Look over the old films and photos and there’s one thing that stands out; they comprise of more than a single individual – there are no selfies! Instead frame after frame of family, friends and mates talking over and great beers such as this TPA

ORIGIN. Erina, New South Wales
ABV. 4.2%
SIZE. 375mL can
STYLE. Pale Ale

I’m actually a little disappointed to share that the brewery wasn’t set up by Jimmy, Jody and some guys from school in the summer of 69. But I am reliably informed that school buddies and founders Chris Benson and Adam Klasterka did have bleeding fingers following a three-year battle with planning permission, bureaucracy, council by-laws and even opposition from public figures in their home community of Erina, on the NSW Central Coast, an hour’s drive north of Sydney. I also have it on competent authority that Chris does play the six-string which, not surprisingly, is where the brewery got its name.

Now unlike most blokes growing up on the Central Coast, rather than reaching for the surfboard wax, Chris was more interested in coding, home brewing and playing bass. While it was this love of good music and great beer that now defines his current career, it wasn’t always that way. You see, unlike home brewing and playing in a garage band, being an IT guru provides more than a square meal of frozen pizza pockets and Toohey’s New. Thus, it was with that bank account full of bitcoins that he built his own commercial-scale brewing fit-out with a 12-tap tasting room, a hip restaurant and a cool bar that takes centre stage – because it pretty much is a stage!

And since pulling open the roller door in 2013, Six Strings hasn’t looked back, proving popular with both locals and Sydney day-trippers. Yet despite its popularity, there’s a relaxed vibe to the place, a far cry from the drunken raucousness that the objectors had feared initially. It’s a vibe that also flows over into their beers, this Tropical Pale Ale a case in point. Brewed to sit at an approachable midway point between a lager and a regular pale ale, she’s insanely sessionable. Pouring a beautiful mango yellow with a little lacing and very light carbonation, the aroma is all pineapple and passionfruit. The flavour also bursts forth with the same characters along with some restrained malt sweetness and a pronounced bitter finish.

It might not have been Jimmy, but a few years after opening Adam did quit and was replaced by another of Chris’ school friends, another local Ryan Harries. With family still in the area, I can only assume that after closing hours the lads head back to mama’s porch, crack open a Six String and reflect that these are the best days of their lives!