Origin – Australia. QLD
Style- Brown Ale
We’ve all heard the story about the horse that walks into the bar, but what about the one where the brewery owner goes surfing and punches a shark in the nose? Crazy as it sounds, it’s the true story behind Balter Brewing. That brewery owner is 3 x ASP World Champion Mick Fanning, who famously on live TV, punched what is believed to be a great white in the nose during the J-Bay Open finals in 2015. Jump forward a year, and word is that Mick was surfing in Hawaii with co-founders Joel Parkinson, Bede Durbidge and Josh Kerr when discussions moved to boyhood dreams of setting up a brewery. And on the site of an old radiator factory in their Gold Coast hometown of Currumbin they did! Although ‘wax heads’ may be stereotyped as not too bright, they were switched on enough to comprehend that neither drinking or dreaming of beer, or a combined 4 x ASP World Titles, was going to be the ingredients for success. So they convinced former Stone & Wood brewer Scotty Hargrave to jump on board and help them realise their dream. His first batch was an XPA that was sold out in a weekend and picked up more medals than most sharks have teeth. But the boys weren’t just on a winner with their choice of staff or trophy winning beers. Their philosophy deserves a world title! To balter is to dance artlessly without particular skill or grace, but usually with enjoyment. And it’s the enjoyment of bonding over a tasty beer that Balter is all about. Their mantra revolves around their beer being more than just a drink, rather something that draws us together and often a companion to life’s great moments. And companions don’t come trustier than this ALT Brown. Rather than getting all hoppy and up in your face, this well-structured brown ale is happy just to come on the journey with you. Although it looks like most brown ales in the glass, neither the aroma nor flavour share much in common with others of the style. The nose is faint, with a touch of grains and caramel sweetness, while a good swig reveals an ale that keeps its hop character in the background. It instead delivers subtle layers of toasted, nutty, chocolatey goodness in a tight, sessionable fashion. If you’re looking for something with the bite of a great white, you’ll be disappointed. But when it comes to kicking back with some mates, you’ve found your beer.