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 Week Preview: South West in the City II

A look into the upcoming WA Beer Week (25 Oct – 2 Nov) – here is a sneak peak at the South West in the City II event, celebrating collaboration between 8 South West breweries

What is the event about?

It’s collaboration but not as you know it – it’s not just two brewers getting together, this is a collaboration brew between some of the South West’s finest brewers including Cheeky Monkey, Colonial, Eagle Bay, Bootleg, Bush Shack, Duckstein and Cowaramup plus new south west residents Young Henry’s.

Last years collaboration was “The Council Worker” Pale Ale and being that it was such a success they decided to join forces again this year.

Your first chance to try this brew will be at this event. Brewers from the day will also be on hand to chat, laugh and share a beer with you.

SW collaboration brew 2013 L-R: Justin Fox, Sorcha Gillen, Jeremy Good, Alex Poulsen, Jared Proudfoot, Nick d'Espeissis and Shannon Grigg Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver
Last year’s SW collaboration brew at Eagle Bay Brewing
Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver
When is it?

Sunday 26th October, kicking off at 12noon

Where is it?

Five Bar – 560 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley

Five Bar

How much for tickets and where can I get my grubby mits on them?

$50 per person, purchased through here

Tell me more!

The still unnamed beer was brewed at Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery. Brewers bought along something to contribute to the brew. The result is a wide and varied number of hop varieties including Mosaic (from Roxy, Five Bar venue manager), Topaz (Young Henrys), East Kent Golding (Bush Shack), Galaxy (Bootleg), Chinook (Duckstein) and Enigma (Colonial).

Enigma was most recently used in WA for the Bootleg & Mane Liquor collaboration – Ryezilla

Nick, head brewer at Eagle Bay Brewing, threw in a curve ball with his contribution of star anise and cinnamon.

When I asked Alex, head brewer at Cheeky Monkey, what Cowaramup Brewing had bought along to the brew day his answer was simple, “Jeremy”. The respect and love for Jeremy Good, head brewer at Cowaramup, is absolutely clear.

Besides their generous hospitality, Cheeky Monkey’s contribution was their Belgian yeast strain that is used in their Hagenbeck Belgian IPA.

Whilst last years “The Council Worker” was an Australian Pale Ale Alex said they didn’t want to do the same style again but still wanted something to satisfy both the beer-geek and casual beer drinker alike.

Paul, brewer at Colonial Brewing, is a self confessed malt-man rather than a hop-fiend so having an good malt bill was important to him. With this in mind the brew was designed to be a bit of a red ale, having a good malt structure to support all the hops. Paul is hoping that the beer will have a good burnt toffee malt character to play nicely against the bubblegum flavours from the Belgian yeast.

“It was pretty much a ‘wing it’ brew,”

Paul, Colonial Brewer

Roxy’s choice of hop, Mosiac, was added at the end of the whirlpool for a hint of spice and the relatively new hop variety Enigma was used mostly for aromatics, dry hopped alongside Galaxy.

If your OCD is going crazy and you’re wondering what style this beer is, it’s not really clear cut but Belgian spiced red ale was about as close as Alex got to labelling it. Oh and it should clock in at around the 6% ABV mark.

All in all it’s probably best to get along to South West in the City II and decide for yourself.

WA Beer Week Logo

WA Beer Week banner

GABS + Five Bar

If the mountain won’t come to Muhammah, Muhammah must go to the mountain …

“If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain”

proverb: If someone won’t do as you wish or a situation can’t be arranged to suit you, you must accept it and change your plans accordingly.

oxforddictionaries.com

GABS: The Great Australiasian Beer SpecTAPular – part of Melbourne’s Good Beer Week featuring over 100 unique festival beers all launched during the event.

Perhaps inspired by this old proverb or perhaps just overcome with jealously of Melbourne’s GABS festival, Five Bar in Mt Lawley arranged for some of WA’s GABS beers to appear alongside a specially designed menu by Beersine aka Mitch.

Five Bar: 560 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley

The beer list and menu looked like this:

Cheeky Monkey Rastapopolouse Belgian Stout

paired with: Bahen & Co Chocolate Mousse with Smoked Plums

Naked Monkey Old Fashoined Double IPA

paired with: Slow Cooked Beer Short Rib

Little Creatures SS Menno Sour Beer

paired with: Singapore Chicken and Rice

This was my dinner and a mighty fine dinner it was! Back in my bartending days I had many, many late night dinners at Uncle Billy’s in Northbridge and one of my favourite, must-have dishes was the vinegar chicken. Soft chicken, slightly crispy skin and that powerful acidic sauce that’s so addictive I’d practically drink it from the bowl.

