Glass bottles are gone, but much of the stigma around mental health remains. Share this beer with a mate and together let’s make positive convo’s as common as cans!
Origin – Kirrawee, New South Wales
ABV – 4.5%
Size – 375mL can
Style – XPA
The lads down there in the Shire have done it again. No, started another riot. That said if the region in Sydney's southern suburbs continues the way it's going with top-notch craft beers increasingly being released by Hairyman, Sunday Road and Shark Island Brewery, the boys up in Sydney’s inner west might take up arms Anchorman style and march south to start a turf war. And if you think James Peebles, the head brewer and co-founder of Shark Island, isn't ready for a brawl, you'd be underestimating him. You don't introduce craft beer to a local area that had been drinking massed produced bitters and lagers for generations without some fight in you.
And it's this determination that has helped James and the team reshape the beer culture in the Shire. Named after the iconic reef island surf break found off the point of Cronulla, the roller doors of Shark Island Brewing were opened in 2015 by James and a couple of knockabout blokes who loved nothing more than a day at the beach with a cold beer to follow. In a stroke of luck, the following year the local football team won their first-ever NRL Premiership. James quickly knocked up a Premier's Lager to celebrate the Shire triumph, and case after case flew out the door. Albeit capitalising on this topical event put them on the resident's radar, it's been the consistent quality of its core range coupled with a regular array of bolder creative offerings for the more adventurous that have kept the locals coming back.
The latest addition to the line-up is this XPA. Unlike some of the more t-shirt worthy limited releases that James pulls out of the pilot tanks, this Galaxy driven XPA is the humble kind of beer that can be consumed rather than rated online. Named after another local surf break, the Sandshoes has a classic tropical passion fruit nose with hints of citrus, delivered with such balance that the bitterness is barely perceptible, resulting in a smooth, refreshing drop that barely touches the sides.
If you ask me, the only improvement would be to add a little Sex Panther by Odeon. It's illegal in nine countries. Yep, it's made with bits of real panther. So, you know it's good!