Every man’s life tells a story, but James Squire’s would have filled a library. From chicken thief and convict, he later found success as the Governor’s bodyguard, a publican, baker, butcher, money-lender and, ironically, local constable. But the greatest chapter was brewing…which worked out nicely for the rest of us!
The original – and some would say still the best – James Squire craft beer, the Amber Ale is deservedly on its way to becoming an Aussie institution. This full-bodied, malt-driven beer is characterised by its rich copper colour, toffee-caramel sweetness and nutty finish balanced against citrus hop notes.
If you need a reference point before trying it for the first time, think Newcastle Brown Ale. The deft blend of pale and crystal malts were truly trail-blazing when Nine Tales was first launched 15 years ago, but while many other craft beers are now treading the same malt-driven path, ‘the original’ retains its pre-eminence.
Best enjoyed with richer meat dishes like a rack of lamb, lamb shanks, gourmet meat pies or a mouth-watering medium-rare steak (with a Port Salut or similarly lightly tangy cheese for good measure), the Nine Tales is guaranteed to get people talking over dinner. Whether they’ll have nine stories to match James Squire’s remains to be seen, but at least that gives you a reason to keep sharing Nine Tales with your mates until you get there…