This pairing of MM Menno and Singapore Chicken took me back to those meals, the beer filling the shoes of a tangy dressing, complementing the lemon grass and gingery notes of the dish. It all played out very nicely and was not a match I was expecting. I love surprises!

Sorry for the very average photo - apparently being hungry does not make me a good photographer!
Sorry for the very average photo – apparently being hungry does not make me a good photographer!

Eagle Bay Nigella’s Mulberry Beer

paired with: Beersine Paprika Cured Pork Loin with Pickled Fennel

Bootleg Peanut Butter Amber Ale

paired with: Sour Strawberry Jelly Sandwich

I loved this pairing. Peanut butter ale and strawberry jelly?! Talk about big kid food! The two went together really well and kept in the spirit of the original GABS beer idea of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich beer made by two different breweries – Bootleg taking the peanut butter half and NSW brewing Thirsty Crow taking care of the jelly bit with a strawberry jelly sour.

Beer is Your Friend, a great Australian beer blog, did an interview series with some GABS brewers including Thirsty Crow – you can check it out here.

Colonial Gary Le Bron Musk Saison

paired with: Goat’s Cheese and Roasted Pepper Croquettes with Aioli

These croquettes sold out before I could get my grubby little hands on them but I heard nothing but great reports. Perhaps if I ask nicely Beersine will whip these up again some day!

Gary Le Bron

The Monk Dark Monk Black IPA

paired with: Five’s Beef Tartare with Brioche and Truffle Oil

Feral Funk’N Phresh 100% Brett Ale

paired with: Coconut and Lime Cured Salmon with Cucumber Salad

Five Bar's Andy Mac is a little excited about the beers
Five Bar’s Andy Mac is a little excited about the beers

Special Monkeys + Beer

If the words “special monkeys” and “beer” didn’t get your attention then I am at a total loss …

If the words “special monkeys” and “beer” didn’t get your attention then I am at a total loss …

Cheeky Monkey

A couple of weeks ago I caught up with Cheeky Monkey brewer Jared Proudfoot over a glass of beer and discovered, as always, he’s quite the busy brewer.

If you were at the South West Craft Beer Festival you may have tasted the latest limited release from Cheeky Monkey, the ginger pale ale. After resisting many requests from customers for a ginger beer Jared decided he would meet them half way with a ginger pale ale. Jared has used ground ginger during the boil followed by one kilo of fresh organic ginger during fermentation, ensuring a balanced flavour. The ginger pale ale has been dry hopped with Simcoe and Cascade hops, which basically means they’ve been added post fermentation for mega hop aromas and flavours. The result is a beer that is fresh and dry with a zingy ginger hit balanced nicely with fresh floral hops.

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I took some of it to a friend’s house for dinner a few nights later and my friend Mitch aka the man behind Beersine and chef behind Five Bar, pondered a pairing with some kind of black bean dish. The thought of the thick black bean sauce contrasting with the crisp ginger pale ale would have resulted in drooling if we hadn’t just finished a delicious meal.

Anyway, back to the monkey house …

Other special beers coming up are an apricot berliner weisse and imperial stout, the latter being in celebration of Cheeky Monkey’s first birthday on the 5th May.

I was fortunate enough to be able to sample the two beers in their current, unfinished state.

The berliner weisse style apparently originated in or around Berlin, as your detective skills may have already determined, and the “weisse” refers to wheat. The exact origins are subject to multiple theories but I think the guys at BeerAdvocate provide a nice clear reference:

Berliner Weisse is a top-fermented, bottle conditioned wheat beer made with both traditional warm-fermenting yeasts and lactobacillus culture. They have a rapidly vanishing head and a clear, pale golden straw-coloured appearance. The taste is refreshing, tart, sour and acidic, with a lemony-citric fruit sharpness and almost no hop bitterness.

So Jared is brewing one of these with 100 kilos of apricots he sourced from a local grower in Manjimup, about 150km from Cheeky Monkeys home in Margaret River, which were deseeded by hand. Yup, by hand. That’s dedication folks. At the time of tasting the beer had been conditioning for approximately four weeks at 4-5 degrees. The taste was a soft lactic sourness with pronounced apricot coming through as the beer warmed up. Jared was pretty happy with its progress so far.

The imperial stout had spent 60 days in tank with two more weeks to go. The sample was strong and hit you with rich coffee and chocolate with promise of more to come. The beer will be bottle conditioned for up to six weeks and should come out somewhere around the ten percent mark.

Looking forward to tasting the finished apricot berliner weisse and birthday imperial stout soon and you can tell I’m excited because I completely forgot to take photos of the samples I tasted!