My flute teacher used to say before I played, ‘take a deep breath, so you can be in it’. That is not bad advice as you lean in to talk with a mate over this beer about more than just what happened at band camp!

Origin – Jervis Bay, New South Wales
ABV – 6.3%
Size – 375mL can
Style – Indian Pale Ale

'What is this? A centre for ants? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building' refuted the dim-witted but good-natured male model about the miniature architectural model of the Derek Zoolander Centre For Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too.

Thankful Derek wasn't behind the planning of his academy. We can be similarly grateful that he had nothing to do with the school of hops. I can imagine what a disaster an educational facility built entirely out of hopbines would be! I suspect the structural integrity of a skinny little vine with a few flowers hanging about wouldn't be great. And even if it was, then what? Just teach kids the typical curriculum in an albeit very lovely-smelling garden? To what end?!

Luckily, it is Jervis Bay in charge, and in this instance, they are talking about a series of single-hop pale ales. This fourth entry is a study in Eclipse. After commercialising Galaxy, Ella, Vic Secret and Enigma in quick succession from 2009 to 2013, Eclipse became the first new variety to graduate from Hop Products Australia's breeding program in seven years. Launched mid-Covid, the latest great green hope has been used explicitly here by head brewer Oisin Sweeney to exude more hop character and plenty more oomph. Unlike others, the essence of Eclipse isn't bland and fruit salady. Instead is easily identifiable by its bold mandarin aroma, which, when layered here with zesty citrus peel and fresh pine needles, is nothing short of stunning.

It's really, really, ridiculously good-looking... and tastes as good as it looks!