Fair-weather friends are easy to come by, but where are they when the chips are down? Yet it’s in the difficult times when we need them by our side, even if they can't do it literally. Here’s the perfect lubricant for sitting beside a mate and reminding him that you're here for the long haul.

Origin – Mornington, Victoria
ABV – 4.9%
Size – 375mL
Style – Extra Pale Ale

It's fair to say that the first thing that springs to mind when someone mentions the Mornington Peninsula isn't a fantastic craft brewery. Wineries and incredible beaches? Possibly. The disappearance of PM Harold Holt in '67? Likely! Yet despite the story having as many twists and turns as Harold's disappearance from Cheviot Beach on the seaward side of the peninsula, Mornington Peninsula Brewery is here to stay!

What first started as a crazy idea concocted between mates Matty Bebe and Mal McLean over a few beers during the 2006 AFL Grand Final, became a reality just two years later. Then with the help of head brewery Andrew Gow, a crowd-pleasing core range was established. However, it was the specialty batches which really started to draw attention, such as their trophy-winning Imperial Stout. Such was Mornington Peninsular Brewer’s popularity that in 2014 they added to the brewpub operation a larger brewery around the corner, becoming only the second Aussie micro to install their own canning line. Yet with things continuing to grow, and Matt spending less time crafting crazy ideas and more time on the commercials, in late 2018 Matt agreed to sell up to Tribe Breweries to refocus on his first love.

Initially deciding to stay on help out, eighteen months later Bebe again found himself the owner of the brewery. Well, kind of. Tar Barrel Brewery & Distillery, the new brainchild of Bebe is a partnership with Tribe in the same brewpub, just with a different name. Mornington remains on tap as does the focus on specialty and barrel-aged beers. Part of that realignment of heart was also the introduction of an operational distillery, knocking out gin and whisky. It's a move that's seen Matt team up again with old mate Andrew Gow, the man responsible for this XPA, that in itself is a twist on an old-time favourite, the Hop Culture.

Surprisingly sessionable, it's a beer that delivers on the tropical hop front, both in terms of aroma and flavour, without all the bitterness. The lean malt profile is packed with aromas of citrus, stonefruit, lemon, pine and mango which goes as easy as…well our 17th Prime Minister.


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