ST ANDREWS BEACH BREWING EL CHARRO

Behind all the wisecracks was men are falling through the cracks of life. We must change that! Next time we meet with a mate rather than hiding our feelings behind the jokes, let’s share one of these and openly talk about our blackdogs.

Origin – Figal, Victoria
ABV – 4.5%
Size – 375mL can
Style – Lager

The barrier gates clang open. Horses leap forward. One remains still, the one everyone is watching. And he stands there! Chautauqua, the once in a lifetime racehorse often compared with the greats, was a mobile ATM for his connections, winning big races and ranking in over $9 million in prize money. But right now, he hasn’t just refused to start running, he is magnificently immobile! For a few seconds, the jockey bounces up and down on his back like a kid riding a carousel horse at Luna Park. Two of the other jockeys, already 20 metres down the track, look back as the crowd looks on with wide-eyed amazement.

Enjoying a beer from his St Andrews Beach Brewery, Tommy Berry shares his memories of that evening at Moonee Valley. ‘When the gates opened,' Tommy recalls, ‘he just stood upright, ears pricked, as if posing for a sculptor.’ While that spring evening in 2017 would be the end of the line for Chautauqua, it was just the beginning for SAB.  Along with Andrew Purchase and Michael Freedman, the trio had just completed the transformation of the former home of one of the world’s leading thoroughbred training facilities. Two years prior, they had purchased Markdel at Fingal, the property where Freedman brothers had spent a decade turning out a long line of champions, most notably triple Melbourne Cup winner, Makybe Diva.

And on that first weekend, as the crowds filled the converted horse stables that now houses the breweries beer garden and bar, it was clear the lads were onto another winner. Since then, the core range of beers that celebrate the property’s history, such as 6 Furlongs Pale Ale, an ode to the track’s length, have continued to flow. Then in early 2021, looking to expand beer sales beyond the taps that sit a few metres away from where it's produced, the team joined the barrier draw for GABS. Setting out to produce a fan favourite, master brewer Dermot O’Donnell used corn, agave, lime and sea salt to brew a beer he hoped would bring a touch of sunshine into another problematic year of lockdowns and layoffs. Though not quite first past the post, there was enough demand to recently re-release this El Charro with its lean body and crisp, zingy finish.

Given its thirst quenching properties, this one will move faster than a thoroughbred this summer…assuming you’re not referring to Chautauqua!

ST ANDREWS BEACH BREWING

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