The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, aka GABS, is on again as part of the annual amazingness that is Good Beer Week, a nine day festival throughout Melbourne which kicked off on Friday.
GABS: Imagine a really beautiful building and inside are all your favourite Australian breweries, plus a handful of international brewing superstars, with their beers ready for you to taste and brewers keen to have a chat. There’s a variety of beer seminars with people who really know their stuff, plenty of food and live music and on top of all this there’s over 100 unique beers, GABS festival beers, which have been brewed especially for the event and all are on their debut outing because that’s one qualification to be a GABS festival beer. Oh and it’s three marvellous days of this!
My blog has been pretty free of Good Beer Week activity this year and I can only put this down to an act of self preservation as I am not going to GBW this year. Every time GBW is mentioned I get a pang of beer envy but, nevertheless, I cannot ignore the thirst-inducing creative GABS beers that our fab WA brewers have put together for this years festival so I am hoping to bring you a few Q&A’s with the brewers in the lead up to GABS.
Today we have Elliot Moore from Mane Liquor who have collaborated with Eagle Bay Brewing for a GABS beer called ‘Black and Tannin’. This is the second time the bottle shop and brewery have collaborated, the first was a Saison aged in fresh chardonnay barrels in late 2013 called Saisonnay, 18 months later here they are again doing what they love most, making beer with friends.
(left) Elliot – Mane Liquor and (right) Nick – Eagle Bay Brewing
GABS Festival Beer: Black and Tannin | 6.5% ABV | Speciality IPA
The Official GABS Guide says: “This collaboration brew with Mane Liquor features their three favourite things: IPA, dark malts and Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon. This Black IPA has been aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.”
What is so exciting about GABS?
It’s the biggest beer event in the country – 150+ beers that have never been released to market to sample in one venue – what’s not to love?!
Tell us about the Black & Tannin and what was the inspiration behind the brew?
It’s no secret we are great mates with EBBC [note: Eagle Bay Brewing Co] – hanging out in the brewery is what we do best – producing Saisonnay was so much fun we had to do another beer – we hope to do a different collab together every year. Margarita [note: retail and marketing manager for Eagle Bay Brewing] had the idea of using this years collab for the GABS event – and we are very honored to be asked. We wanted to do another barrel aged beer and to showcase the local Margaret River area and produce. We are lucky to have access to wine barrels so decided Cabernet would be the best barrels to pair with a winter themed beer.
The Black IPA from EBBC is one of our favourite beers so I asked Nick [note: Nick d’Espeissis, head brewer at Eagle Bay] if we could pump up the ABV and malt build to create a 7.5% ABV black IPA, we then decided to age the beer for three months before returning the beer to tank and dry hopping.
What was the trickiest part of the brew?
Deciding on a malt build for the beer was the toughest and coming up with a name. Black & Tannin is a play on Black & Tan as a Black IPA is essentially a new world black and tan – Cabernet has a high tannin level – so from this we created Black & Tannin.
Mane have collaborated with brewers in the past, what makes this collaboration special?
Every collaboration is special, it’s such a treat to be invited into the brewery to assist on the beer itself, I also love coming up with the beer style, recipe, name and label design.
This is the first dark beer we have collaborated on, it’s also the biggest beer Nick has ever made so that was by far the most exciting aspect of the brew.
I’m also super excited to see the beer going into 640ml wax coated bottles – our label has been designed by Kyle Hughes-Odgers
, an amazing local artist, so in a way it’s a three way collaboration between brewer, bottle shop and artist.
Who’s beer are you most keen to try this year, and why?
Pirate Life Brewing
(SA) are doing a 10.4% ABV Black Belgian Imperial India Pale Ale – that’s exciting! The boys from Moondog
(VIC) never disappoint on the GABS beers and 8 Wired
(NZ) are doing a Hippy Berliner, a Berliner Weise, which sounds amazing. Also keen to try Ryan from Bootleg’s Chai Milk Stout. [Read my Q&A with Ryan about this beer here]