Rocky Ridge & Baby Mammoth Collab Beer Launch
22 February 2018
Snapshot – a post of (mostly) photos –
for a quick look at the recent Baby Mammoth and Rocky Ridge Brewing collaboration dinner featuring their Inglorious Chutney beer
22 February 2018
So many new beers and not one, not two but THREE new breweries!
There is a lot of stuff happening in WA’s craft beer scene that it’s genuinely hard to keep up with all the new beer releases and WA really is kicking ass when it comes to craft beer and so I thought I’d try and make a regular feature out of all the new beery goodness our state has to offer.
The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!
The local masters of collaborations, Eagle Bay Brewing teamed up with Dunsbourgh’s newest restaurant, Yarri Restaurant and Bar, to create a beer exclusively for them called “The Traveller”. It is an American wheat ale brewed with all Australian wheat, barley and botanicals and American hops. Head brewer Nick d’Espeissis says it took a little trial and error to get the botanicals right, “the Geraldton Wax adds kind of a kaffir lime taste, while the indigenous saltbush makes the beer really moreish. You can’t stop at just one.”
“The botanicals used in the process are WA indigenous saltbush and Geraldton Wax – a native shrub with needle-like leaves rich in aromatic oils. Both foraged ingredients are used in Yarri’s cooking, adding a great complement between food and drink.”
Photo Credit: Eagle Bay Brewing
Not content with just one special beer, Eagle Bay has also released a barrel-aged version of their ESB. Once a core range beer, meaning it was available all year round, their ESB was bumped off its full-time status last year. For those who shed a tear at its demise, perhaps this barrel-aged version will help with the pain. After using Whipper Snapper whiskey barrels to age their Black Vanilla last year, a mighty collaboration brew of a coconut and vanilla imperial stout, Eagle Bay didn’t just leave those barrels empty and so in went some ESB and three months later, we have this brew!
From the looks of the Eagle Bay Brewing Instagram story, the EBBC brewers have been playing around in the brewhouse with some hazelnuts to make their next Brewers Series release.
If you’re heading to the South West Craft Beer Festival next Saturday you can look forward to a bunch of special beers including this one from Eagle Bay, the Original Lazy Boy, a 7.0 percent ABV American wheat.
Another WThe West Leederville brewpub has released their new summer ale, called Age of Aquarius, it is 5.0 percent ABV. Named after the star sign that the brew falls under, it’s an American wheat beer with well known Australian hop varieties, Astra and Galaxy.
*I will soon be working for this brewery
Named after one of Hamish and Mel’s beautiful dogs, Ace, this pale ale uses wet hops – these are whole hop cones picked straight from the bine and, without delay, put into the brew. Because hops can only be harvested once a year in Australia, this beer is available in limited quantities. It’s an American style pale ale so brewers notes tell us to expect citrus, tropical fruit, pine and resin with a little caramel backbone to support lots and lots of hops.
Rocky Ridge teamed up with Northbridge restaurant and super beer geeks, Baby Mammoth to create a chutney inspired beer called Inglorious Chutney. My first thoughts on this were hesitant, chutneys are massively spiced and thick and I was cautious of what this would mean when it comes to beer but these guys knocked it out the park.
It was served at last weeks collaboration dinner to celebrate the beer and it’s a surprisingly delicate beer. It drinks somewhere between a saison and a Belgian witbier. Ginger, turmeric and coriander all went into the mash to make this beer. On brew day, for inspiration, Baby Mammoth head chef and co-owner Ryan Lambson took some bobotie, a South African dish, along and Hamish joked, “I spent the whole day eating!”
In a pretty big tease, the beer served up was actually a sneak peek. The rest is currently ageing in barrels, four different ones to be exact – Shiraz, Pinot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon. They have also added apricots, nectarines, ginger and turmeric to the barrels where it will referment. The plan is to then present this beer in champagne bottles. Whether they bottle as individual barrels or blend them together, well Hamish says “that’s down to the barrel Gods at the moment.”
