Despite the road being long, with many a winding turn …it often seems to disappear so quickly. So, let’s not wait for the wake, grab this cold craft – it’s all the lubrication you need to be brave and tell a mate, your brother, the tribe, what they mean to you. It's a beautiful way to not only encourage another, but it opens the door to a conversation about life's sometimes bumpy road. Remember, eulogies are also for the living!
Origin – Cowes, Victoria
Size- 375mL can
Style- Pale Ale
I'm sure we're all familiar with the "desert island" concept, where you pick a certain limited amount of things in a chosen category to bring with you to a desert island, where you presumably would spend the rest of your days with no access to anything else in that category. Though while it's only fiction for most, it's been a reality for the craft beer drinkers of Phillip Island.
Despite being only 140km south-east of Melbourne and settled almost two centuries ago, until recently, the only way both the four thousand locals and the 3.5 million visitors per annum could get a beer on the island was to bring your own (or have it brought over for you) from the mainland. Thought those visiting in recent years may have spotted other businesses using brewery as part of their name such as the Phillip Island Brewing Company, it was Simon Bismire, the founder and owner of Ocean Reach that brought brewing to Phillip Island for the first time in its history. Having spent evenings and weekends perfecting his small-batch home brews in his parent's garage in Bendigo, it took years of planning and a courageous leap of faith for Simon, wife Alex, and his father and business partner Wayne to set up permanently in a place where the family had holidayed most weekends.
But since squeezing a brewery, bar and kitchen into the tight space that was formerly a clothing store in late 2016, Ocean Reach, situated in the islands main township of Cowes has been overflowing with locals and travellers alike. Such was its popularity that within two years a production brewery had to be established just to keep the taps flowing. And together as families and friends, they continue to come to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and share an ale 'made on the island, for the island' as Simon likes to say. Although the range changes with the season, there's one beer that the locals go back to time after time – this pale ale. Formerly known as the Island Pale, it was the first commercial pale to ever be produced on Phillip Island, and before its recent release in cans, it spent years prior only available from the taphouse. In the mouth, it's clean and crisp, with a bitter finish and just a touch of sweetness, while the combination of late hop additions and a generous dry-hopping produce a floral yet subtle nose.
Whether it be Phillip Island or a deserted one, if I had only one beer to see out my life with, I'd be pretty satisfied to be stuck with an endless six-pack of these!