A stitch in time saves nine. These suds for sewing are the perfect lubricant to get your inner Singer going!

Origin – Wooloware Bay. NSW
ABV- 5.2%
Size- 375mL can
Style- American Pale Ale

It seems the system that originated in ancient Rome and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe well into the late middle ages has become too complicated for modern use. Though Roman numerals were used there for thousands of years, in 2015 the Rome City Council phased them out from their birthplace after they were deemed too complicated for the modern-day capital. And it's not just the Italians that have ditched the system that is represented by combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet. Having continuously used Roman numerals since Super Bowl V in 1971, the NFL ditched their use when celebrating game 50, concerned that the uppercase 'L' would be linked to its universal use as the hand signal for loser.

Fortunately, for the method that is almost as old as beer itself, a few are standing behind it. One of them is Andy Orrel, the owner and founder of Hairyman Brewery. A stone's throw away from where Captain Cook and his HMS Endeavour (with its build date of MDCCLXIV emblazoned on her stern) dropped anchor in Botany Bay, Andy launched this IXPA to celebrate the breweries ninth creation.

Deriving its name from the folklore of a large wild hairy man from Botany Bay who roamed the area in the early days of settlement stealing beer from sailors just like Cook and his crew, it has been a case of favourable winds for the eight Hairyman offerings that have gone before.  The foundation brew, the Lawson's Legend pale ale that this American pale ale was modelled on, is still in just as much demand as the day Andy and wife Joan opened the doors in early 2016.  While the Legend is earthy with a hint of citrus, this Nine beams with fruity overtones. The prominent malt flavour which is characteristic of many of Andy's beers is balanced by slight orange pith and sticky marmalade, serving up a mid-palate that's both rich and bittersweet. The generous load of Cascade and Pacifica hops not only deliver the zesty elements but a pleasant bitterness that lingers long after the finish. Whereas the core range itself would be right at home in Sydenham, St Kilda or Scarborough, this IXPA has me reminiscent of the English ales likely aboard the Endeavour or others like her on their eighteenth-century voyages of discovery.

Oh, and MDCCLXIV is 1764 for the uninitiated!