It seems the pandemic has pulverised the art of talking. My tip to get started again. Grab a few of these beers, lend a mate your ears and take a moment to ask how they have really been going. The answer might just save a life.
Origin – St Peters, New South Wales.
ABV – 5.8%
Size – 375mL can
Style – Hazy Pale
Since the Age of Sail, boatmen have been synonymous with beer. In 1677 the Admiralty of the British Royal Navy drew up a contract that provided a gallon of beer per sailor per day. He is recorded as writing that the 'daily tot would fill their bellies and hearts with a renewed vigour for the arduous tasks that lay ahead. It was a concept not lost on convict William Kerr – aka Willie the Boatman - who in 1830 was the slave to the owner of Tempe House. Assigned the task of ferrying people across what is now known as the Cooks River, legend has it that he demanded a ration of beer be supplied to him after each trip.
Almost 200 years on, this story inspired Pat McInerney and Nick Newey to start a brewery at St Peters, a stone's throw from the still-standing historic house. During a mid-life crisis in 2012, the duo decided to invest all their capital into a corrugated-iron shed and fill it with old repurposed dairy equipment. McInerney did the selling, Newey did the brewing, and the pair worked in the bar-come-tasting room all weekend. Despite their limited experience, the 60 kegs produced each week would sell out within days. Although the first beers made on their inventive system were popular among the locals, things exploded when the lads hit the headlines after naming a new beer Albo, after local working-class legend and now PM Anthony Albanese.
The rapid growth necessitated a move to a larger location. Opened in late 2019, while the old kit went, both the nautical charm and the mainstays, such as the Albo corn ale, were retained in the new brewery. Like the Albo most releases have a backstory, and this limited release is no different. Brewed to celebrate the birth of their quartermaster and legendary salesman's first child, the Avery uses an ingredient for every letter of her name - Azacca, Vic Secret, El Dorado, Rakau and Yuzu fruit freshly harvested from Mountain Yuzu in Victoria. A cross between a mandarin and an orange, the Yuzu works alongside the hops to deliver bright citrus and floral elements before finishing with a suitably pithy, drying bitterness.
It's a unique brew to fill your belly and heart with vigour for whatever lies ahead!