Dust off the shaker, pick a few limes, track down some Glacé cherries and grab this cold craft – it’s perfect for cocktail hour conversations.
Origin – Bassendean, Western Australia
Size- 375mL can
Style- Red Ale
There's a saying 'the harder the hill, the steeper the climb, the better the view from the finishing line'. Though John Stallwood, the owner and founder of WA's Nail Brewing is far from finished, based on how difficult the climb to the heady height's he stands on today, it must be one fantastic view.
Like so many, John's brewing story begins with a homebrew kit. It was 1994. Such was John's determination even then, that two years later (four years before his first commercial beer was tapped) he registered the Nail Ale trademark. On March 23, 2000, the first official pint was poured at the opened Nail Brewing's start-up microbrewery at Bobby Dazzler's Ale House, a pub in the heart of Perth's CBD. The market was a lot different back then – Little Creatures wouldn't open their doors until six months later, and the task of convincing those who'd been rusted on to the big players was no mean feat. Yet the climb was just beginning. In 2004, John was assaulted while trying to stop a fight between strangers outside a pub and was so severely injured that his brain was shut down. Placed into a coma, a piece of titanium the size of a dinner plate was put into his skull. To pay the mounting medical bills and keep Nail from bankruptcy, John's parents sold their son's brewery. It would be eight years later, having eased himself back into brewing, that he completed his comeback by entering into the production partnership with Feral Brewing, run by his longstanding friend Brendan Varis.
Then, for the second time in his life, Nail was upended by a blow he didn't see coming when in 2017 Feral was sold to CCA – in effect John had lost his brewery. Yet despite starting all over again through gypsy brewing, today, Nail is bigger and better. Which is a fitting way to describe this full-bodied red ale that is surprisingly light on its feet for a 6 per-center. Originally released as a one-off, John figured it was too good to be brewed just once. Pouring into the glass with a delicious red hue, the Red, well-balanced in flavour and loaded with malt, carries a tropical and citrus aroma courtesy of double dry hopping. The palate itself tingles with fruity flavours alongside the rich caramel malts, before finishing smooth, tasty and sessionable!
John tells me he's a big Kenny Rogers fan. With beers this good I'm thankful he's gone through life, holding 'em rather than folding 'em!