WA Beer News #11

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.

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 Releases

Colonial Brewing : Dark Pale

  • Available on tap only
  • Limited Release

Colonial’s autumn release is an Altbier, a traditional German style beer and they’ve used European hops alongside Best Heidelberg and Best Vienna malts.

“The Altbier opens with a nose of deep fruit and brooding plum that leads into a very smooth and approachable bodied beer”

Colonial Brewing

Look out for this beer at –

Bootleg Brewing : Traditional ‘The Flaming Youth’ Gose

  • Limited Release (being considered for permanent line up)
  • Available on tap only

Bootleg have been hitting the Gose hard with two releases of this style already this year. Now they’re releasing a traditional gose, the base beer for the previous Passionfruit Gose.

The beer uses 60% wheat malt and 40% pale malt plus WA pink salt and locally sourced coriander seeds.

Though the beer is a limited release, there is talk at the brewery of making it part of the core range meaning it would be available all the time. If you’re keen for this, let them know!

Mash Brewing : Bull Stout

  • Limited Release
  • 330ml bottles

An easy drinking and approachable stout, brewed under contract for Redbull.

Billabong Brewing : Smash Pale Ale

  • Limited Release
  • Available on tap from the brewery only

It seems Idaho 7 is getting popular, Innate Brewers created an imperial pale ale using the variety not that long ago and now we have Billabong Brewing, located in Myaree, creating a pale ale too.

It’s a single malt, single hop beer described on their  Facebook page as “bursting with citrus and tropical goodness.”

Gage Roads : American Brown Ale

  • Sneak peek keg available at The Balmoral
  • Official release end May/early June

Brewed with the autumn season in mind, Gage Roads representative Tim Milhouse says the beer has “added lactose to add to the creaminess and nice heavy caramel notes. Think hot buttered rum.”

Gage Roads : Sea Devil Stout

  • Sneak peek keg available at The Balmoral
  • Official release in July

Coming in at 9 percent ABV and 70 IBU, the Sea Devil Stout is a pretty gutsy beer.

“Starts off super rich and smokey then finishes with chocolate and black coffee bitterness,”

Tim Milhouse, Gage Roads

5 minutes with Kyle from Gage Roads Brewing

This edition of 5 minutes with features Kyle Petrie, national on premise sales manager for WA based Gage Roads Brewing Company.

This edition of 5 minutes with features Kyle Petrie, national on premise sales manager for WA based Gage Roads Brewing Company.

I’ve gotten to know Kyle as our paths cross at beer events, festivals, pubs and bars and every once in a while we might actually get a chance to sit down and have a beer, and I’ve found him possessed with equally big doses of enthusiasm and passion. He’s well spoken, confident and the impact he’s had on Gage Roads can be seen and felt across the industry, giving the brand a face and a spark of energy that has propelled Gage into more hands than ever before.

Here’s Kyle tackling five questions for your reading pleasure …

Note: The following views and opinions are Kyle’s and are not necessarily those of Gage Roads Brewing Co.

What is the most exciting thing about craft beer in WA?  

The most exciting thing for me is that it’s being embraced by the general public. The breweries that have done the hard yards and have been around for the longest amount of time (Feral, Nail, Bootleg, and Gage) are all now seeing the fruits of the labor as the Western Australian public start to get away from the ‘mainstream’ and drink far more local craft beer than ever before. You can even get a [Feral] Hop Hog at Perth International Airport!! That would never have happened 3 years ago and it’s all down to the fact that local craft beer is in demand and (plus the fact that it’s a great beer).

Kyle Petrie - Gage Roads

What has surprised you the most in your role with Gage?

Nothing really ‘surprises’ me to be honest. I always knew that if we put the focus on quality in the brew house, introduce new brews into the market and put our beers in the right hands/venues that we would have success and thankfully we’ve been able to do that and build up a great following for our brand & beers in WA and nationally. I guess if I really had to choose one thing it would be the demand for our Single Fin Summer Ale. When it first came out of tank I knew it was going to be a great beer but I didn’t think it would be as popular as it currently is which has been a pleasant surprise.

What’s your favourite food and beer pairing? 

We knocked up a few dishes recently with local WA chef Jacob D’Vauz and he produced a banging snapper ceviche which paired nicely with our Single Fin Summer Ale, it was unreal! You can actually find the recipe & a video of it being put together on our website if you’re interested in giving it a try yourself.

What Australian breweries should people watch this year?

