Amongst professional surfers, brewing boutique beers has rapidly become a favourite side-project. Mick Fanning, Bede Durbidge and Joel Parkinson have launched the dashingly named “Balter”, the Mad Hueys have their own brew which they insist tastes like “angel’s piss” and now Asher Pacey has leant his name to an ale.

“It just got brewed. It’s in the tank,” Pacey told Tracks, while in good spirits after enjoying a few samples at Byron’s Stone and Wood brewery on a Friday afternoon. Asher’s craft beer, which was in truth a collaborative project with artist Paul McNeil and restaurateur, Jeff Bennet, arrived via Stone and Wood’s Mash Collective concept. For some time now the Byron Bay brewers have been inviting Colabs to create a beer from start to finish. “Ours is a red amber ale with 5% alcohol – it’s quite hoppy – and with a high degree of drinkability,” insisted Asher with all the aplomb of a veteran beer sommelier.

Given the three creators all spend much of their time around Byron (Australia’s most easterly point) they came up with the name – ‘Dead East’ for their sprightly ale. According to Asher there was some conjecture about an appropriate logo for the beer. “Paul initially wanted to design something with a shark in it, but we decided it was still a bit too sensitive up here for something like that.”

Asher didn’t discuss the marketing/advertising strategy for Dead East but there’s no denying it would be interesting to see all the new Surf Beer Brewers try and out-do each other with elaborate advertising campaigns. Already Corona has made its presence felt in the surf market with the help of Taylor Steele and Craig Anderson has turned bus shelters into Carlton Dry commercials. Meanwhile back in the 80s Tooheys helped catapult Mark Richards and Barton Lynch into the mainstream with their unforgettable TV campaigns. Richards had his own catchy jingle (See this link for the classic footage) while Barton slashed away at shoreys to the sound of James Browns’ I Feel Good .

However, wouldn’t you love to see the Surfer-brewed beers step into the ring with the aforementioned brewski heavyweights? Who knows with the right flavour and marketing spin one of them might even turn enough profit to become a WSL sponsor? It wasn’t that long ago that the undrinkable Fosters kept the whole tour afloat. Imagine watching Kelly Slater adding one of his Chia seed ‘shots’ to a bottle of Mick Fanning’s Balter? Now there’s a Colab Schooner.