WA Beer News #20

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!

news …

Of course the big news, and I would be very surprised if you had not heard, is the 100% acquisition of Feral Brewing by Coca-Cola Amatil that was announced on Thursday. There are a number of great articles on this news so I won’t re-hash it in great detail here. Some drinkers are concerned about the quality of the beers but not me, I’m looking forward to seeing what new brews and innovations come out of Feral, just like they have been doing since 2002. I guess what I’m saying is that, let time determine this, not early assumptions.

Huge congratulations to Brendan and Gab Varis, founders of Feral Brewing, and the whole team – past and present – who’ve contributed game-changing beers and worked ridiculously hard over the last 15 years to be true leaders in the industry.

Read the full details at Crafty Pint, Australian Brews News, The West Australian, The Sip  and you can listen to an interview with Australian Brews News and Brendan Varis here.

new beers …

Eagle Bay Citrus IPA

  • 5.1 percent ABV
  • IPA
  • Limited Release
  • 330ml bottles and on tap

This beer is brewed with grapefruit, lemon and orange zest from fruit on their own farm. They’ve made this beer before but it’s been a while and it’s great to see it back! It’s exactly what you’d expect from something called “citrus IPA” with plenty of balanced citrus flavour, moderate bitterness and a dry lime-pith finish.

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Eagle Bay Brewing Heir of the Dog

  • 5.9 percent ABV
  • Collaboration brew with The Balmoral
  • Limited release
  • Available on tap only

The Balmoral crew went down south to hang out with Eagle Bay Brewing and made Heir of the Dog, a hoppy lager. Tasting notes describe tropical fruit character with a crisp and clean finish and caramel malts and moderate bitterness support. You can try it at The Balmoral’s launch event on Sunday where dogs are welcome with prizes for best dressed and you can also chat all things beer with Gerome and Nick from Eagle Bay Brewing whilst you’re there.

 

Bootleg Brewery The Cobbler

  • 4.2 percent ABV
  • American Brown Ale
  • Collaboration brew with award-winning home brewer Dave Baker

Bootleg Brewery hosted a home-brewing competition for the South-West Craft Beer Bogans and after tasting a “variety of high-quality beers” they found their winner in Dave Baker’s American Brown Ale.

Ryan Nilsson-Linne, Bootleg’s head brewer, describes the beer as “super balanced” and “with an earthy character blended with traditional Citra and Cascade hops for a spicy citrus mix.”

There’s a tasting with both Ryan and Dave on the lawn at Bootleg Brewery today from 12noon and on Thursday night it will be part of the Bootleg tap takeover at Busselton’s The Firestation where they will also have their new European style 5.0 percent lager pouring.

Black Brewing Kiwiake

  • 9.6 percent ABV
  • Kettle soured strong ale
  • Limited Release
  • Only 9 kegs available

Black Brewing brewed only nine kegs of this very special beer. Kiwiake is a kettle soured strong ale fermented with Sake yeast with secondary fermentation on 70kgs of kiwi fruit.

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Image from Black Brewing’s Facebook page

Cheeky Monkey Brewing Double IPA – Round Two

  • 8.2 percent ABV
  • 500ml cans and on tap
  • Limited release

This is an encore performance from Cheeky Monkey who first released this beer last month. They’ve made a couple of tweaks to the original recipe, still using Citra, Mandarina Bavaria and Lemon Drop hops but they’ve amped it up and used way more than last time. Expect orange, tangerine, mango and grapefruit character and, from a slight recipe tweak, a drier finish than the first batch offered.

Blasta Brewing Blastaweizen

  • 5.3 percent ABV
  • Weissbier aka German Hefeweizen
  • On tap only

Blasta Brewing, fresh off their planning approval to build their Burswood brewery, released their Blastaweizen yesterday. In the true tradition of the style, Steve Russell has used more than 50% wheat in this beer and describes the beer as having flavours of “banana, stone fruit, nutmeg and clove” along with a “refreshing carbonation and great mouthfeel”. Blastaweizen has been brewed with two yeast strains, from White Labs and German brewery Weihenstephan, for a more complex yeast character (think spices and fruits!) and sounds like an excellent tribute to the classic Munich style!

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WA Beer News #19

New beers this week from Bootleg Brewery, Beer Farm and a collab with Scarborough bar El Grotto and 4 Pines Brewing plus some news on upcoming beers from Little Creatures, Otherside Brewing and WA retail group Liquor Barons have their own limited release collab beer coming soon …

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!


new beers …

Bootleg Brewery – Paint the Town

  • Red IPA
  • Limited release
  • Available on tap only
  • 7 percent ABV

This beer is the first commercial beer that brewer Dillon Hunter has designed and brewed from start to finish. It is a Red IPA with a tonne of specialty malts for “a deep dark berry-like flavour” and heavily hopped with Eureka and Citra. It was dry hopped on Sunday so expect to see kegs this week.

The beer officially launches tonight at The Goose in Busselton and kegs have been delivered to a handful of locations around Perth such as Aubin Grove Liquor, Mane Liquor, Caboose, Petition Beer Corner and more. Check out Bootleg Brewery Facebook page for a full listing.

Photo from Bootleg Brewery

Beer Farm Mango and Blackberry Belgian Sour

  • (super) Limited Release
  • Available on tap only
  • 5.8 percent ABV

Beer Farm warn that this beer is very, very limited so if you see it, get it! So far it has been spotted at Clarence’s in Mt Lawley and word is it’s heading to Thirsty Camel Maddington, Gangemi’s in West Perth and DTC.