  • Boatrocker (VIC): these guys are one of my favourite breweries in Australia. Their new barrel room looks set to produce some pretty weird, wonderful and epic beer plus with the recent investment in the brewery by HAND (ex Little Creatures owners) I think the sky’s the limit for these guys.
  • Wayward (NSW): I pop through Wayward in Camperdown every time I’m in Sydney and I’m a big fan of both their beers & brewpub. There’s always something new on tap plus quality banter from Mikey ‘The Cowboy’ to go with it!
  • Fixation (NSW): I caught up briefly with Tom Delmont in Melbourne last month and if that man’s excited then I’m excited. A brewery that limits itself to only producing IPA’s is definitely something unique to Australia so I’m looking forward to seeing what they release.

Kyle Petrie - Gage Roads

How important do you think it is to have a definition of “craft beer”?

I don’t believe it’s important at all. The definition of ‘craft beer’ is hotly debated and differs from person to person so I think it’s going to be impossible to find one simple definition that will appease everybody. We’ll all just have to agree to disagree! Personally I’d prefer beer drinkers focus on the word ‘quality’ and get away from judging a beer on whether or not it’s ‘craft’. Beer that lacks fault, is a quality representation of the style and has been made with a focus on freshness and flavor should take precedence. I get pretty pissed off hearing beer snobs bickering over whether or not Sierra Nevada or Ballast Point are craft or not when they’re producing some of the best beer in the world. Judge them on the beer and not their size or ownership.


 

Weekend Reading #56

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly (ahem, usually) post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days.

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly (ahem, usually) post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days.


Draft Mag | Making Sense of the Reinheitsgebot

In April it will be 500 years since the famous Reinheitsgebot aka Germany Purity Law came into effect. This is a fantastic read to get the facts of what this law is, how and why it came about (for pricing, not for great beer) and what it really means.

The Age | Ray’s Rant: What Happened to the Good, Old Fashioned Aussie Lager?

I don’t think this article is any good so you might be wondering what it’s doing here. It is troubling to me that an article like this makes it into the mainstream press.

I understand that it’s an opinion piece more than anything but it lacks a lot of research and the strange almost patriotic language, some could be Alf Stewart quotes, is at odds with the articles conclusion of five beers he recommends which are all owned by foreign companies. It’s also interesting to note that one of the beers has been discontinued, not sure when but I think it has been some time.

Perhaps the first article I have listed would have been good for Ray to discover the premium imported lagers he enjoys are not held accountable to the Reinheitsgebot.

“Bring back the taste of Australia,” he remarks. I don’t believe for a second that Australia can be encapsulated in just the ice cold lagers that have continued to decline year after year as this and many other articles and research tells us. What happened to the good, old fashioned Aussie lager, you ask? The same thing as instant coffee and sliced white bread, the market grew and a growing number of consumers are looking for something more.

Oh and this article wouldn’t be complete with a reference “bearded hipsters” though this time it’s aimed at the brewers not the craft beer drinkers. Please don’t make name brewers just in WA who are not bearded. Whilst I’m not listing things, if Ray would like a list of Australian lagers please refer to James Smith’s book 150 Great Australian Beers, pages 34-48 – the lager section.

Gage Roads | Meet the Team: Aaron Heary

A great interview with Gage’s long time brewer Aaron and when you read about his home brews you’ll get super thirsty! The photography in this interview is also lovely.

 

Weekend Reading #48

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days and hope that you will too.


Perth Now | Little Creatures’ founders make crafty return to beer hall

I find it hard to believe that a building in the centre of Perth CBD has been unused for 20 years, it just seems crazy. This week The Petition Beer Corner and their related venues opened their doors for the first time. Seb, ex-beer dude at Print Hall, has moved up the road to be the venue manager and look after the 18 taps of awesome that will be in constant rotation. Between Petition, Bob’s Bar and D.T.C it makes for a fairly incredible beery landscape.

Australian Brews News | Gage Roads defends executive payrises

I have never worked as a brewer so I am probably not well placed to comment on this article except to say that it seems an interesting one. I have read several comments on a couple of social media platforms which are less than positive. It is also intriguing to read what categories are on the rise, and which aren’t, for Gage.

Sydney Morning Herald | How not to kill craft beer as big breweries scoop up smaller rivals

Again, interesting. A former Foster’s chief executive says that craft breweries steering clear of the big supermarkets. It’s the same sentiment that I heard from American craft brewery Deschutes’s vice president of sales, Andrew Tysler, when I met him a few years ago. There’s probably a lot of merit in this advice, it could be argued that with every deal done, exclusivity agreed to or even just ranging agreement the power that the “big guys” have in the market grows and solidifies.

