The BBQ is the cornerstone of Aussies culture. It’s the great leveler and a great place to check in on a mate with a sang in hand and some suds like this.

Origin – Armadale, NSW
ABV- 4.3%
Size- 335mL can
Style- Pale Ale

The phrase "man's best friend" has a cute ring of exaggeration about it. But for many, the saying might be closer to the truth than we think. Tough days at work. Ill health. It doesn't matter how bad things get, dogs are there by our side, individually and as communities. Red Dog, one of Australia's highest-grossing films of all time, is an ode to a roaming Kelpie who united a Pilbara mining community in the 1970s. In the rural city of Armidale mates, Dan Emery and Tom Croft also found inspiration from a dog when looking for a way to bring the locals of the farming region together. With no desire to create binge drinking or bravado, the pair looked to the example of the proverbial 'welder's dog', who is fulfilled by companionship, when planning a drinking hole built around the notion of enhanced human connection.

A blueprint brought to life in late 2014, Welder's Dog opened its doors with a friendly, pokie-free vibe that was a far cry from that found in many of the region's pubs. Despite craft beer not traditionally being the tipple of the man on the land, even those who'd been rusted on to the big players found something to love in the story of local mates putting community first. With demand snowballing, in 2016 the lads opened a brewery to support the flow of craft being consumed, followed by the 2017 introduction of a second dog-inspired bar in Tamworth. Yet it wasn't just about the beers and bar, Welder's Dog was, and still is, just as much about championing local in everything they do. As evidence, the duo source ingredients from surrounding farms, such as the barley out of Wee Waa on the north-western slopes of the New England, and even employed a regular patron, and local Armadale boy, Phil Stevens as head brewer.

Now with a range of beers in cans, such as this Piney Pale, it's a local grown you can now take anywhere. Unlike the wild and untamed local pine forest that inspired Stevens, this modern take on a Pale Ale is gentle and restrained. Hazy and juicy beyond what you would expect from a 4.3% ABV, both the nose and palate are characterised by the tropical sweetness of dry hopping. Balanced with a dose of malted wheat and oats, the body is firm with that piney hit of bitterness, of its namesake, rounding off what is a remarkably refreshing brew.

Sorry Fido, I've found a new best friend!