I couldn't care less. Good luck with that. Not my problem. There’s are a million ways to tell someone you don't give a damn. Yet there’s never been a more important time than now to give a rat’s arse, so grab this beer and check in on a mate’s emotional state.
Origin – Armidale, New South Wales
ABV – 8.0%
Size – 440mL can
Style – Indian Pale Ale
Before the invention of painkillers, a trip to the dentist remained an agonising last resort. Patients were strapped down, with many dying of shock as improvised watchmakers tools were driven into decaying teeth. Relying on speed, not accuracy, surgery was a hit-and-miss affair - as few as 50% of patients survived! Those who did, certainly didn't enjoy the experience, despite the desperate efforts to dull the pain with vast and varied types of alcohol.
While the history of anaesthesia wasn’t a topic that Sam Martin of Great Hops Brewing was acutely aware of when studying for his dental degree, he was fascinated with a particular form of alcohol. It was an interest that came about after stumbling across a home brewing store. 'Having moved to Bondi upon completion of biochemistry and microbiology from Armidale's University of New England, I was enamoured the moment I opened the door. I walked out with a half dozen kegs and a stovetop kit and just got straight into it in the kitchen', shares Sam. Putting good use to his double degree, Sam soon had fermenting kegs hidden in every cupboard and much to wife Kate's bemusement, even under the bed!
Fixing teeth daily, brewing weekly, and dreaming every other moment about opening a brewer of his own, it was off the back of a decision to get away from big city life that Sam and Kate took a leap of faith. Financially supported by taking on the role as a lead dentist at Nambucca, they moved back to Armidale, bought a 40-acre block and went about building Great Hops. With much blood, sweat and beers, Sam, along with mates Damien Blanch and Darren Haigh, brewed their first commercial beer in 2017. Three years later they opened their rural taproom. While the core range is solid, it’s the medical precision given to every aspect of this limited release Harvest IPA that makes it disturbingly drinkable for an 8% ABV. Employing Sam’s own fresh hops with those grown by Hilltop Hops in Brisbane, the combination of Cascade and Columbus layer pine, citrus and grapefruit atop a subtle herbal body and a building bitterness.
It may be an anaesthetist that brings the gift of oblivion, but it's this dentist that is delivering nirvana, a can at a time!