A beer perfect beer for sharing as we climb the mental health mountain, bridging the great divide that results in so many not seeking help early.
Origin – Bowan Park, New South Wales
ABV – 7.8%
Size – 375mL can
Style – IPA
'I've been around the world a couple of times or maybe more. I've seen the sights, I've had delights on every foreign shore. But when my mates all ask me the place that I adore, I tell them right away.' These catchy lyrics may have been penned by John Williamson, but they could very well be the biography of Pioneer Brewing Co's founder Pete Gerber. Having travelled and worked in over 70 countries across the globe, initially as a backpacker and then as a skilled engineer, Pete had seen more than his fair share of foreign shores. However, when longing for a home for his young family, he decided to return to a place he adored.
Despite growing up in South Africa, with a fondness for rural Australia discovered during his adventures, Pete laid down roots on the farming property of Bowan Park, some 27km west of Orange in the heart of Regional NSW. Sitting on prime grazing land, he began by sowing oats and barley for the sheep before the beer fanatic, and long-time home brewery decided to chase a dream and mix a little lagering with his lambing. With a vision to create a meeting place for the local farming community and a mission to source all the necessary ingredients within his own fence line, he set about the project with the determination of a shepherd looking for a lost sheep.
By early 2017 he had ticked both boxes. The epitome is the local farmers sitting around on a few old 44-gallon drums sharing conversation over a few tinnies. Behind them sits a 17 hectolitre brewhouse and canning line producing a constant rotation of family-owned, locally farmed, sustainably made, handcrafted beers. Made from the ground up like all those gone before, this Cold IPA includes 75% Pioneer grown malt. Combined with lager yeast and new world hops, it's bright and zingy on the tongue with a hit of bitterness in the back. Fruity and floral aromas sit atop the restrained malt body – the big distinction of the cold IPA style – that makes this beer ridiculously drinkable for a 6.8% ABV.
This one is just as much in its element by the fire with a mate as it is at home among the gum trees!