What’s brewing: Wolf of the Willows XPA | The Gourmand & Gourmet

What’s brewing: Wolf of the Willows XPA

With the warmer weather comes the time for switching from those dark, heavy winter beers to something a bit more, well, summery. With that in mind, we cracked open a bottle of XPA from Melbourne brewer Wolf in the Willows (if you’re interested in their unusual name, check their website – it’s a bit too long to explain here). XPA, they say, stands for Extra Pale Ale. Now if you’re a stickler, you’ll know there’s no such style in the official beer guidelines. Basically, they’re trying to say this beer has more hops than a regular pale ale; but not so much as to push into being an IPA. Whatever the reason though, it’s pretty much spot on for a springtime beer. Kudos to Wolf of the Willows for using 500ml bottles – that’s close enough to a pint in the old money and just the right size. This beer really brings out the sense of spring, with peach, pineapple, mango, orange peel, guava, pine and lemon notes all popping out of it. As a bonus, it’s only 4.7% a.b.v., so you can have a couple without going overboard. This is a zesty, refreshing beer, just right for a lazy lunch or simply a relaxing beer at the end of the working day. Beer: Wolf of the Willows XPA Style: Pale ale A.b.v. : 4.7% Retail price: Around $8 per 500ml bottle Food match: BBQ chicken and salad Words by David Edwards, Drink Less, Drink Better