4 Pines x El Grotto Honky Tonk

  • Limited Release
  • Available on tap only
  • 7.2 percent ABV

This collaboration between 4 Pines Brewing and Scarborough’s El Grotto, Honky Tonk is a Baltic Porter that uses a bean from Central America called the Tonka Bean. James from El Grotto tells me is actually banned by the FDA in the USA! Tasting notes for this beer include dried cherry, marzipan and vanilla and from the sample I had during the week I can tell you those notes are spot on. It is also super drinkable for a beer over 7 percent, it’s basically a really rich and complicated liquid version of a cherry ripe!

coming soon …

Mountain Goat x Liquor Barons Galactic Baron

  • 6.3 percent ABV
  • Very Pale Ale
  • Brewed exclusively for Liquor Barons stores
  • ETA Early October
Free beer! A gift from Liquor Barons, thanks guys!

Little Creatures Single Batch Reinhold

  • 6.5 percent ABV
  • Sticke Altbier
  • Limited Release
  • Available in 568ml pint bottles and on tap
  • ETA Early October

Brewers’ notes describe this release as Rogers’, their trusty amber ale, German cousin. The German Altbier style originates in the Rhine Valley and the name translates to “old beer”, Little Creatures notes this sticke altbier as altbier’s younger sibling.

“Full of toffee and fudge aromas, with some grassy hops peeking through, this beer is assertively bitter to start. It then gives way to a full mouthfeel of sweet malts.”

Otherside Vinyl Black Ale

  • Limited Release
  • Available on tap and in 375ml cans
  • ETA Early October
  • 5.9 percent ABV

The third in Otherside Brewing’s Pilot Series of limited releases, Vinyl is a Black Ale with artwork by local Perth artist Alex Maciver.

Brewery notes describe this beer as “an intense brew that perfectly complements late nights spent in a dive bar by the jukebox.”

 

WA Beer News #6

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, beer dinners, free bottle shop tastings, expansion plans, constantly rotating beer taps, beer festivals … 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 beery news that our state has to offer.

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, beer dinners, free bottle shop tastings, expansion plans, constantly rotating beer taps, beer festivals … 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 beery news that our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!

Bootleg Brewery

In mid-March Bootleg Brewery will be releasing a passionfruit gose, their second gose style beer. There are plans for a traditional gose to be available in bottles in April and if you like it, maybe it will be more than a limited release.

Other upcoming releases coming out will be the next edition of Hop Swap, their single hop beers, which will feature a New Zealand variety called Brooklyn. The brew sheet will call for a simple malt bill and lots and lots of hops. Other hoppy news comes in the form of another release of their Pants Down Double IPA that should appear towards the end of March.

There will also be a special release for St Patrick’s Day, a milk stout, that will only be available on tap at selected venues. Brewers notes for the milk stout are “gentle coffee and chocolate notes with a bit of extra sweetness from the lactose.” For Easter, Bootleg will be bringing out their big gun, the Imperial Bull, their iconic Raging Bull strong porter aged in red wine barrels.

OTHERSIDE BREWING

Otherside Brewing recently released their first Pilot Series brew, a limited release range of beers, called Harvest Red Ale, on tap at selected craft beer loving venues. Harvest Red Ale will also be made available in cans very soon, the can featuring artwork by Fremantle artist David Spencer.

Otherside Harvest Red Ale

Little creatures brewinG

The second release in the Little Creatures VHA series, very hoppy ale, was recently released on tap and 640ml bottles. They’ve called it a summer IPA and it features a big dose of US Citra hops.

I was lucky enough to get a freebie of the beer in the mail and it’s a lovely drop! Aromas of fresh grapefruit and pineapple and it follows through in the flavour with a lot of citrus and some light toastiness.

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Little Creatures have also just released ‘Elsie’, a beer brewed at the Fremantle brewery and made just for WA.

“Elsie is inspired by the gold rush era Steam Ales of California. It’s our adaptation made fresh locally on our very own West Coast,” says Russ Gosling – head brewer Little Creatures Fremantle.

The beer is named after the beloved brewery kombi Elsie (geddit … LC … Little Creatures) who has been at the brewery since day one and delivered the first ever kegs.

Again I was fortunate enough to get a couple of bottles delivered to me to try. Delicate citrus and herbal flavours, a fluffy mouth feel and a dry finish make this beer really tasty and very refreshing.

MASH BREWING

Mash Brewing will be releasing their Indian Ale in a can soon, it joins their Gov’nor Big Pale Ale and the New Norcia Abbey Ale. The brewery will likely host a small launch event for the Indian Ale cans at their Swan Valley brewery offering a chance to chat with the brewers and, of course, drink some beer!

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Later in the month they will also release Black Cat, a black IPA taking all the American hop flavour we love in their award winning Copy Cat AIPA with a good marriage of black malts.

Also on the cards is a 3.5 percent ABV beer called 3 Fiddy.

EAGLE BAY BREWING

Eagle Bay Brewing continue their run of collaborations with a recent team up with Fremantle hot spot The Mantle, namely the restaurant Don Tapa and the bar Alter Ego. The release is part of the Taste of The Kimberley & WA, a week celebrating native flavours and culture.

