I still remember my first encounter with Holgate's Alpha Crucis vividly. The first batch was debuted at an early Good Beer Week Gala Showcase, back when it was held at Fitzroy Town Hall, and the golden, all-Aussie-hopped beer was so fresh it felt like the brewers had squeezed oils from freshly plucked hop cones straight into my glass.
The beer's been tweaked a little over time, becoming a year round member of the brewery's lineup and renamed Australian XPA. Lightly hazy and still golden, it serves up a nice balance of light citrus and melon aromas with a touch of pale malt sweetness. Indeed, it's just well-judged all round: fruity without being overbearing, bitter enough to cleanse, a hint of drying spice in the bitterness, all coming together to create a satisfying session beer for those of a crafty nature.