Look over the old films and photos and there’s one thing that stands out; they comprise more than a single individual – there are no selfies! Instead frame after frame of family, friends and mates talking over and great beers such as this Fusami Victory

ORIGIN. Camperdown, New South Wales
ABV. 6.3%
SIZE. 330mL bottle
STYLE. Indian Pale Lager

In 1971 a group of former Walt Disney cartoonists took issue with Mickey Mouse. When their complaints fell on deaf ears that the Mickey they knew and loved from Steamboat Willie had been transformed to become a symbol of conformist hypocrisy in American culture, they took things into their own hands. Setting up a ‘secret’ artist’s organisation titled the Mouse Liberation Front they created two issues of an underground comic, in which Mickey and gang got up to a little sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. It wasn’t long though before the parody comics surfaced and soon ended up on Disney’s boardroom table. With Walt no doubt turning in his grave, predictably a lawsuit was filed.

It was a David versus Goliath battle with no fairy tale ending; the MLF was hit with $190k in damages and $2 million in legal fees. Presumably, Peter Phillip, the founder of Wayward Brewing Co. wasn’t a comic book fan and had no knowledge of that case when in 2012 he took on multinational brewing giant SAB Miller in a trademark infringement case. The behemoth was convinced that their mega beer brand Haywards sold on the Asian subcontinent would be confused with the little independent craft beer brand of Wayward. The fact that Peter was only a Sydney-based gypsy brewer at the time, rolling out 20 kegs per brew didn’t seem to stop them going after him with a threat to take everything.  Channelling his inner David, Pete refused to back down or be intimidated by the multiple cease and desist letters and decided to take the fight to Goliath.

After a drawn-out two-year battle, the decision went in his favour, and he was free to continue being Wayward. To celebrate his victory, his very next brew was this Indian Pale Lager, which he named FUSAMI Victory. The FUSAMI serves up everything you’d want in an IPA – a nose and mouth full of hops which head brewer Shaun Blissett has then stacked atop the clean malt characteristics of a pilsner. I’d suggest with all the lagers hitting the shelves right now, the folks at Wayward were ahead of their time.

Almost 75 years to the day after the production of the black and white short film, Steamboat Willie was recognised by members of the animation field as one of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time. I’d suggest it won’t take nearly that long for this FUSAMI to be acclaimed as one the great lagers that influenced many within Australia’s craft beer industry.