Top L-R: Gerome and Adrian from Eagle Bay Brewing
Bottom L-R: Owen from Alter Ego, Stuart from Don Tapa and Nick from Eagle Bay Brewing

The beer is called West Coast Native Ale and it is a Native Lime & Anise Myrtle Wheat Beer. Owen from Alter Ego and Stuart Laws from Don Tapa headed down to Eagle Bay to help with brew day. It’s only available on tap and in very limited quantities, it’s on tap at Alter Ego Bar in Fremantle and appearing soon at Budburst Small Bar, Mt Hawthorn.

The next Brewers Series is also coming soon, this week in fact, with an intimate launch at Budburst Small Bar on Tuesday 14th March 5-7pm. The beer is their Black IPA, a firm favourite for me, with Simcoe, Centenial and Cascade hops. Entry to the event is free with the bar putting on some great food specials too.

Photo courtesy of Eagle Bay Brewing Co

NORTHBRIDGE BREWING CO

The next seasonal release starts pouring from the taps of Northbridge Brewing Co this week with their Mosaic’s Beard XPA. The beer will be launched at this months ‘beer club’ event where head brewer Ken Arrowsmith will take guests through a tasting of this beer and five others of a similar style.

The event is Wednesday and costs just $25pp and includes beer samples, nibbles and a beer quiz! Tickets available via email at info@northbridgebrewingco.com.au or phone the brewery direct on (08) 96151 6481

BLACK BREWING CO

Black Brewing have been playing around with a brand new commercial hop variety called Denali but I’m thinking it’s trial name Nuggetzilla is pretty kick ass! It’s been used to make a beer their calling ‘xXxPA’ and it’s going to be a BIG one with an ABV of 9.8 percent.

The guys at Black Brewing say we can expect “huge pineapple, candied orange and straight up getting freaky with a pine forrest!”

The batch is very limited and will be available in 330ml bottles and on tap at selected venues.

 

WA Beer News #5

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, beer dinners, free bottle shop tastings, expansion plans, constantly rotating beer taps, beer festivals … 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 beery news that our state has to offer.

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, beer dinners, free bottle shop tastings, expansion plans, constantly rotating beer taps, beer festivals … 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 beery news that our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!

Bootleg Brewery

Margaret River’s Bootleg Brewery recently welcomed a new brewer to assist Ryan “Pizey” Nilsson-Linne – Dillon Hunter who was previously in the brewhouse at BrewCorp, the Feral and Nail brewing facility.

The guys have brewed a Gose for the South West Craft Beer Festival on 11 February. The beer style originates in Germany, a wheat beer that is slightly acidic which makes it delightfully refreshing, it also uses a small amount of salt and coriander seed and has very little bitterness. If you’ve never tried this beer style before, it’s well worth giving it a shot. It sounds a little weird but it can taste a little wonderful!

The 10th annual West Australian Circus Festival is happening down in Margaret River 26 – 29 January where Bootleg’s Lunar Lager, a beer created specifically for the festival, will be served alongside the rest of their range as the exclusive beer supplier of the event.

Winter plans are already well under way with an American Barley Wine currently aging in whiskey and wine barrels with plans to bottle and keg the finished product in May. Around the same timeis a  will be this years release of Imperial Bull which is their Raging Bull aged in cabernet barrels.

The brewery branding has also undergone a little face lift, reflecting a more subtle and mature approach. You can read more about it here at The Sip by WA beer writer, Ross Lewis.

Follow The Sip on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Bootleg Brewery

Homestead Brewery

Head to Homestead in early February to try their new Summer Ale. Head brewer Steve Wearing says the beer will be “the perfect session beer”, “light and crisp yet packed with flavour, loads of passionfruit and tropical flavour from generous dry hop additions”.

Artisan Brewing

It’s always a treat to find Artisan beers on tap and in December they released their first ever bottled beer. It’s called Tripel Treating and was a collaboration brew with The Monk Brewery (Fremantle), Boston Brewery (Denmark) and Cellarbrations Superstore (Hamilton Hill). If it hasn’t already been snapped up, you’ll find them at Petition Beer Corner, Singlefile Wines, The Monk and Cellarbrations Superstore.

Artisan Brewing director Julia Fitzgerald says Tripel Treating boasts “classic Belgian yeast aromatics with fresh mango resulting in a peppery and fruity flavour with yeast complexity. The finish is dry and fruit with a berry acidity and lingering mango on the palate.”

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Photo Courtesy of Artisan Brewing

South West Craft Beer Festival

One of my absolute favourite events on the beer calendar is the South West Craft Beer Festival. Exclusively about south west breweries you get to try beers that you might not see at some of the big Perth festivals. From Mandurah to Denmark, this year has more breweries exhibiting than every before.

The festival is on Saturday 11 February at Old Broadwater Farm in Busselton.

Photo courtesy of South West Craft Beer Festival
Photo courtesy of South West Craft Beer Festival

Colonial Brewing Co

There are a couple of new faces at Colonial Brewing both in Margaret River and Port Melbourne. Ash Hazell, previously of Barrow Boys Brewing, will be taking on the Port Melbourne with the Margaret River brewery to be headed up by Ryan Nobbs.

‘Colonial really appealed to me for a number of reasons. The Port Melbourne brewery has great equipment for brewing high quality beer and plenty of room to grow. I haven’t seen a better canning line in another Australian brewery and you really do need the right gear to make consistent beer. There’s been some great innovations from Colonial as well, like the unique can design. I love the focus on hospitality because letting people into the brewery is a great way to educate around what real beer is. There also seems to be a really passionate culture amongst the Colonial team, which is a sure sign that it’s a great company to be part of,’

Ash Hazell

Colonial Brewing Beer Garden 2

The Beer Farm

Everyone loves a good collaboration! Margaret River locals The Beer Farm recently got together with Scarborough’s tequila slinging El Grotto and together they made a lime and grapefruit summer ale. The brew involved a few hours of peeling fruit and the result is a citrusy, zingy and easy drinking summer refresher! On tap, of course, at El Grotto.

