Whether you need to lay yourself down or give a friend a hand up, this brew is perfect for a conversation about how to be a ‘bridge over troubled water’ for a mate.
Origin – Jervis Bay, New South Wales
ABV – 5.2%
Size – 375mL can
Style – Extra Pale Ale
Monuments to the nowadays-startling fact that there was a time when we didn't always know where we were, the lighthouse has become a relic of an ancient civilisation. But long before the tall white towers became a historical attraction they were navigational necessities. Each day the lighthouse keeper would climb the steps to pour whale oil into a lamp to keep ships off reefs. Similarly, history records our local pubs as lighthouses within the hearts of the community. They were a safe place where you could share with mates - helping avoid the shipwrecks of life. Yet these days the schooners, conversation and counter meals have been replaced by the ding of soul-destroying poker machines.
It's not a trend that sat well with four mates from NSW's South Coast, so while standing around a backyard barbecue in early-2018, Oisin Sweeney, Paul Walker, Ben Hutchings and Christian Wood decided to do something about it. 18 months later they began gypsy brewing before earlier this year opening the doors to Jervis Bay's first brewing operation. The image that looms large above the bar and adorns every can is a schooner-glass-become-lighthouse. Not only is it a reference to the local Point Perpendicular lighthouse that has provided safe passage to the bay for other 100 years, but it's also a nod to the community first approach in which the lads have created a space where all walks of life can come to share a beer and an ear.
And while financially they couldn't have picked a worse time to open their doors – just as the fires that ravaged much of the east coast of Australia hit Jervis Bay and its surrounds, immediately followed by the COVID19 travel restrictions – the beacon of light the brewery has provided for the community couldn't have come at a more critical time. And one of the five beers that you'll find those locals crafting a conversation over is this XPA.
While the name itself is a reference to another time that the community had to pull together, to stop the government of the time's bright idea to construct Australia's first nuclear reactor on the pristine Jervis Bay headland, it's also a hint to what's contained within. As a single-hopped XPA, it's bright and radiant. While the Citra hop is dominant, it's kept in check with the addition of crystal malt delivering a full-flavoured citrus hit, a robust malt bill and a mildly bitter finish.
Be you a frontier stoic maintaining a crucial fortress against the forces of wrack and ruin or just the self-appointed sheriff of your own lighthouse, you've found your beer!