Long-time beer drinker Ross Lewis puts some of Australia's top drops to the test.
A better name for this brew might have been The Mate.
Its origins go back a generation and show a sense of loyalty from a friend that has stayed close following a life-changing moment.
The Bloke is the result of such an event.
Sail and Anchor was breaking ground in the beer market during the mid-1980s with its craft brew pub in Fremantle.
A visiting American named Chris Cramer joined the legion of West Aussies relishing the new tastes in the port.
Cramer took the idea back to California and created Karl Strauss Brewing Company, which is now one of the leaders in craft beer production in the US. Their Pintail Ale and Red Trolley Ale have become favourites in Australia following their recent importation.
“Here I was, halfway around the world, in a city so similar to San Diego, enjoying a pint of bitters at the local Sail and Anchor Pub. The beer was unlike anything I had ever tasted and when I found out that it was brewed onsite, a light bulb went off,” Cramer said.
“I knew that adventurous San Diegans would embrace the idea of locally brewed beer, and 25 years later, it’s amazing to see what our industry has grown into.”
To celebrate the anniversary the brewers have collaborated on a red ale that pours ruby and is full of flavour.
Karl Strauss’ head brewmaster Paul Segura came to Perth to help establish the drink.
The result is a hoppy beverage, boosted by the Cascade and Chinook hops from the US and the local Ella and Galaxy cones.
The Bloke has a biscuit and caramel aroma with even a bit of soil in the taste. It has wonderful mouthfeel and the taste of dried fruits.
There is a malty tinge with a bitterness bite that lingers brilliantly.
And a bonus is The Bloke comes in a 640ml bottle because it does get better as it warms. This is certainly one beer you will want to keep drinking.
The Sip Snip
Sail and Anchor The Bloke
Brewer: Sail and Anchor (and Karl Strauss Brewing Company) Fremantle.
Style: Red Ale
Alcohol content: 6%
Standard drinks: 3.0
Bitterness: 60 IBU
Bottles: 640ml bottles
Estimated calories: 190
The Sip Tip (rating): Top shelf.
Average prices: $7 (bottle), $72 (carton of 12)