Inn8 Brewers

Speaking of collabs, if you’re following Subiaco’s Refuge Small Bar you would have spotted their snap recently of their straight from the tank tasting of their brew with Innate Brewers. Judging from the hast tags we can expect to see a Helles Lager coming very, very soon!

Cheeky Monkey

Cheeky Monkey‘s next Southern Wailer – their limited release series – will be released at the South West Craft Beer Festival. From there it will be made available in 500ml cans throughout WA beer loving bottle shops – head to their website for a list of stockists.

The beer is called Imperial Monk Red IPA, an imperial version of their Travelling Monk Session Red that boosts the ABV up to 8.3 percent ABV, basically tripling the hops, malts and booze from it’s original recipe.

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WA Beer News #4

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, beer dinners, free bottle shop tastings, expansion plans, constantly rotating beer taps, beer festivals … 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 beery news that our state has to offer.

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, beer dinners, free bottle shop tastings, expansion plans, constantly rotating beer taps, beer festivals … 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 beery news that our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!


Cheeky Monkey

The last Southern Wailer, their limited release series, was an American West Coast style IPA called Hop Flinger. Juicy and unapologetically hop forward, the beer is going to make its way into the permanent line up and will be available soon in 6 x 375ml cans.

Cheeky Monkey at Gourmet Escape
Head Brewer, Ross, at the Cheeky Monkey stand for Gourmet Escape 2016

The next Southern Wailer release is scheduled for mid December and, fitting for the hot summer weather, it’s a lager designed to drink easy and satisfy thirsty mouths – Summer Smash Lager. It’s a single malt and single hop beer and both are Australian – pilsner for the malt and summer for the hops. It will be available on tap in selected venues and in 4 x 500ml cans at your favourite craft beer loving bottle shop. Keep an eye on the Cheeky Monkey Facebook page for updates.

Thorny Devil

A crowd funding campaign is currently underway by the Mandurah brewery to fund a new tank and to commission their new bottling line. Thorny Devil have paid the deposits when they say bank loan approval went from ‘yay’ to ‘nay’ and so here kicked off a crowd funding campaign.

You can read more about the campaign and contribute here.

Thorny Devil
Peter from Thorny Devil at Gourmet Escape 2016

Blue Mile Brewing

Busselton’s Blue Mile have a new beer out that is only available on tap called Lambic Pale Ale. Jason Credaro, head brewer, inoculated a pale ale with lactobacillus and pediococcus (both types of bacteria) and brettanomyces (a wild yeast strain) before leaving it in barrels for 18 months. I suspect this beer will be a tough one to find but well worth trying if you do see it, the sourness is pretty mellow and makes the whole beer pretty refreshing.

Blue Mile at Gourmet Escape 2016
Blue Mile at Gourmet Escape 2016

Eagle Bay Brewing

Summer is coming and that means that Eagle Bay’s seasonal Summer Ale is also coming!

Style wise it’s an Australian style pale ale and featuring a trio of Aussie hop – Galaxy, Southern Cross and Vic Secret – and will be available from December to March.

Eagle Bay Summer Ale will be available from the brewery from 5 December with an official launch on 7 December at The Balmoral in Vic Park. The event kicks off at 4pm and head brewer Nick will be there to chat all things Eagle Bay. Eagle Bay will be taking over the taps and it will be $9 pints and $5 middies all night!

If you’re down south then head direct to the brewery on the 9th for their Brewers Series Session where you can go into the brewhouse with the brewers to learn all about the Summer Ale. Cold beers + good eats + good times. Tickets just $35 and available from the brewery website.

Photo Courtesy of Eagle Bay Brewing Co
Photo Courtesy of Eagle Bay Brewing Co

Bootleg Brewery

Bootleg Brewery head brewer Ryan “Pizey” Nilsson-Linne tells me that they’re bringing back two limited releases soon – Boss Taurus, an Imperial Dark Ale aged in whiskey barrels first released last year in collaboration with Cellarbrations Carlisle and the Luna Lager. Keep an eye out for Boss Taurus at Cellarbrations Carlisle and the Luna Lager will only be available on tap at the brewery.

Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen

Freo’s Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen just released a triple collaboration with Cellarbrations Superstore and Artisan Brewing called Tripel Treating, a Belgian tripel brewed for WA Beer Week. Only a small amount was made so if you missed their WA Beer Week event, keep an eye out for some bottles available at Cellarbrations Superstore only and just one keg will be on tap at the Monk sometime soon. Watch their Facebook for details.

Monk have two more limited release beers coming out soon – a summer seasonal which head brewer Mal says will be “a take on the Monastic Enkel/Patersbier tradition”.

According to Wiki, the Patersbier style comes from the Trappist breweries where it is only available at the monastery and is for the monks to drink so usually is a lower strength version of one of their regular beers.

Monk also will be collaborating with Inn8 Brewers to create a Gose but don’t expect it to be a straightforward Gose, Mal hints they’ll be experimenting a bit with this one!

What is a Gose? A very pale beer made with 60% wheat that uses coriander and salt, the style originates in Goslar, Germany after which the beer style is named.

Mash Brewing

Since Mash are celebrating their tenth birthday this year they’re releasing a special beer to commemorate the occasion, suitably called ‘The Tenth’.

