The BBQ is the cornerstone of Aussies culture. It’s the great leveler and a great place to check in on a mate with a sang in hand and some suds like this.
Origin – Stepney, South Australia
ABV – 6.0%
Size – 375mL can
Style – India Red Ale
The moment I laid eyes on the bespectacled redhead on the can, I figured it was an ode to the socially awkward 16-year-old from Idaho. The boy who became the unlikely school hero after spontaneously performing an elaborate dance routine as part of a campaign to elect his best friend as class president. Although that's not quite the case, according to the description on the label – "Ira doesn't go for sports, he's not interested in the school disco, but you should see his collection of vintage Spiderman" – he is remarkably similar to the nerdy hero from the 2004 cult-classic Napoleon Dynamite. In fact, I'd have it at a guess that the Little Bang duo, a pair that switched from designing video game characters to beers, had the film on rotation as they created this blend of IPA, Red Ale and Scotch Ale in a backyard shed with just enough room to squeeze between the kettle and the cool room.
It was there in Australia's smallest commercial brewery where the bespectacled Adelaide geeks Fil Kemp and Ryan Davidson established Little Bang Brewing in 2014. For two years, armed with equipment made of repurposed winemaking gear, the shed was Little Bang's home. But with the South Australian public loving what they made, beer running out frequently, and Fil sick of Ryan's sweaty body rubbing up against his as they moved around the shed, it was time for an upgrade. They moved to a small warehouse, however with their popularity growing as quickly as their range of unconventional beers and the eye-catching cans it was only a matter of time before the duo needed even more space.
Yet despite now packaging and distributing thousands of litres a week from their site in the heart of Adelaide, their beers remain as off-kilter as the humour from two of the sharper minds in the local industry. Somewhat like Fil and Ryan, this Indian Red Ale is not the coolest beer style around, but it does stop you in your tracks. Stacked high with specialty malts and hops, it's a hybrid ale that's all booze and IBU's. Toffee, Turkish Delight and pineapple. As Ryan says 'he's weird, but he's good'.
I'd usually vote for Pedro, but after a can of this, I've swung!