Taking a class in how to sew I proved to myself you can teach an old dog new tricks. A little education was all that was needed. Perhaps it's been a while since you talked with a mate. Maybe you never have. Either way, it's never too late to learn. Crack one of the 'educational aids' from this box with a friend and give it a go.
Origin – Bathurst, New South Wales
ABV – 6.5%
Size – 375mL can
Style – Indian Pale Ale
When Jon Clipsham moved into his family to Bathurst, he felt disconnected. He was surrounded by people yet completely separate. It's an ironic sense that many of us feel. For Jon, it was a call to action. The 35-year-old school teacher joined the Bathurst Fruit Squad, a volunteer group of fruit-loving vigilantes that harvest surplus fruit from residents and put it to good use. While it sounds like a sentimental backstory told by a MasterChef contestant from the magic narration room that sits outside the space/time continuum, where the contestants compete to serve up the juiciest soundbite, it is, in fact, the true story of a journey that led to this cumquat IPA.
Reckless, founded as a side project by Jarrod Moore and Alice Wilson, along with the then head brewer at Akasha, Grace Flower had previously operated without a base before taking over the former home of Bathurst's Two Heads Brewing. For nearly four years, the town had been without a local, so upon learning it would once again have a beer to call its own, one of the first through the doors was the BFS' newest member. 'I was searching for a good craft beer like I used to drink in Sydney, ' shares Jon, 'and I found it coupled with country hospitality!' At the bar in the gorgeous heritage-listed flour mill, complete with rustic timber and a fireplace, Jon discovered Grace's habit of dumping large amounts of hops and other unique ingredients into each brew, pumping out beers that positively sung with high aroma and low bitterness. One thing led to another and another, with the headline of the local paper capturing the fruit (pardon the pun!) of that first conversation; ‘Cumquat may, Bathurst's Fruit Squad nurtures fruit, friendship and frothies'.
Using almost half a tonne of resident-harvested cumquat, this IPA is a bitter fusion of Inner west Sydney meeting regional west NSW. Bright out of the tin and ready to party, the upfront impression is all citrus, pineapple and bubblegum, with the cumquats and their sweet peel bringing plenty of character. Ever evolving as you drink, there's a bitterness carrying the taste of grain and a minerally dryness in the finish, along with a slight alcoholic flavour as it warms.
Both Jon and this IPA sound like someone and something I could make friends with!