Past brewers joined the present Mash brewing team to create the beer which is a bit of a style mash up. Mash’s sales and marketing all round nice guy Scott describes it as “a freestyle Belgian golden / red / IPA”. The beer will be launched at their Tenth Anniversary Party at The Queens on 6 December.

Upcoming Events

Here’s a quick look at beery events coming up! You can also subscribe to the events page on Facebook to stay up to date.

// 25 November // Feral Brewing Tusk Day at selected venues

// 1 December // Tis the Saison at The Dutch Trading Co

// 6 December // Mash Brewing Tenth Anniversary Party at The Queens

// 7 December // Eagle Bay Tap Takeover and Summer Ale launch at The Balmoral

// 9 December // Eagle Bay Brewing Brewers Series Session + Summer Ale at Eagle Bay Brewing

// 12 December // Beer Club – Session Ale at Northbridge Brewing Co

 

 

WA Beer News #1

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, beer dinners, free bottle shop tastings, expansion plans, constantly rotating beer taps, beer festivals … 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 beery news that our state has to offer.

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, beer dinners, free bottle shop tastings, expansion plans, constantly rotating beer taps, beer festivals … 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 beery news that our state has to offer.

The girl+beer Facebook page has a list of upcoming beer events that you might find worth subscribing to!

FERAL BREWING CO

For those who don’t look at any social media, Feral Brewing have started to make some noise about the release of their very first cans.

Photo borrowed lovingly from Feral Brewing Facebook page
Photo borrowed lovingly from Feral Brewing Facebook page

Sly Fox, their summer ale, will be pretty well known to most, particularly if you drink at The Bird or The Flying Scotsman where the beer is often on a kick ass promotion. War Hog will tickle the fancy of all beer nerds; the Imperial IPA started life as a limited release and so the idea of this beer being around all the time will delight and cause many hangovers. I am suitably preparing myself for the War Hog saturation that will hit social media when these are released!

Perth Local, certainly deserving of its own paragraph, will also get the canning treatment as well as being available in 330ml bottles next month. It’s already on tap in a few places -spotted at The Balmoral and Young Love Mess Hall for instance. Perth Lager was released just a couple of weeks ago and is the first beer from Feral that isn’t an ale.

“We wanted to make a great lager celebrated in our own community as being proudly WA made and owned by the people of Perth,” – Feral Brewing Press Release.

I probably have to mention the article in WA Today relating to Perth Local, implying the Feral copied Horn Bros Perth Draught, another Perth lager. Personally I don’t believe this is the case and I think the more local beers we have the better for everyone, regardless of lager or ale.

You’ll be able to get into Feral cans at their annual Feral Fest event on 11 November, $20 gets you in the door with a can in one hand and, according to the event page, “a fistful of pork crackle” in the other.

Another image lovingly borrowed from Feral's Facebook page
Another image lovingly borrowed from Feral’s Facebook page

EAGLE BAY BREWING CO

On 29 September Eagle Bay Brewing launched Forest for the Trees at Mane Liquor. The beer is an epic collaboration brew with WA friends – Mane Liquor, artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Whipper Snapper Distillery and Twin Peaks Coffee. The resulting beer style is a Whiskey Barrel Aged Coffee Imperial Porter.

Eagle Bay Forest for the Trees launch at Mane Liquor
L-R: That’d be me, Elliot (Mane Liquor), Margi (Eagle Bay), Aren (Hippocampus Distillery) and Will (Feral Brewing) at the Forest for the Trees launch

“We gathered the gang, the ingredients and brewed an Imperial Porter, a style of beer best suited to the additional elements to be featured. Part of the beer went straight into the whiskey barrel and the other part went into tank which the coffee was added a couple of days after. Fast-forward six weeks and both parts were blended together and “Forest for the Trees” was born.” – Eagle Bay Press Release.

The result is insanely tasty, we bought two so we could drink one and age the other. The beer is ultra smooth and smells of your favourite morning coffee. The taste continues the coffee flavours along with coconut and vanilla sweetness and a soft bitterness.

Eagle Bay Brewing Forest for the Trees

Only a limited number of bottles were produced so I’d recommend grabbing before it disappears. You can find it at Mane Liquor, Cape Cellars, Baby Mammoth and, of course, at Eagle Bay Brewing.

Photo kindly provided by Eagle Bay
Photo kindly provided by Eagle Bay

MASH BREWING

You may have noticed Mash’s new branding slowly rolling out in recent weeks and their eye catching, massive change of image is thanks to local artist Ian Mutch. Inspired by zig zag patterns from writing ‘Mash Brewing’ over and over, the end designs are bright, fun and a welcome new look for the Swan Valley brewery. Mash are also celebrating their tenth birthday this year and are having a celebration at the Belgian Beer Cafe on Saturday 15 October. Keep your eyes out for Mash cans coming soon!

Image cheekily stolen from Mash Brewing's Facebook page
Image cheekily stolen from Mash Brewing’s Facebook page

OTHERSIDE BREWING CO

WA brewery new comers, Otherside Brewing Co, launched their Festive Ale this week, an Australian summer ale. Otherside Brewing comes to us from the same team behind Sunset Events and their head brewer is Rhys Lopez, formerly from The Monk in Fremantle. You’ll find Festival Ale at Petition Beer Corner, Who’s Your Mumma, The Local Hotel, Freo Doctor and Clancy’s Fish Pub Fremantle.

