Two red telephones, one in the White House, the other in the Kremlin, allowed Kennedy and Khrushchev to talk each other down from the brink of nuclear war! Perhaps now during such critical times, the best way to divert a crisis is to pick up the phone and check in on a mate over this ‘virtual’ cold craft.

Origin – Manly Vale, New South Wales
ABV- 4.8%
Size- 375mL can
Style- Pale Ale

Every religion seems to have its idiosyncrasies. While some are well-known facts, others are no better than TV fiction. The Church of Scientology - best known for its most famous member Tom Cruise – claims a member can overcome the reactive mind (called Going Clear), seems to fall into the former. All Mormons being encouraged to have multiple wives, as portrayed in the television polygamy drama 'Big Love' most certainly the latter. Quakers being required to always wear a hat falls somewhere between the two. While the various Quaker movements also have some kooky idiosyncrasies of their own, what unites them all is their belief in the ability of every person to experientially access 'the light within'.

While it's clear the team at Quakers Hat Brewing have readily accessed the 'light within' to deliver a (tasty as hell!) core range of small-batch brews, other than the famous hat on the logo, there is no further religious enlightenment. Founded by Dave, Nick and Cam Robinson, the name instead is a throwback to the family home in Quakers Hat Bay, in Sydney's Lower North Shore. It's where the father and his two sons brewed their first 20-litre batch. As they say, from little things big things grow, and the family homebrewing hobby soon got serious. That lead to opening the doors of a 10hL boutique brewery out the back of a wood furnishings store in Manly Vale in 2019. The next step, pending council approval, is to move later this year to a roomier site in Brookvale, allowing them to double their limited brewing capacity and open up a tap house.

 As you'd expect from a family affair, it's all hands-on deck, and though the lads do a bit of anything and everything, father Dave is the general labelled as the money man, with Nick running operations and Cam the self-taught brewing mastermind. That said, it isn't all the 'spirit within', Cam's had a little help along the way, recently completing a commercial brewing course and also getting valuable advice working alongside 7th Day Brewing. While for Dave trying to pick his prized beer is like trying to choose a favourite son, he admits he'll always have a fondness for this Pale Ale, being the beer that got it all started. Pouring a brilliant pale yellow with a faint white head, it serves up subtle aromas of tropical sweetness along with hints of passionfruit, pine and spicy botanicals. Balanced perfectly by a firm malt backbone, the mouth follows the nose before finishing with a lingering but moderate bitterness.

Be it a Quaker, Panama or baseball, hats off to the lads for enlightening me with every sip of this one!