“Stone and Wood has been selling on allocation all its life,” – you have to ask yourself if this was a result of business direction or simply the position they found themselves in having blown the market away with their great beer and being unable to keep up. A great position to be in but I am not sure whether this the certified business decision this article makes it out to be. I obviously have no insight into Stone & Wood so I’m happy to be corrected if my assumptions are incorrect.

girl+beer @ Frisk Small Bar

Frisk is a gin speciality bar that doesn’t shy away from good beers and in the spirit of good beers I was delighted to be asked by the crew at Frisk to collaborate on their beer menu

Frisk Small Bar is a gin bar, there are lots and lots of gins. There is also lots of pretty good beer too.

If you haven’t been to Frisk Small Bar yet it’s on Francis Street in Northbridge, not far from where the old Taipan Room nightclub used to be (for those old enough and not ashamed to remember).

Frisk is a gin speciality bar that doesn’t shy away from good beers and in the spirit of good beers I was delighted to be asked by the crew at Frisk to collaborate on their new beer menu. Every month or so, depending on how fast the beers are enjoyed, there will be three featured beers on the menu hand picked by yours truly around a particular theme.

Frisk Small Bar

November’s locally themed feature beers

For the “beer curious” there will be something that I hope will light the beery love on your palate, then for the “beer lover” maybe something of a classic, maybe something new but definitely something tasty. Then for the “beer geek” something extra special.

Frisk Small Bar

These are the latest beers on the menu, though I have been told they are selling fast, and they are all beers which have been recently released, or re-released in the case of Bootleg’s The Coconut One – a hefeweizen with toasted coconut.

Be sure to get into Frisk and see what beers are kicking around and if there’s anything you’d like to see on the menu please comment below!

WA Beer Week: Mane Liquor Beer Spectacular

It’s here, it’s finally here! WA Beer Week kicked off today and the official opening event, Mane Liquor’s Beer Spectacular, delivered beer, food and good times in spades, setting the standard for the rest of the week.

It’s here, it’s finally here! WA Beer Week kicked off today and the official opening event, Mane Liquor’s Beer Spectacular, delivered beer, food and good times in spades, setting the standard for the rest of the week.

Mane Liquor transformed their car park into a mini beer festival that showcased both local and international breweries such as south west favourites Eagle Bay and Colonial Brewing alongside New Zealand’s 8 Wired and Epic. I can’t continue without saying the 8 Wired Saison Sauvin is pretty stunning.

Epic & 8 Wired at Mane

The beers that travelled the farthest were from London’s Camden Town Brewery and included their Hells Lager, Gentlemen’s Wit and Pils. Sarah from Hippocampus Drinks, the Australian distributors for Camden, said the Pils had only landed yesterday – what perfect timing for WA Beer Week! Camden Pils is an unfiltered and dry hopped version of their flagship Hells, it’s clean, lightly malty and seriously drinkable.

Camden Town Brewery

Last night Cheeky Monkey was awarded the trophy for ‘Best Reduced Alcohol Draught’ at The Perth Royal Beer Show for their Travelling Monk, a mid-strength red ale. Both Alex and Ross, head brewer and assistant brewer, were at Mane this afternoon and as expected both were pretty stoked with the win. It comes at a bit of a passing of the baton at Cheeky as Ross prepares to take over as head brewer with Alex leaving to expand his career into distilling.

Colonial’s brewers Justin and Paul were also at Mane today and pouring their Kolsch, Small Ale and current release in their IPA series – an English IPA. The next IPA will be an American style which Paul says was brewed last week so keep an eye out for that soon!

Paul at the Colonial bar at Mane Liquor

Gage Roads showcased their new beers – Narrow Neck, Breakwater and Summer Ale. The Narrow Neck was my pick of the three with a great pineapple/mango nose. The body of the beer really benefits from warming up a little with more malty characters coming through. Narrow Neck is a reduced booze beer, joining the likes of Rogers’, Cheeky Monkey Travelling Monk, Eagle Bay Mild and Colonial Small Ale and expanding the mid-strength craft category in WA, a trend that I hope continues.

Homestead Brewery threw out the conventional methods of sampling with their brewer Jackson roaming the crowd with a keg in his backpack. I had at least half a dozen conversations with people who told me to go and find the guy with the keg in a backpack for a sample of a really good beer. Said beer was Homestead’s Black Swan, their black IPA – a wonderful balance of roasty malts and big hops. I loved this approach to sampling though hope Jackson’s back isn’t too sore tomorrow!