Image swiped from Otherside Brewing Facebook page
Image swiped from Otherside Brewing Facebook page

BOOTLEG BREWERY

This week Bootleg Brewery launched a new limited release beer, a collaboration brew with Mane Liquor called Eureka! It’s a single hop XPA made with, you guessed it, Eureka hops. It’s a relatively new variety from the US and is a bit of a beast of a hop, it’s got huge character that practically crawls out of the glass!

The first thing that hits you is the aroma, it’s all about sticky, bold hops, tropical fruits and marmalade with a bitter finish that reminds me of super fresh lime.

Get it exclusively from Mane Liquor and at $15 per 4 packs it’s an amazingly tasty bargain!

Bootleg Eureka Single Hop XPA

 

 

Beer Story: Bootleg Raging Bull

A closer look into beers that I love, the story behind their making, interviews with the brewer/s and whatever else I can find!

There are a lot of great beers out there and some beers are so memorable that the mention of that beer fills you with happy feelings. Maybe you remember where you were when you first had it, the way it tasted and the way it looked or maybe you just remember thinking “damn, this is really special”. You might be thinking I sound like a love sick fool and you’d be right, some beers I am downright head over heels in love with. Like anything you fall in love with you find yourself thirsty (pardon the pun) to learn more about it, you want to get to know it better and so here’s my semi-regular series – ‘Beer Story’, a look into beers I love, the stories behind their making and interviews with the brewer/s.


The first Beer Story I wrote way back in January so it appears that by “semi regular” I mean “six monthly”, certainly not my intention but perhaps I can do better with the third one.

In the mean time, here is the second Beer Story, this time on one of my most loved WA beers – Bootleg Raging Bull.

Bootleg Raging Bull

7.1% ABV | Robust Porter | Available All Year

Bootleg Brewery

Bootleg Brewery | Margaret River, WA 

A bit about Bootleg Brewery – Bootleg’s tagline has always been: “An oasis of beer in a desert of wine” and whilst there are many breweries in the south west today it wasn’t the case back in 1994 when Bootleg first opened her doors.

Margaret River is famous for wine all over the world and when Bootleg opened they were the only brewery in the area. To put things into perspective, Bootleg opened six years before Perth would see beers from Nail Brewing or Little Creatures who both started life in 2000.

For Bootleg’s history check out their website.

Bootleg’s Raging Bull is available all year round so even when it’s 40 degrees outside you can enjoy a Raging Bull in the blasting WA sun if that’s what tickles your fancy.

I’ve seen Raging Bull described as a robust porter, a Belgian dark ale, a strong ale, whatever style it is, quite frankly, it’s just a sensational beer. It’s 7.1% ABV so a little on the dangerous side and unapologetically so, it’s a beast of a beer. Rich red fruits, chocolate, coffee, plums, spice and biscuit are there and more, it’ll develop as it warms up and soon you’ll be reaching for another bottle.

Raging Bull turns 20 this year and the old girl is still looking so good. Bootleg’s general manager, Michael Brookes, says that people are visiting the brewery today who remember their father drinking Raging Bull. Pretty impressive, I remember my dad drinking Emu Export cans at home and pints of Redback at the pub.

Here is an interview I did a couple of months ago with Michael Brookes all about Raging Bull.

How did Raging Bull come to be?

Originally developed as relative of the original Dogbolter strong ale 7.5% brewed when Matilda Bay were in Nedlands and Fremantle. Also Ironbrew, another Matilda Bay early gem, was a relative. So it was Bootleg owner Tom Reynolds, ex-Matilda Bay brewers Rolf Vickers (now head brewer in Dublin for Guinness) and John Tollis who decided to formulate a recipe and give birth to Raging bull as we now know it.

Note: Dogbolter is still made by Matilda Bay however it’s now a dark lager – read more here.

When it was first released?

Mid-1995

Where did the name come from?

“Raging” came from the strength of the beer. At the time and still today cattle are agisted at the property and a bull was in the line of sight when names were being decided.

Black IPA at Bootleg Brewery

Still one of the best beer gardens in WA! This is a pretty old photo of a visit to drink Black Market IPA

Do you remember how people responded to Raging Bull at first?

They loved it same as they do now.

How does it compare to how people respond to their first Raging Bull these days?

Same.

What is the strangest description you’ve heard for Raging Bull?

Instead of words they cheer and get excited. They love the flavours of drinking old fashioned beer, the real stuff, not technically perfect but are consuming the real stuff of fine handcrafted ale.

Beer style for Raging Bull?

Highest end of robust porter.

Has the recipe for Raging Bull changed over the years?

No.

How much Raging Bull do you brew each year and is it on the rise?

Still brewed in 1500lt batches, more and more fermenters are filled up with bull each year!

How would you describe Raging Bull to someone who doesn’t drink a lot of beer?

A unique experience, it’s not beer as you know it.

What food would you match to Raging Bull?

Bootleg’s famous beef pie.

Beef & Bull Pie – Beef and vegetable chunks braised in a rich gravy with our Raging Bull Dark Ale w/ fries and salad. For full Bootleg Brewery Food Menu – download it here.

And finally, any memorable stories of serving a customer a Raging Bull?

At Dowerin Field Days we were doing tastings and the wheat farmers reactions to 7.1% was awesome and seeing them leaving with cartons over their shoulders, we grinned and how the parties around the bonfires those nights went on and on!


I had intended to, as I did in my past Beer Story post, leave some links to read more about Bootleg’s Raging Bull however it was a surprisingly hard task. Several Google searches came up short of things I’d recommend reading. The occasional beer review popped up but I found them very short and lacking in any new or interesting information.

