Grab a pair of these crafts and invite over a friend to goof off. Then take a half time break from your lounge room version of the world game to start on a convo that could well change the world for your mate.
Origin – Geelong, Victoria
ABV – 4.6%
Size – 330mL bottle
Style – Dark Lager
Known as the father of refrigeration, James Harrison was granted a British patent in 1856 and went on to sell his ice-making machines around the world. Like me, this is a world-changing Australian inventor you probably haven't heard of. This is particularly tragic given our forefather's machine made it possible to control temperature during brewing - a feat that paved the way for most beer styles we enjoy today. Having made the trek from his native Scotland to the Australian colonies many years earlier, at an unassuming bend of Geelong's Barwon River, Harrison changed the way beer was brewed and consumed throughout the world.
Located a stone’s throw from that bend is Southern Bay Brewing. Founded in 1988 and now listed among the oldest working breweries in Australia, like Harrison, few have ever heard of it. That was, of course, until mid-2019 when the then CEO posted a homophobic meme on Instagram which read, 'Non-alcoholic beer – you mean gay lemonade?'. Not surprisingly, Southern Bay hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. It was a regrettable post with a detrimental reputation impact only matched by the refrigeration pioneer that this Harrison's Rocky Point was brewed to honour; In 1873, Harrison invested all his funds in a historic first attempt to take frozen meat to Britain. Halfway there, the refrigeration broke down, and all 20 tons had to be thrown overboard. Harrison arrived in London meatless, mirthless and with his repute in tatters.
While Harrison would never recover, having owned, accepted and learnt from the colossal faux pas, by contrast, the outlook for the current team at Southern Bay is as bright, vibrant and rich as this dark lager. Inspired by Scotland's malty ales and smoky peated whisky, where Harrison was born, it brings a balance of flavours worthy of your attention while still capturing that easy-drinking quality. Savoury character intertwines with subtle cola in the mouth, flowing over the tongue smoothly as it comes to a gentle chocolate finish. There's an unexpected cleanness to it all, with just a hint of smoke lingering after the liquid's gone as an invitation to reach back into the refrigerator to grab another.
And when you do, don't forget to say thank you to James Harrison!