Next time life hits us with its lemons let's not limit ourselves or our mate to self-talk like 'just deal with it.' Instead, let's share one of these beers and talk about how difficult and shitty things really are.
Origin – Willunga, South Australia
Size- 375mL can
Style- Golden Ale
Since colonial times, Australians have been brilliant at coming up with great nicknames for people. Anyone who's ever spent a little time in the pub would have known a 'Whisper' – a bloke who's never been known to shout. Our friendship groups are full of wonderfully apt putdowns in the form of a personal monikers. I cycle with a friend we call 'Pothole' because everyone avoids him, and my soccer team striker is known as 'Jigsaw' because he went through a spell where every time he got in the box, he fell to pieces. Then there's my mate TC whose byname is 'Showbags', as he is full of crap!
Lee Stone, the founder and head brewer of Shifty Lizard, gained the nickname that his brewery is assigned while installing beer equipment in London. Though Stone's tight-lipped on its origins, co-founder and Shifty Lizard marketing man Danny Straps let slip that his co-workers gave him the label after catching him 'testing the taps' on an install. Word is he was discovered at 11am drinking like a lizard – that shifty bugger! True to form, Stone has been flat-out like a lizard drinking ever since. After returning to SA, he joined Straps in early 2017, and the duo launched Shifty Lizard with a Pale Ale and IPA. Initially, Stone worked by day and brewed each night in his back shed. Though with demand outstripping supply, the pair were soon gypsy brewing larger batches at Vale Brewing, with Stone continuing to use his backyard setup to develop trial batches to be launched when opening a taphouse sometime down the track.
That 'sometime' came much sooner than expected when both launch beers received a bronze medal at the Royal Adelaide Beer Awards. With the label's profile in the headlines, the new Shifty Lizard microbrewery swung open its doors on its first anniversary. Located in a former butcher's shop in the centre of the prestigious wine region of McLaren Vale, the cosy space is far from shifty. The atmosphere is less like a lizard drinking and more akin to one soaking up the sun on a rock. It's where you find locals and travellers alike sitting down to a range of core beers and limited releases, such as this Odin Skies Golden Ale, a collaboration with the local Viking Festival. Suitable for a BBQ or bloodthirsty pillage, it's lightly hopped, clean and crisp. Slight honey sweetness from a healthy dose of malt additions perfectly balances the Strata and Zamba driven hop bitterness.
At a 4.2% abv and just over 1 standard drink, it's one for my buddy Pete who’s dubbed ‘Autumn Leaves’, as he's always falling to the ground after a few.