The last time this correspondent was in Dungog, I presciently packed a few beers I hadn’t tried before. This was a good move because Dungog’s bottleshop doesn’t yield too much in the way of surprises (unless you count Crown Gold). One of those beers was the outstandingly good Angry Man Brown Ale from Murray’s Craft Brewing Co. Another opportunity presented itself to visit Dungog and I was prepared coincidentally with Murray’s latest Angry Man – the Pale Ale. According to Murray’s website – he’s knocked 27 varieties and he’s always been creative with his naming. Not sure whether this is the start of a family of Angry Men – but it’s the first time I can see that he’s repeated himself. I’m not fussed – it’s a beautiful label, whether it’s the blue of brown of the Brown Ale or the Navy Blue and Yellow of the Pale Ale. It’s another cracking beer. As always, there’s plenty going on. It’s wonderfully hoppy with a real spice to it. There’s some maltiness mixed in there as well. At 5%, it’s damned sessionable.
Murray hasn’t let on who the Angry Man is that inspired the name, but the kangaroo boxing the man is a real throwback and looks like an extract from a Jimmy Sharman’s Boxing Tent poster. One of the most famous fighters to ply his trade in Jimmy Sharman’s Boxing Tent was Dave Sands, who has an unusual link to Dungog. About 10kms on the road from Dungog to Chichester Dam is the Dave Sands Memorial. This Memorial, which could do with a touch-up, marks the spot Dave Sands died in a car accident. The sign doesn’t really do justice to Dave Sands’ career. He fought professionally 110 times and won 100 times – and he died when he was 26!. He probably should have won a world championship – but it was pretty difficult for an Aussie to manage to get to title fights in the early 50’s. He punched the daylights out of exotically named future champions including Bobo Olsen – the Hawaian Swede.