top of page

Thus Let Us Drink BeerSunday Road and Fox Hat Brewing

Sunday is widely considered to be the best day of the week for many reasons. For one, it is usually a day off and dedicated to relaxation, time with your loved ones, indulgence with sleep ins, leisure activities, brunches, et cetera.

And yes, it also rhymes with “funday”.

On the other hand, it offers opportunity to work on things we are passionate about, which is what made it the best day of the week for Sunday Road’s founder Brad Walker as he used Sundays to hone his skills in the realm of homebrewing – a hobby that he enjoyed so much that it became the ultimate aim of every week, hence “the road to Sunday” becoming a symbol for doing the things he loves.

Sunday Road has evolved significantly from the homebrewing days and with its operations situated in the beautiful surrounds of the Royal National Park, it pumps out its delicious core brews interweaved with carefully curated limited releases, with consistency at the core of their endeavours as they enjoy having people fall in love with their accessible beers instead of reinventing the wheel for the sake of novelty.

As an ode to one of the hiking trails of the National Park Sunday Road Brewery is situated in, their Coast Track Lager adds Sunday Road’s idiosyncratic twist on the traditional German pale ale lager style by amplifying the citrus and floral notes, which are counterpointed by a delicate bitterness.

An example par excellence for their flavourful emissions is their well-balanced and accolade decorated Cryotherapy Hazy IPA.

While it is not the most eccentric IPA in terms of the flavour profile, it ticks all the boxes a hophead could hope for: Based on a foundation of Sabro, Mosaic and Cascade hops, which delivers a pine residue deliciousness and a delicate bitterness, it sets the stage for the fruity highlights to shine in form of citrus, passionfruit and mango flavours.

Taking things to the next level is Sunday Road’s ruby tined Sunseeker Red IPA, which won me over instantaneously with its immense malt backbone clocking in at bitterness of 50 IBU, on which a range of clearly distinguishable fruity, caramel and berry flavours comfortably rest.

With an ABV of 7% a veritable tour de force in terms of big flavours and a recommendation for any Amarillo, Galaxy and Falconers hops aficionado without running danger of entering overwhelming territory.

So far, so good.

My favourite of the bunch, however, is the mouthful that is the double oat cream IPA known as Dust From A Distant Sun.

Constituting a collaboration between Sunday Road and Bintani, who contributed their Victorian crop which was then married with a melange of New Zealand and Australian hops and a generous serving of oats, this babyh comes with deliciously smooth and juicy body, around which vanilla, lactose and mango do their magic before the affair is being rounded out with the faintest hit of bitterness.

I cannot wait to try one of Sunday Road’s Double IPA…

Fox Hat Brewing

If you follow this series it would have not gone unnoticed that I love bold IPAs and discovering breweries that excel at brewing them, especially if they have not been on my radar so far.

While there are gems to be found with a lot of breweries within the confines of the mushrooming craft beer scene in Australia, there are few that consistently deliver quality when it comes to the untamed variants of beer.

Sure, there is a lot of experimentation and a smorgasbord of flavours on offer, but it takes skill to create bold flavours which not only overwhelm but portray distinguishable nuances, which is where Fox Hat Brewing found its niche.

Originally founded to complement the mass compatible line-up of Vale Brewing’s established core offerings, Fox Hat set out to push the boundaries in every way possible by unearthing and tweaking homebrewing recipes with new hop variants and having fun with it.

My first exposure to Fox Hat was via their West Coast style Metric IPA, and boy, was I in for a treat. The first sip instantaneously kickstarted the citrussy and piney hop party on the top of my mouth and further accentuated it with an exuberant bitterness clocking in at 80 IBU.

With an alcohol content of 7% it packs a bit of a punch and makes a perfect companion to a dram of the sweet and smoky Ailsa Bay. The name is definitely a telling as it feels that a metric ton of hops have been used to create it.

Lip smackingly good.

Thought the Metric IPA was taking things into the stratosphere as far as flavours are concerned?

Think again.

Fox Hat’s Red Pelt is its fierce, red hued bigger India Red Ale sister, which in terms of intense flavours takes things almost into stout territory with its dark coloured toffee colour.

In every aspect possible, the Red Pelt amplifies things to eleven with an ABV of close to 8%, avalanches of hoppy piney residue, which are rounded out by a malty and syrupy backbone set against a heavy-hitting bitterness of 88 IBU.

A brewery that I hope will continue to boldly stride the path they have set out on.


August 25, 2021

bottom of page