It was between sips two and three, I think, that I figured I should drop the Hawke's crew a line. We get sent so many beers to sample that such things are a rarity, but there were a few reasons here: firstly, it's not often we receive samples of a new core range beer, given the focus on limited releases; secondly, it's even rarer that we receive a 1.75 percent ABV beer (truthfully, this is the first); thirdly – and the main reason behind the decision to make contact, it was really bloody impressive for a beer of such low ABV. (If you'd like a fourth, their note about the beer being for a "half-earned thirst" tickled my funny bone.
It turns out I wasn't the only one to have enjoyed the beer last week either as it was named in the top three beers in the Reduced Alcohol category at the Indies awards. It might have missed out on the trophy to Social Jam from Moffat Beach Brewing, but that just puts Hawke's in the ever-growing horde of brewers to have been pipped by the Sunshine Coasters.
As for the liquid that impressed, perhaps there was a little "power of suggestion" at play with the can's livery as there's a distinctly citrus character leading the way which hints at lime and brings pineapple in its wake. In opting to aim for 1.75 rather than sub-0.5 percent ABV (exactly half a standard drink per can), they've also created a beer with an impressively soft, relatively full body too. Sure, the further you get through the can, the more you realise there’s not a full-strength XPA in your hand, but they’ve done a mighty fine job of at least half pulling the wool over your eyes.
Published August 25, 2023 2023-08-25 00:00:00