1) Once upon a time, if you wanted to find a good beer you had to go to a local brewery, or have the inside word on which bars and bottle shops stocked the good stuff. These days getting your hands on a good beer is easy. Ridiculously easy. Jeez, even the corner Liqourland or BWS with the drive-through can be a source of some tasty beer. You never expect to see the likes of Bridge Road or Pirate Life in those places, and yet there they are.
2) It’s a change that’s happened ridiculously quickly. When I started this blog five years ago (has it really been that long? JFC) finding something different in my home town of Wollongong was a hard task. There were one or two good bottle shops but they didn’t offer much in the way of stock – presumably because the market wasn’t quite there yet. But now, you can afford to be a total snob – “Feral Hop Hog? Pffft, I can get that any time”.
3) Which brings me to the excellent concept that is Stone & Wood’s Forefathers series. It started in 2015 with a beer made with Little Creatures founder Phil Sexton, and followed it up with a delicious doppelbock made in 2016 with trailblazing beer writer Willie Simpson. This year they’ve continued the series with Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel founder Blair Hayden.
4) If you haven’t worked out the concept yet, Forefathers is tipping a hat to those who were there pushing good beer when suburban bottle shops and basically one beer with 75 different labels. It’s a very worthy idea because, without those guys, we don’t get totally spoiled by choice like we are today. I’m thinking that if I keep this blog going for another 25 years I might get the call-up to brew a Forefathers beer (joking. Dear God I hope I’m not still doing this a quarter-century later).
5) In terms of this year’s beer, it’s not as good as Willie’s doppelbock. That’s not a criticism; Willie’s beer was awesome. This English pale has some understated citrus aromas and has a bit of bergamot tea thrown in. I’d like to say that the tea comes in just past the mid-palate but I’m not at all familiar with what bergamot tastes like. But whatever that flavour is, it’s really nice.
Free or paid for?: Stone & Wood flung a few bottles my way and I plan to drink the second one this weekend. If I can get rid of this frigging flu.
Categories: Beer of the Week