Call around. Dial Up. Facetime. Zoom. Whatever it is, however it’s done, share a one of these beers and get talking.
Origin – Kirrawee, New South Wales
ABV – 7.2%
Size – 440mL can
Style – West Coast IPA
So what is it, this compulsion to go skinning dipping? Is it a rite of passage, a coming-of-age ritual, a resounding up-yours to traditional mores or an act of liberation in a world straitjacketed by rules and regulations? One thing's for sure - the first sign of summer isn't sizzling snags, its moonlight gleaming off my naked buttocks as they cross the sand in a welter of drunken squeals. While his RSA won't allow him to admit, it's squeals that Brad Walker, the founder of Sunday Road, hopes will be generated by this latest offering in their small-batch range, that all going well will be re-brewed as a summer favourite.
Not that Walker and head brewer Mick O’Rance, whose 20 years’ brewing experience includes BentSpoke, can't knock up a spectacular winter warmer. But, with a name like Sunday Road, flavourful, balanced and versatile crafts are their modus operandi – the flagship Enigma Ale is a prime example. And since opening the doors in 2018, everything from the warehouse-style space with ambient lighting and vintage green décor to each and every can brewed has been about creating that Sunday Feeling. While most brewers have turned to fruitier new varieties to create a summer vibe in their hopped-up offerings, O’Rance has preferred to look at new ways to explore the classics. The recently released Vacation Rental used a cold IPA technique - by starting the lagering at a cooler temperature, he took the edge of the hops to produce a super smashable body while keeping the nose closer to the IPA territory.
Another slight adjustment to the process has also been used here to full effect. Known as dip hopping, it is an approach applied to promote desirable hop aromas and reduce the unwelcomed ones. In this instance, the hop oil myrcene, which is associated with an onion character in the Galaxy and Simcoe used. The result is a West Coast so rounded that you appreciate every mouth full. Layers and layers of flavour, the tangerine and citrus on the nose, gives way to a body characterised by underlying tones of cut pineapple and green fruits. With enough ABV to hold it together, the Skinny Dip is undeniably a classic IPA with a distinctly modern twist.
Whether you're heading for a bit of night swimming or you are about to jump on the trending #showerbeer challenge, you've found your beer of choice!