GABS edition: 5 Minutes with Ryan from Bootleg Brewery

Q&A with Bootleg Brewery’s Ryan Nilsson-Linne about their GABS festival beer – Chai Milk Stout

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, all kicking off later this month.

Good Beer Week: 16-24th May

GABS: Imagine a really beautiful building and inside are all your favourite Australian breweries, even a handful of international brewing superstars too, with their beers ready for you to taste and have a chat. Upstairs there’s a variety of beer seminars with people who really know their stuff. There’s plenty of food and live music and on top of all this there are 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.

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 over the next week or two.

The first Q&A was with Craig, brewer at The Monk in Fremantle, about his GABS beer called Oakey Dokey. You can read it here.

Next up we have Ryan Nilsson-Linne, brewer at Margaret River’s Bootleg Brewery.

Ryan at the 2014 South West Craft Beer Festival

GABS Festival Beer: Chai Milk Sout

The Official GABS Guide says … “Milk Stouts contain lactose, a sugar derived from milk which adds sweetness, body and calories to the finished beer. In the past, Milk Stout was claimed to be nutritious and given to nursing mothers along with other Stouts, such as Guinness. Try this one infused with chai.”

What is so exciting about GABS?

For me GABS is so good because it allows brewers to explore their creative side and make things that they otherwise may not have done.  It opens your eyes to what can be done, how to do it and to the fact that no matter how weird and wonderful the product is someone is going to give it a crack.

Tell us about the Chai Milk Stout and what was the inspiration for it?

Last winter, in a failed attempt to give up caffeine me and Kelley [Kelley is Ryan’s wife] turned to drinking Chai Lattes on the weekend.  I hadn’t really drank a lot of Chai before and enjoyed the different flavour combinations you would get from different venues and really wanted to make a Chai mix for myself. In the general talking of what would be next with GABS I had an inkling that Chai and dark ale would make a good combo and put a teabag into a pint of Raging Bull. It was pretty tasty but not quite right and I thought a sweet stout would be a better combo.

I have had an  itching to make a Milk Stout for a while as I love the creaminess and sweetness of them and thought what better way than making a Chai Latte beer.

Where did you source the chai and how was it used in the brewing process?

The Chai was made by me and our kitchen staff after I did a few trials on different spice combinations at home, I settled on cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, ground ginger and cardamom seeds.

It was added after ferment in small batches until I felt the flavour combination was right.

What was the trickiest part of the brew?

The hardest part was trying to settle on a Chai combination that I felt would work within a beer without completely overpowering it and then figuring out how much I needed to use to get the flavour I wanted.

Who’s beer are you most keen to try this year, and why?

With a hint of jealousy not being able to go this year I have so far refused to read the full list but I love the sound of the Nail Brewing GABS beer – a chilli and coconut imperial stout [Flaming Lamington], how could you say no to that?

Gourmet Escape 2014

My Gourmet Escape experience included beer made with roasted agave, a golden ale to celebrate a brewery’s 20th anniversary and the unleashing of the south west’s first canned beer. It’s no wonder I didn’t have a single sip of wine the entire Saturday I was at Gourmet Escape.

My Gourmet Escape experience included beer made with roasted agave, a golden ale to celebrate a brewery’s 20th anniversary and the unleashing of the south west’s first canned beer. It’s no wonder I didn’t have a single sip of wine the entire Saturday I was at Gourmet Escape.

The Gourmet Village continues to be the main event of the three day festival and was again held at Leeuwin Estate Winery. On top of this there are a growing number of satellite events across the whole weekend featuring celebrity chefs, stunning locations and unique dining experiences.

A new addition to the Gourmet Village this year was the Gourmet Village Brewhouse, a dedicated local brewery destination featuring Cheeky Monkey, Eagle Bay, Bootleg, Cowaramup, Gage Roads, Moody Cow, Margaret River Ale Co and the newest south west brewery Young Henry’s.

Read more about Young Henry’s new Margaret River site, their first WA beer and their new mascot

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Eagle Bay Agave Ale

This collaboration brew with the head chef at El Publico Sam Ward which takes his authentic Mexican flare and applies to beautifully to the world of beer. The Eagle Bay Brewing kitchen slow roasted agave for 10 hours before it was added to the mash. You can read more from the brew day here.

“It keeps changing every day!” Margi, Eagle Bay’s retail and marketing manager, said to me at Gourmet Escape.

Eagle Bay at Gourmet Escape

For me it was full of spice and herbs, showed a little stone fruit up front and then finished very dry.

It is great to see a collaboration outside the norm of breweries and brewers, one that bought together two passionate people in different fields of flavour and one that showcases the result of this at a predominately wine/chef focused event.

Bootleg The Twenty Year Beer

It’s incredible to think Bootleg have been around for two decades, that kids are going there because they remember being their with their dad.

Crafty Pint wrote up a great story about Bootleg’s 20 years here

To celebrate their milestone Bootleg brewers past and present gathered to create a golden ale using five kilos of Enigma hops. The last time we saw Enigma hops from Bootleg was for their fabulous collaboration with Mane Liquor to create Ryezilla.

At this stage the beer is only available at the brewery, whether it lasts through summer is uncertain so I’d get in quickly to avoid disappointment!

Bootleg brewer Ryan
Bootleg brewer Ryan

I found this golden ale really interesting and had more balls than you may expect from a golden ale. The hop flavour is all upfront with a nice tropical fruit in the middle and a dry finish.

