Beer and food matching these days has rather lost its surprise factor. It’s delicious and all, and a great way to spend a night out, but it’s hardly newsworthy anymore. Which begs the question: what will be the next big thing when it comes to craft beer?
It's well-known that we pride ourselves on our innovative approach at James Squire, so how's this for an idea: beer and location matching? Living in Australia, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to spectacular scenery and it would be easy to sip a Squire and think 'wow!' But we thought we'd take a different route – one that pushes the ingenuity envelope by matching the crafty with the quirky. To that end, we've lined up your favourite James Squire craft beers with some slightly surreal but certainly sip-worthy surrounds…
The craft beer: James Squire Sundown Australian Lager
The location match: ‘Pioneer beers’
Much of Australia as we know it today was built by farmers and convicts with huge balls (and chains, let’s just make that clear).
They were hard times, and there was no sunblock. Which is why if you look at paintings or photographs of these colonial years, many of the women look like men, while most of the men look like at least two men – with the kind of skin that would make some sturdy suitcases.
Enjoy the crisp, citrus taste of a James Squire Sundown Australian Lager and think about our pioneers on a veranda looking over a field of wheat. Maybe stow away (geddit?) a few James Squire IPAs on a houseboat on the Murray River, or swing by the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame at Longreach in Queensland. There’s no bar, but take a few Sundowns in the Esky and share them nearby as the sun sets in a haze of orange. Heck yes.
The craft beer: James Squire Nine Tales Amber Ale
The location match: Australia’s oldest pubs
The rich, malty flavour of the Nine Tales Amber Ale demands something more than a flood-lit beer barn filled with spotty teenagers using an older relative’s ID. It needs the kind of character you’ll find in spades at any of the James Squire brew bars or, failing that, one of the country’s oldest watering holes, where rogues and local heroes have been whetting their whistle for generations. Try:
The Fortune of War (est. 1828) at The Rocks in Sydney; The Mitre Tavern (est. 1868) in the Melbourne CBD; The Regatta Hotel (est. 1874) in Brisbane; The Grosvenor Hotel (est. 1886) in Perth; The Wellington (est. 1851) in Adelaide; and The Duke of Wellington (Est.1846) in Hobart.
The craft beer: The Chancer Golden Ale
The location match: ‘Big things’
You’re driving past a big [insert relevant fruit, animal or miscellaneous here]. It could be The Big Merino. It could be The Giant Koala. It could even be a submarine planted in a park like the one at Holbrook, the Submarine Town in NSW – hundreds of kilometres from the nearest major waterway.
There’s something deeply Australian about something huge, unexpected and culturally embarrassing made out of fibreglass. Take The Chancer Golden Ale with you (either in a standard bottle size or in a Friendship Pint for sharing with mates on your trip), knowing its fruity character is a perfect match with famous follies such as The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour or the Big Mango in North Queensland – recently ‘stolen’ as part of a publicity stunt.
The craft beer: James Squire Jack of Spades Porter
The location match: Glenrowan, Victoria (site of Ned Kelly shoot-out)
The dark, complex and rich taste of a Jack of Spades Porter is well matched with the dark, complex slice of Australian history that occurred when Ned Kelly and his gang fought the law – and the law won. Most of the gang died in the shoot-out and Kelly was later hanged, but his spirit lives on as one of our most famous folk heroes.
Fortunately the Victorian town of Glenrowan has recreated the fateful events that took place within its borders on 28 June, 1880… in totem pole form. Yep, it’s weird. The tribute includes a replica of the original inn sign (but no inn), various armless troopers and Ned himself propped up against a log. Unmissable, really.
The James Squire craft beers: The Constable Copper Ale, Hop Thief American-style Ale, Stow Away IPA, Four ‘Wives’ Pilsener and Orchard Crush Cider
The location match: Anywhere you damn well please!
We celebrate James Squire because he bucked authority to bring the people of colonial Australia a nice drop when they really needed it. So who are we to tell you where to go? Drink a James Squire wherever you like (within reason and legal constraints, obviously). Feel free to write in and tell us about it, or take a photo of yourself enjoying one of his brews somewhere a bit out of the ordinary.