Mane Liquor Beer Spectacular
L-R: Me (laughing), Bill (Old Faithful Bar & BBQ), Jackson (Homestead), Reece (WA Beer Week) and Alex (Cheeky Monkey)

Recommended Reading: Brazilian Truckers – blog post by Laura Moseley on Comida do Sul

Other breweries at the event included Bickley Valley and Nail Brewing, Nail picked up a trophy at last night’s Perth Royal Beer Show for ‘Best Stout Packaged’ for their Hughe Dunn Imperial Brown Ale. Little Creatures showed off their latest Single Batch release – a Saison. Mash Brewing were there fresh from their trophy haul last night where they took out ‘Best Commercial Brewery’, ‘Best West Australian Brewery’ and ‘Best Ale Draught’ for Copy Cat AIPA. Eddie Dickens was solo at the Feral Brewing tent as the rest of the team prepared for Feral Fest, held at the Perth Cultural Centre after the Mane Liquor event featuring over 16 Feral beers, pig on a spit and live music until late.

Recommended Reading: Beer Awards – Perth Royal Beer Show by Crafty Pint

There was no shortage of food alongside all this wonderful beer with Comida do Sul Brazilian Food Truck and Toastface Grillah serving up their tasty treats. The smell of delicious melting cheese wafted through half the festival but I couldn’t go past the Choripan from Comida do Sul – $9 gets you a chorizo sausage in a bun with salsa and mayo and it’s divine.

Still on the food side of things Beersine started their assault of WA Beer Week with samples of his infamous Pale Ale Cheddar, made with Feral’s Hop Hog, and their fermented chilli sauce. Mitch, the man behind Beersine, is involved in an event on every single day of the calendar. Now THAT is commitment to WA Beer Week, folks. Basically if you don’t get to have Beersine’s food at least twice during the week you’d have to conclude that you are doing WA Beer Week wrong.

The event was a fantastic way to start WA Beer Week – excited to see what the rest of the week will bring!

Australia Day + The Convict

Gage Roads Brewing Company have released a couple of cracking limited release beers in their lifetime. A long time ago I was working as a rep for them and they released a Saison and a Trippel – one of them was sensational but for the life of me, and probably due to a number of years and beers passing, I can’t seem to remember which one. Fast forward five years since then to 2013 and I was at home about to open a bottle of Gage Roads The Convict, an Australian Strong Ale on the eve of Australia Day. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

Gage Roads Brewing Company have released a couple of cracking limited release beers in their lifetime. A long time ago I was working as a rep for them and they released a Saison and a Trippel – one of them was sensational but for the life of me, and probably due to a number of years and beers passing, I can’t seem to remember which one. Fast forward five years since then to 2013 and I was at home about to open a bottle of Gage Roads The Convict, an Australian Strong Ale on the eve of Australia Day. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

Of course I spread the love across a few Aussie brands – Mt Franklin for water and Coopers Pale just because it’s an icon! Happy Australia Day!

IMG_20130125_190319

I picked up The Convict at Cellarbrations Carlisle, where all good beer can be found, and it was the last bottle left so I felt a little guilty whilst I was at the register as another customer requested a bottle. Whoops, sorry! I genuinely hope they found another bottle.

The label is fantastic – it’s kinda like Poseidon stepped off the boat after many long months at sea, went on a boozy rampage and misplaced his pupils somewhere …

The Convict - Gage Roads

After said drunken rampage he went off and made a gorgeous beer …

It’s got dark fruits, rich caramel and biscuit flavours all mingling together with a strong bitter finish. At 7.2% abv it is strong enough to let you know it’s boozy but doesn’t dominate or slap you in the face. Having said that my partner and I shared just a single bottle over dinner so perhaps it would be a different story if it were on tap at the pub; the next morning may not be so rosy after multiple pints of this tasty brew.

Dinner match was a Chorizo and Chili Ravioli with Fresh Basil and Parmesan. It was a nice enough match though the dish lacked anything along the sweet-ish lines to go with the strong maltiness of the beer. I’m thinking a beef ravioli with some sweet paprika would have done the trick. I guess I’ll have to get another bottle to find out!

If you can get your hands on it you should try this beer, check out Cellarbrations Carlisle, International Beer Shop and Dan Murphy’s for stocks.

The Convict with Chorizo Ravioli