The beer you want as you sit out a flood
THE question of which beer you would take with you to a deserted island became more than idle speculation for some residents of Rockhampton during the flooding that followed Cyclone Debbie's tour of destruction.
Unlike the tsunami-like walls of water or cyclonic winds that destroyed the Whitsundays region and took lives in northern NSW, a Rockhampton flood is a much more measured affair that allows people time to prepare.
Preparations range from moving everything up out of flood reach and staying with friends to laying in enough provisions to sit it out for four or five days.
If TV footage is anything to go by, the overwhelming choice of drop taken into store by those hardy souls who had opted to sit it out was XXXX Gold and UDL cans of various spirits.
I imagine a mid-strength beer would be a good option if you must remain a bit vigilant for snakes, crocs and unwanted human visitors, and I suspect a couple of full-strength rums at the end of the evening might assist in getting to sleep in an environment of no electricity but squadrons of mozzies.
Fortunately, unlike the situation with retailers of bread and milk in the lead-up to a flood, most liquor outlets tend not to run out of supplies, and this is how Hugh the Neighbour and I were able to enjoy the delightful drop that is Gage Road Atomic pale ale.
HTN and I think this is a beautiful beer. In fact, at the risk of being accused of growing a man bun and going all inner-urban tosspot about it, I reckon this is a "Goldilocks' beer - not too hoppy, not too malty, in fact just right.
It pours a rich cloudy golden colour in the glass with a reasonable head that doesn't hang around for long.
There is a freshness about it that delivers some floral hoppiness on a backbone of toasted malts that doesn't overpower the palate.
At 4.7% alcohol, and 36 IBU it is still a bitter beer but doesn't stray into that mouth-puckering tartness of some US pale ales.
This is a beer for a session. In fact I would say that it is dangerously moreish.
A beer that will warm you in the colder months to come.