Next time life hits us with its lemons let's not limit ourselves or our mate to self-talk like 'just deal with it.' Instead, let's share one of these beers and talk about how difficult and shitty things really are.
Origin – Katoomba, New South Wales
ABV – 7.2%
Size – 500mL can
Style – West Coast IPA
‘Four score and seven years ago'. Not a US citizen alive doesn't know of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. His tribute to the sacrifice of those who died in the cause of freedom drilled deep into the heart of the American spirit. While it's not as well-known, train driver become PM Ben Chifley’s Light on the Hill speech is our equivalent. It spoke of a fair go for all, a better future, and respect for the achievers and battlers alike. DJ McCready's discourse at the opening of his mecca on the mountain is the comparable version of a passionate plea within the craft beer circles, pledging to make, as is now stated on the website, Really Good Beer!
Through transforming a dilapidated former local newspaper office built in 1912 into the first brewpub in the Blue Mountains, along with his wife Harriot, unlike Lincoln and Chifley, DJ has delivered on the promise. It's not the first time, however, he has delivered. McCready was part of the team at Oskar Blues that revolutionised craft beer across the US and, more recently, helped Modus Operandi shoot to fame on the back of multiple award-winning brews. Indeed, given past accomplishments, it's no revelation the speed at which the Katoomba brewery has become a light on the craft beer hill, with Mountain Culture amassing a somewhat cult-like status across the country since first opening in late 2019.
And with local and coast-to-coast consumption resulting in demand outstripping supply, in late 2021, the team expanded into a new production facility at the foot of the mountains in Emu Plains. 'It's a pretty cool problem to have', shares DJ, 'it's allowed for more production and still allows our Katoomba site to focus on super experimental brews.' This Amarillo by Sunrise is one such brew that fits squarely into the speculative space. Part of a dual Single Hop release alongside Simcoe By Sunset, it’s a WCIPA that showcases Amarillo hops in all their glory. Exerting traditional floral aromas and subtle notes of grapefruit, melon and peach, this beer is brought to life by a slightly confronting bitterness followed by a refreshing hit of orange citrus, giving the beer a pleasant palatable finish.
At 7.2% ABV, it's not one you'll be able to consume four score and seven of, still, I guarantee you'll be reaching for a second!