Colonial Draught Kolsch Ale in CANS

Yup. Cans. That’s right. Mother-freakin-cans.

Colonial Cans

It was hard not to notice all the happy people walking around the Gourmet Escape Village with the distinctive red and white cans.

I wrote an article for Crafty Pint that you can read here – the Draught Kolsch Ale is still the same Colonial Kolsch we all know and love, just renamed to remain relevant to the every day drinker and to call out to the days of beer drinking past where “a jug of super thanks” was a legitimate way to order beer. Now it’s “a few cans of draught thanks” and what a great beer drinking world that is.

Other highlights of the day included tasty pulled pork tortillas by Muster Bar & Grill, the Chief IPA from The Monk Brewery & Kitchen tasting delicious and the discovery of a new jerky called Chewy Mooey.

The Monk at Gourmet Escape

WA Beer Week: Dude Food Feast

Eating sticky chicken wings with my hands at the beautiful venue like The Trustee Bar & Bistro is kinda like wearing a gorgeous evening dress and a pair of thongs. It’s kinda wrong but there’s no denying that it’s really, really good.

Eating sticky chicken wings with my hands at a beautiful venue like The Trustee Bar & Bistro is kinda like wearing a gorgeous evening dress and a pair of thongs. It’s kinda wrong but there’s no denying that it’s really, really good.

On Tuesday night I was lucky enough to be invited to the ‘Dude Food Feast’ presented by The Trustee and Mane Liquor as part of WA Beer Week. Imagine the tastiest dude food you’ve ever stuck into your face paired with fresh WA beer and set in one of the city’s most beautiful venues and you have a good idea of what my Tuesday night was like.

Roxy and Josh

The beers were selected and presented by Roxy and Josh from Mane Liquor and the food was created by The Trustee Executive Chef Michelle Forbes who, to quote my good friend Jess Shaver, is “so f**king kick ass it’s not even funny”.

Jess was right, Michelle and her food was nothing short of kick ass.

Canapes

Pork Slider + Colonial Small Ale

The pork had been marinated for 15 hours and its richness was a great match to the bold hops in the Small Ale and the bread was a little on the sweet side highlighting the subtle caramel malt in the beer.

First Entree

Crispy Squid + Cheeky Monkey New Zealand Pilsner

“It’s real tasty”

How Alex, head brewer Cheeky Monkey, described his beer to Josh, Mane Liquor

The squid was thick crumbed and served with chilli aioli and dill mayonnaise, it was also a serving so big that I fear there are no more squid in the oceans. The beer, brewed by Alex and Ross at Cheeky Monkey, uses three New Zealand hop varieties – Dr Rudi, Motueka and Wakatu and the resulting beer was a gorgeous mix of soft tropical fruits and citrus notes. The beer cut through the thick crumb on the squid and the hops were drawn out by the chilli aioli. My favourite part of this dish was the dill mayonnaise cutting through the fresh hops and adding another layer of flavour. Paired with the food, the beer started to take on a kind of sweet glazed ham flavour which may not sound amazing but it really was.

photo 4

Second Entree

Sticky Chicken Wings + Bootleg/Mane Liquor Ryezilla

Sticky Chicken Wings & Ryezilla
Sticky Chicken Wings & Ryezilla

The serving of chicken wings made the plate of squid look tiny. Biting into my first wing my palate got a big whack of coriander. Also made with honey, soy, chilli and lemongrass, the wings were deliciously sticky and fabulous fun to eat. Ryezilla, the collaboration beer between Mane Liquor and Bootleg Brewery, is still boasting heaps of juicy pineapple and mango Enigma hop character though it has rounded out nicely. The wings coaxed out the spice in the beer whilst the sweetness from the glaze on the wings and the caramel malt in the beer worked nicely together.

Sticky Chicken Wings
Sticky Chicken Wings

Main

Beef Short Ribs Slow Braised with Sticky BBQ Sauce, Espresso Aubergine Puree + Eagle Bay Cacao Stout

At this stage of the event I was very full, not just regular full but Christmas-dinner-I-went-back-for-thirds kind of full. Then the ribs landed and they were impossible to resist. The meat was rich and stupidly soft, barely holding on to the bone. The sauce had a subtle sweetness and the espresso aubergine puree provided a nice contrast to the richness of the meat, it also lifted the coffee notes from the Cacao Stout.

Pouring Cacao Stout

The Eagle Bay Cacao Stout is their annual winter release and I was a little sad to realise it would probably be a year until this beer was in my hands again. Made from cacao bean husks, the by-product of the chocolate making process, from Margaret River chocolate maker Bahen & Co, the beer is ultra smooth, chocolatey, roasty and with hints of berry fruit.

Beef Short Ribs
Beef Short Ribs

Dessert

Salted Caramel Beer Ice Cream + Feral Brewing Razorback Barley Wine

“I’m glad it’s not cheese”

Me reflecting on the final course with words I never thought I would say

When I had the first bite of this dessert it was clear that despite being ready to either burst or fall asleep I was going to eat every part of this amazing dish. The dessert was served with a caramel sauce made with Feral Hop Hog creating a pairing of sweet with sweet when paired with the beer. The roasty flavours of the beer cut through the vanilla wafers and delicate ice cream, this pairing was a great example of when beer and food come together to be amazing and you wouldn’t want to have one without the other.

Salted Caramel Beer Ice Cream
Salted Caramel Beer Ice Cream

Thank you Mane Liquor and The Trustee for inviting me to this fantastic event!