A new collection of beers a year in the making pays homage to a spooky tale from Wollongong's past.
The beers in question - from Keira Street brewery Five Barrel - go under the name of Ghost Creek.
The monicker is a reference to the sad tale of Lieutenant Otway in charge of an encampment in the vicinity of the Crown Street and Mt Keira Road intersection - where there was a stone bridge over a creek.
In 1836, the lieutenant's regiment was there to guard a group of convicts forced to excavate Belmore Basin.
One night, Otway came back to camp drunk on rum. As one is prone to do while intoxicated, he made a foolish decision - he chose to charge at the sentry manning the bridge into the encampment.
The sentry didn't want a bar of that and so nabbed the lieutenant and threw him in the guard room.
As the lieutenant sobered up he realised the situation he was in; he was sure to be kicked out of the regiment.
So, he took his own life, a bible in one hand and a pistol in the other.
In the years after his death people in the area would report seeing his ghost standing on the bridge over the creek, while others would insist they heard the clatter of horse's hooves when no horse was in sight.
This tale inspired the name Ghost Creek for the collection of beers from Five Barrel, made in conjunction with Wollongong homebrewer Marcus Zeltzer.
"I had sampled a lot of beer from Marcus and really enjioyed the beer that he had made," said Five Barrel's Phil O'Shea.
"We sat down together and figured out the kind of beer that we would like to brew and then we set out to brew a beer."
They made the beer and then poured it into a 500-litre barrel and added a sour yeast culture Marcus had been working on for a few years.
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After a year of sampling the beer, they decided the time was right and split the 500 litres into four different brews - each with its own flavour.
One is the base beer, another is dryhopped while a third had peaches added. The fourth beer includes the unusual fruit achacha.
Mr O'Shea said splitting a batch into different varieties to see the various effects was common in the homebrew world.
"Right at the beginning we were pretty confident that we'd like to split it into different things and do some interesting things with them," Mr O'Shea said.
"Marcus and I have been talking for some time about the effect of dryhopping on sour beers and it was something we definitely wanted to explore together with this collaboration."
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