This NEIPA collaboration with epic beer retailers, Cape Cellars and Cellarbrations Carlisle, was first brewed in last July but it’s coming back on Saturday 3 March. At 9.0 percent ABV, this beer is big, it’s juicy and it will only be around for a very short time. I’d bet you’ll see it at the South West Craft Beer Festival, if not, keep an eye out on the Rocky Ridge Brewing Facebook page for where you can find it.
Whitfords Brewing has jumped on the NEIPA train with Juice Willis*, bringing together two things I love – hops and Bruce Willis. It was brewed at Whitfords Brewing and will be served there and at sister brewery, Northbridge Brewing.
It’s low in bitterness, very easy drinking and the 5.8 percent ABV is hidden extremely well. Tropical and stone fruit juiciness from El Dorado, Citra and Galaxy hops and some flaked oats in the malt bill helps with a silky mouthfeel.
*I was invited to attend Northbridge Brewing Beer Club for the launch of this beer
A New Zealand pale ale released a couple of weeks ago, available on tap.
Yup, Innate Brewers have three beers all coming soon. Head brewer Joel Nash has been very, very busy! They’ve had the team from iconic Fremantle pub, The Sail & Anchor, in the brewery for a collaboration brew. They also got a delivery of fresh wet Nugget hops from local growers Preston Valley Hops. Their autumn seasonal is going to be a Red IPA called Renegade with 48 IBU using Simcoe and Amarillo hops, it will be launched at Caboose in Mt Lawley on 1 March.
Unless you’ve been detoxing off social media recently, you’ll know that Colonial Brewing has released their summer seasonal. They have opted to go with the simple “sour” label which is probably because it doesn’t completely fit into the Berliner Weisse or Gose category. To me, it drinks like a hybrid of the two. Approachable and well-balanced sourness, there’s some stone fruit – peach and nectarine – character and finishes with a rounded briny flavour.
*I was invited to the Perth launch of this beer, I was also given a 6 pack to sample, and have been invited to the upcoming launch at Colonial Brewing Margaret River
You may have tried the Gipps St Pale Ale a few months ago during Movember when it appeared on tap at venues around Perth to support the Movember Foundation.
Heroes and Villains launched their first beer at Dutch Trading Co a few days ago. Based at Oakover Grounds in the Swan Valley, the brewery tagline is ‘Beer of the New Age’ and so the first beer is appropriately called BOTNA. It’s brewed with Fortnight, the Bintani proprietary blend of five different hops.
Blasta Brewing will be opening next week in Burswood after contract brewing for a while. The coffee shop part of the venue is already open so feel free to drop in for a caffeine hit and then from the 1st March, you’ll be able to enjoy a beer.
The brewery is founded by brewer Steve Russell, along with his wife Kate, and they released Blasta’s first commercial beer last May, their Myway Grapefruit IPA.
The name Blasta comes from Scottish Gaelic and means “delicious” and Steve, who is originally from Scotland, says their guiding principle, therefore, will be to “only brew Blasta beers”. The logo is a geometric unicorn which also links to Steve’s Scottish heritage as the unicorn is Scotland’s national animal, true story, Google it!
It won’t be a surprise to anyone to hear that The Camfield, the massive venue in Burswood near the new stadium, recently opened their doors just a few days ago. Not only does this beer have six bars and covers 8,000 square metres, it has its own microbrewery called Bevy. The head brewer is Andy Scade, ex-Little Creatures and all round nice guy.
