HOPSTERS PALE

Grab this beer, turn the dial up to 11 and get angry about the really important things in life, like the state of mental health.

Origin – Enmore, New South Wales
ABV- 5.2%
Size- 375mL can
Style- Pale Ale

Since its inception, crowdfunding has raised over $10 trillion. Funding everything from Shebah, a women's ride-sharing app, to the Coolest Cooler, a hi-tech esky with a built-in blender and Bluetooth stereo. The first brewery to get in on crowdfunding was the U.K.'s Brew Dog, who in 2009 raised $1 million. Endeavour became the first Australian brewery to raise capital in such a fashion, pulling in $500,000. They have since been joined by Black Hops, Dainton and Holgate. Though while your $250 investment might get you a hat, T-shirt and warm feeling inside, the closest you'll get to a title deed will be your 0.00001% slice of the pie.

It was a fact not lost on Marco Vargas when dreaming about taking control of his own brewery. So, instead of jumping on Kickstarter, he messaged 15 mates on Facebook and asked them if they wanted in. Marco's concept was to form a jointly-owned brewing enterprise that would be open to an ever-growing number of members. In late 2016 Hopsters was incorporated as Australia's first beer co-op. With a motto 'Drink like you own the place', the vision from the outset was to both brew beer and have a place to meet in which to enjoy the spoils. Four years and 600 members later, it was fulfilled when Hopsters opened its taproom on Enmore Road.

Unlike other bars, the first people through the doors weren't just customers, they were owners – every single one of them. 'Yet it isn't just about beers' says co-owner Byron Lotz, who maintains, 'the community aspect alone is enough to draw people into Hopsters ranks'. But, when the beers inevitably do flow, you can be guaranteed you'll be drinking brews by small producers, which, in most cases, belong to the co-op.

While there are dedicated taps to those up-and-comers, it's this flagship from Hopsters that sits in pride of place on top of the list. Blending U.S., N.Z. and Aussie hops, it is a hop-forward pale full of aromas and flavours of citrus and passionfruit, sitting a-top of balanced bitterness and a fantastic mouth-drying aftertaste.

I'd suggest throwing a few in your Coolest Cooler, however, despite raking in $13 Million in crowdfunding, the esky start-up went belly up, leaving 20,000 folks with no way to keep their beer cold.

HOPSTERS

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