WILLIE THE BOATMAN NECTAR OF THE HOPS

As men we're experts at keeping our cards close to our chest. But in the words of the late Kenny Rogers, 'you've got to know when to fold 'em'. Try sharing this frothy with a mate and help remove the stigma that is often associated with men talking openly.

Origin – St Peters, New South Wales.
ABV – 6.0%
Size – 375mL can
Style – New England IPA

Since the Age of Sail boatmen have been synonymous with beer. The Admiralty of the British Royal Navy saw to it in a contract that he drew up in 1677 that a gallon of beer, among other items including cheese, beef and oatmeal, were provided per sailor per day! He is recorded as writing that the ‘daily tot would allow it’s warming qualities to fill their bellies and hearts with contentment and a renewed vigor for the arduous tasks that lay ahead’. It was a concept not lost on convict William Kerr, who in 1830 was the slave to the owner of Tempe House. Assigned the task of ferrying people, supplies and beer 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.

It is that same Willie the Boatman whose story inspired business partners Pat McInerney and Nick Newey in 2012, almost 200 years later, to start a brewery at St Peters, a stone’s throw from the still standing historic house. It was during a mid-life crisis that the two self-professed "fat dads" 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 at the weekend. Despite their limited experience, the 60 odd kegs they were producing during the week were selling out by Monday afternoons.

 Although the very first beers made on their inventive system were popular among the locals, things really exploded when the lads hit the headlines after naming a one of their working-class beers after local working-class man and MP, Anthony Albanese.  Photos of Albo and his eponymous beer went as far as The Sydney Morning Herald. The rapid growth necessitated a move to a larger location, which opened in autumn 2019. And while the old kit went on sale and was replaced with a 600 keg a day system, alongside the nautical bits and pieces that continue to pay homage to Willie, the pride and joy of the new brewery is its 1850s oak bar from a former Philadelphia saloon – complete with a real bullet hole courtesy of another felon. And alongside mainstays such as the Albo corn ale, one of the beers you’ll find pouring from that bar is this Nectar Of The Hops. With tropical fruit aroma of pineapple, mango and lychees, giving way to a smooth, creamy mouthfeel, derived from the late addition of oats and wheat, this NEPIA is sweet, fruity and easy drinking.

Yet at 6% ABV, be careful, one may be all it takes to ‘fill your belly and heart with contentment!’

WILLIE THE BOATMAN 

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