Baby Mammoth are clarifying orange juice, teaming up with their favourite booze makers and creating weird and wonderful dishes and they’re having a great time doing it …
Recently the crew at Baby Mammoth in Northbridge spent over a week trying to clarify orange juice. Why? Because they found themselves with a lot of oranges and, quite frankly, just to see if they could do. Negronis are one of their most popular cocktails and it uses orange peel as a garnish, resulting in lots of peeled oranges with no purpose. Rather than go to waste, the idea came up to juice them, clarify the juice and then make completely clear Harvey Wallbangers. They named this new cocktail the Clarified Banger. Baby Mammoth’s co-owner Ryan Lambson and bar manager Zack Garcia toldd me the story with big smiles and a lot of laughter. Just telling me this story leads the guys to another idea; to create a clear rocky road ice-cream topped with a clear chocolate sauce. It may or may not happen but it’s not really the point.
Ryan and his wife Tania along with Zack and rest of the Baby Mammoth staff have a group chat on Facebook. Often the messages are a relentless stream of “really constructive ideas,” Ryan says and adds,“it’s lots and lots of fun, I don’t get bored.” Tania, in particular, Ryan and Zack say is an “ideas muse”. The constant collaboration between the whole team is impressive.
“I’m loving coming to work and having the freedom to do and create,”
Zack Garcia, Baby Mammoth bar manager
The creation of their cocktail Gran Pappy’s Love Tonic, featuring rum, tequila, watermelon and La Sirene Urban Pale liqueur, they say was a particularly hard cocktail to develop and just one example of their very collaborative process. “That cocktail was the bane of my life,” Zack laughs.
Zack says that putting up a call on Facebook looking for work is what lead to him to Baby Mammoth. “I was desperate,” Zack laughs, “I put the white flag up and Ryan replied.”
“Within three weeks he gave me the keys and the alarm code,” Zack says.
For Ryan, feeling confident that the front of house is in good hands with Zack, has allowed him to enjoy getting back to the food side of the business, creating new dishes and pairings. For instance, when they tapped a keg of Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic, one of the most highly regarded beers in the world, Ryan created a food pairing of pineapple and thyme compote with creamy blue cheese.
“With the way business is at the moment it’s really important to get creative,” Ryan says of the somewhat flat economy.
Creativity in the kitchen has always been focus at Baby Mammoth where monthly ‘chef lab’ events challenge each of their chefs to create a new dish based around a theme. Customers votes determine the winner.
August Chef Lab theme is Carnivale! Bookings Essential $20pp // Tuesday 1st August // Event Information Here
“We can’t play it safe, we need to take some risks”
Ryan Lambson, Baby Mammoth co-owner
Really great beers not only inspire and influence Ryan’s food ideas but also their house-made liqueurs and vermouths and with Zack on board they are developing these further; showcasing them separately as well as within their cocktails. This means you’ll be able to order from a list just like you would a wine or a beer and as someone who has sampled many of their liqueurs and vermouths, this is very good news.
“The longer we do this, the more interesting people we met,” Ryan says and these people inspire him further. People like the crew at Boatrocker Brewery and Starward Distillery who they are collaborating with for an upcoming event called Glorious Food, Beer and Whisky on 31 July.
“We wanted to put the two [Boatrocker and Starward] together and then of course do something really weird with the boys in the kitchen so Baby Mammoth also puts its mark on the dinner,” Zack says excitedly.
The stars aligned for the event with Paul Slater, Starward’s brand ambassador and Ben Lancaster from Boatrocker coincidentally in Perth at the same time making scheduling the event with two east coast companies surprisingly easy.
“Me and Zack were so excited that we went an email at the same time,” Ryan says of organising the Boatrocker beers for the event and it promises to be an impressive list with some barrel-aged beers and beers that have not been available in WA before.
The team hope the Starward and Boatrocker night can be an annual event and they’re also hoping that last year’s La Sirene dinner with co-founder and brewer Costa Nikias will happen this year too (nudge, nudge, hint, hint, if you’re reading this Costa!)
Ultimately Ryan and Zack agree that it is all about having fun whilst giving their customers an experience.
“Our job is to be informative, help our customers, guide them, feed them lots of interesting stuff and hopefully they leave happy every time and come back,” Ryan says and nicely sums up why I keep going back to Baby Mammoth.