Why are some blokes more likely to open up to taxi driver? Rather than let our mates share with strangers, let’s assure them that it is ok for them to tell us they’re not ok. It’s true that oils ain’t oils, so here’s a perfect liquid to lubricate those conversations.

ORIGIN. Bathurst, New South Wales
ABV. 6%
SIZE. 375mL can
STYLE. Indian Pale Ale

It was 1823 when James McBrien first discovered gold in the region. Concerned the convicts would up stumps and make a break for Bathurst, the authorities kept it on the down-low. It was assumedly when young Jimmy rocked into old Sydney town almost 30 years later with a wheelbarrow full of gold (following a sizeable head-start) that all hell broke loose and the great Australian gold rush began. Fortunately, news of the exploits of Campbell and Greg Hedley, the two heads behind Two Heads which brew out of the original Crago Mill in the town, reached the big smoke far quicker than a few decades. And while there hasn’t been a mass exodus by Sydney’s craft connoisseurs, those that have made the trip west has come back with some liquid amber arguably worth more than gold.

It was in 2015 that the former lawyer (Campbell) and quantity surveyor (Greg) decided to leave Sydney behind to head west over the Great Dividing Range and put their home brewing to the test. Before long what started out as little more than a half-baked idea tossed around over a couple of cold ones between beer-loving brothers, resulted in the launch of the first new (and now only) brewery in Bathurst in 70 years. And it seems the Chinese miners may have left some of their feng shui behind because, as luck would have it, Ian Carman who joined the brothers to become a head brewer, also just happened to be in town working as a forestry engineer at the time.

Together, the threesome has put out a broad range of beers, many named after famous characters from the region – this Papa IPA is a tribute to the lads’ Grandfather who was Chief Flying Instructor at Bathurst Airport in the 1950s. Pouring a dark amber with a thin white head, Ian tells me it’s the British style malt base combined with a late dry hopping, using US hops, that gives the Papa its distinctive floral, fruity and citrus notes. As lively in the mouth, as George landing in a cross-wind, the palate is filled with mild tropical flavours on a biscuity malt base.

After a visit to the country, you can be confident that when heading back home with a few cases of this IPA in the back, none would dare accuse you of carrying a boot full of fools gold!