Whilst it might be some ore that’s financially holding up Australia's reputation as the lucky country, it’s through sharing conversations over ales such as this that we can hold up mates during such an unlucky time for so many.
Origin – Perth, Western Australia
ABV – 4.2%
Size – 375mL can
Style – Lager
Against the desolate backdrop of our run-down cul-de-sac as children we created our own version of the frontline. It was neighbour verse neighbour. Brandishing all kinds of weaponry from plastic assault rifles to flour grenades we let loose on the enemy. We were fighting an imaginary turf war… aiming, shooting and dying with aplomb. With our weapon of choice, the 5.5 calibre, fully automatic F88 Austeyr we were unnervingly skilful in the art of combat. Our imaginations were laid bare – it was exhilarating… and just that tiny bit dangerous.
Little did we know in our childhood innocence the horrors of war where soldiers like Signaller Geffrey Gregg carried that same weapon into severe and protracted firefights in Afghanistan and Iraq, where real people died. Like too many, on returning to Australia, the 25-year-old Signaller developed symptoms of PTSD and was medically discharged from the army. Tragically, this once bubbly and veracious proud Australian soldier committed suicide two years later. To date, 419 young veterans have done the same since 2001.
As a former veteran himself, having served in the army with a stint in East Timor, Adam Barnard knows all too well the demons that those returning home have to deal with. Deciding to do something about it, he teamed up fellow Perth locals Mick Little, Steve Jansen and John Gibbs to launch Australia’s first veteran and indigenous owned craft brewing operation (Spinifex has long been used by Aboriginal people to make flour from the seeds and resin for tools). –. Also knowing first hand that soldiers, sailors and aviators love a beer with their mates, the team figured what better way to support those who have served us than brewing this thirst crushing lager.
Infused with native Australian ingredients, as is the core range of five that includes a Lemon Myrtle Summer Ale and a Wattle Seed Amber Ale, this F88 is as smooth and reliable as its namesake. Much like traditional Munich style lagers, head brewery John Gibbs has created a pilsner with a mildly hoppy and delicately malted aroma. While the grainy malt profile in the mouth matches the genre, the faint spice and light toast provides a flavour that balances the 'easy to drink' with the 'keep it interesting'.
With 50% of the profits from every single beer sold going to support the healing and mental wellbeing of active and returned service personnel, there's never been a better reason to raise a glass for our soldiers and those who have come before them.