A great day off


The Illawarra Brewing Company’s Apocalypso is one fine, fine beer.

When you’re an adult male a day off tends to come with a check-list of things to do.

And so it was for me on Tuesday, where with a number of hours to myself I still had to go to the doctor, visit the shops, pick up my daughter from school and a few other things.

Not really my idea of a day off. Though I decided to compensate a little with a visit to the headquarters of the Illawarra Brewing Company.

Why? Because it’s a brewery and who doesn’t like to hang around in a brewery for a while? (okay, there’s probably heaps of people who wouldn’t like that – my daughter, for instance. But it’s my day off, and I like hanging around a brewery for a while).

My visit just happened to coincide with their tasting of their new beer – an American IPA. And as brewers Shaun and Asher are so gracious towards unexpected visitors they poured me a glass (actually, I think it’s because they know me. I’m pretty sure, if a complete stranger strolled in expecting some beer they’d be rather disappointed).

It’s called Apocalypso – and not Apocalypto, as I’d been reading it ever since seeing the announcement of the new beer on Twitter last week. Which is probably why my joke about it being a beer for Mel Gibson fell very flat (because he directed a film called Apocalypto, geddit? Never mind). The name comes from one of three new US hops featured in the beer – Calypso. The other two are Mosaic and Belma.

Never heard of them before? Me neither – because they’re that new.

So enough of this crapping on, I hear you say, what’s it like? Well, it’s actually pretty good. It’s got a nice, soft head to it and I got some citrus notes and some stonefruit – and maybe a smidge of mandarin – flavours underlying the pineyness. The finish is longish with a bit of lingering pineyness.

And surprisingly for a US IPA, it’s very drinkable, clocking in at 5.7 per cent and 51 IBU. While I like those super-piney ‘‘623 per cent alcohol’’ US IPAs, I can’t really drink more than one in a sitting (especially those 623 per cent beers). But this one, this Apocalypso, it’s quite sessionable. It’s still an IPA – it’s still piney, still fruity – but the intensity has been dialled down so that you can enjoy the IPAness but still drink more than one.

It’s a summer IPA, according to Ashur, and that’s a fitting description indeed.

Would I drink it again?: You betcha. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that, of all the Illawarra Brewing Company beers I’ve had, this is my favourite. If they did growlers at the HQ, I’d be filling up one with some Apocalypso. For sure.

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