability, it is this beer that has seen the aftermath of many a battle that the locals who head to the brewery after knock-off on a Friday and Saturday come back to over and over. Brewed with Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe hops, After Battle Pale Ale is a 5.2% ABV brew bursting with tropical fruit and citrus flavours. With a subtle malt bill that helps the hops shine, it provides amble flavour to keep the beer geeks happy yet is still approachable enough for the novice craft beer drinker.
Whether you're heading to the park for a picnic with mates or to Lismore during the solstice with your Viking re-enactment group to descend on medieval England like a bloodthirsty frat party, you’d do worse than to bring along a few of these beauties!