Finding the right beer for a tropical day

YOU know it is getting properly summery when Warwick and Toowoomba have temperatures in the middle 30s - with accompanying high humidity that means you could be forgiven for thinking you have been miraculously transported to a steamy destination in the tropics.

And what does one do if by chance you find yourself in Singapore or Denpasar on a steamy afternoon? Have a beer of course, it goes without saying.

So, as always, the real question for a tropical day is which beer? Which is why Hugh the neighbour and I sat down last weekend to enjoy a couple of Pale Ales from Matso's Brewing.

Matso's hails from Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, a part of the country where days of high temperature and humidity are the norm at this time of year rather than the exception.

The brewery is named after the Matsumoto family who ran a general store in the building, which was the original brewery. The brews were popular enough to outgrow the site and the beer is now brewed by the Gage Roads brewery in Perth.

The regular reader may remember a review some time ago on Matso's Smokey Bishop dark lager and this one certainly shows Matso's are not a one-trick pony.

The Pearlers Pale Ale is named to honour the pearl divers of old Broome, who as a group were not only possessed of great courage but also prodigious thirsts.

The beer doesn't whack you in the mouth with hops like some of the American-style pale ales, but does have a lovely malty finish. HTN commented that it was not a very gassy beer with little beading on the sides and a loss of its head after a short time in the glass.

This led to some discussion about whether barometric pressure or humidity could affect the formation of bubbles in beer (although in the end the only conclusion drawn was that neither of us had the faintest idea what we were talking about). That said, it really is a beer to enjoy in the heat.

It is really refreshing, interesting enough on the palate and really drinkable, making it a good session alternative if you are planning on having more than a couple, albeit at 4.5% alcohol volume you will notice you are not drinking a mid-strength.

Certainly one to consider for a summer's evening around the barbecue.

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