Fair-weather friends are easy to come by, but where are they when the chips are down? Yet it’s in the difficult times when we need them by our side, even if they can't do it literally. Here’s the perfect lubricant for sitting beside a mate and reminding him that you're here for the long haul.
Origin – Spotswood, Victoria
ABV – 4.6%%
Size – 330mL bottle
Style – Red Ale
Sunset and beers are practically synonymous with each other, so much so that there is a term recognised in the Oxford Dictionary for it – sundowner. Such is the emotional pull of enjoying a few beers for the hour or so as that golden ball sinks towards the horizon, that Corona has set their whole brand image on it. Head to the Antarctic in summer, and you’ll extended that drinking hour to an entire day. The midnight sun, also known as the polar day, is a natural phenomenon seen within the Antarctic Circle, where the sun sits slightly above the horizon for 24 hours – meaning a constant sunset to which you can enjoy a continuous sundowner!
As they sat on the WA coastline looking west enjoying a few beers as the sunset on their late teens, being involved in beer 24 hours a day couldn't have been further from their mind. Yet that's precisely where Danielle Allen and Jayne Lewis, the founders of Two Birds, the first female-owned and operated craft beer company down under, now find themselves. And it is this Sunset Ale that set them on the pathway after winning the Best Beer at the Wetherspoons Real Ale Festival.
The tale itself dates back to 2010. Having dipped her toes into the water at Matilda Bay, and then polishing her beer education at Mountain Goat, it was Jayne who shared her plan with Dani during the pair’s road trip to some of the USA's best craft breweries. Eighteen months after returning home Two Birds was born. Since then they've steadily expanded in every way imaginable. By the middle of 2014, they had opened a brewery and taproom, aptly called The Nest, and a few years later they purchased the property adjacent to house a packing line and warehouse.
Yet while the ladies now produce a range of five beers that are brewed all year round and a bunch of award-winning one-offs, it's this ode to those WA sunsets that Jayne and Dani still hold a great deal of affection for. Full-flavoured and pretty full-bodied too for a beer of its alcohol content, it's a well-balanced take on the style. The complex blend of 9 different malts creates a combination of tropical and citrus aromas, backed up with a touch of toffee that hints at the rich malt flavours to follow.
Given our 2020, forget the Corona, sipping a Sunset as the sun sets is where I'd rather be right now!