Whilst it might be some ore that’s financially holding up Australia's reputation as the lucky country, it’s through sharing conversations over ales such as this that we can hold up mates during such an unlucky time for so many.
Origin – Bassendean, Western Australia
ABV – 6.5%
Size – 375mL can
Style – Pale 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 heights he stands on today, it must be a fantastic view! Typically, Stallwood's brewing story begins with a homebrew kit he purchased in 1994. Such was his determination, in 1996 he registered the Nail Ale trademark – some four years before the first commercial beer was tapped! That moment came in early 2000 at the newly opened Nail microbrewery situated within the Bobby Dazzler Ale House, a pub in the heart of Perth's CBD. The market was a 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 little did he know, the climb had just begun.
While trying to stop a fight between strangers outside a pub in 2004, Stallwood was so severely injured that his brain shut down. Rushed to ER in a coma, he had a piece of titanium the size of a dinner plate put into his skull. In no state to walk or talk, let alone brew, his parents sold their son's brewery to both keep it from bankruptcy and to pay the mounting medical bills. Owning nothing more than his Nail trademark, John spent the next eight years easing himself back into brewing.
Ready again to take things to the next level, he entered into a production partnership with Feral Brewing, run by his longstanding mate Brendan Varis. Then, for the second time in his life, Nail was upended by a blow he didn't see coming, with Varis selling Feral to CCA – in effect, John had lost his brewery...again! Fortunately, CCA agreed to let him stay, but with only a few dollars in the bank and just his trademark, Stallwood was back to gypsy brewing.
Despite it all, Nail today is bigger and better than it ever was. Which is a fitting way to describe this hoppy and juicy Very Pale Ale that is brewed with just a single hop. It's that El Dorado that provides the colossal pineapple, passionfruit and orange characteristics that carry through the aroma and onto the palate before finishing clean lingering bitterness.
Whatever mountain you've had to climb, this absorbing and refreshing pale is sure to improve the panorama.