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Squire's beer gives family history lesson

James Squire The Hop Father with The Sip

The latest release from the pages of James Squire’s brewing history seems like an episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?”.

Each beer is not only reflective of Squire but it provides a little more narrative about the man who was recognised as the first to brew beer on this continent.

Sure it is confected. Squire’s place in Australian brewing folklore has only been romanticised over the past decade by Lion’s marketing team. For a craft brewing enterprise a claim to such a background adds surety to the consumer.

But it is also interesting whether it absolutely true or not.

We found out a little bit more this week about Squire, the former convict who died 195 years ago. His passion for brewing lives on.

What the revelation didn’t tell is that Squire was a busy father. He had 11 children. But it is the last seven he had with Mary Mason that provide the limbs to follow on this family tree.

Lion tracked down a seventh and eighth generation descendant of James Squire. And Amy Legge and James O’Donoghue jnr had had a hand in the manufacture and marketing of the latest in the Squire range, The Hop Father Celebration Ale.

James Squire descedants James O'Donoghue and Amy Legge.

With Colombus and Simcoe this is a hop forward brew that hits 5 per cent ABV.

The Squire descendants like hoppy beers so Malt Shovel head brewer Chris Sheehan decided that is what they would get with The Hop Father.

“We have a long history of getting together with the James Squire family, to celebrate our namesake, be that for reunions or special events,” Sheehan said.

James Squire beer timeline with The Sip

“It was at one such event recently, at the Malt Shovel Brewery, enjoying a drop with James Donohoe snr, when we had the brainwave of getting together with the family to create a special celebratory brew.

“With that sorted, the next step was finding some relatives up to the challenge. So James stepped in and we got to work, rooting out some craft beer lovers within the family that were up to the task.”

While The Hop Father celebrates the past you’ll have to wait until the future to enjoy the brew. It won’t be available nationwide until a few days into the New Year.

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