WA Beer News #21

Get comfy because there are a LOT of new beers in this post! There’s an IPA using an experimental hop variety, a berliner weisse, a saison, something barrel-aged and more …

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 …

Mash Brewing Little NEIPA

  • 3.5 percent ABV
  • New England IPA

It’s always great to see another tasty craft brewed mid-strength because sometimes you have to be a responsible adult but you don’t want to drink a beer that could easily be a stand-in for soda water.

Colonial Small, Pirate Life Throwback IPA and Eagle Bay Mild have been the go-to mids for a while and will now be joined by Mash Brewing Little NEIPA with 375ml cans available all year round from today.

Super easy drinking, fresh and fruity hop character and low bitterness.

Big thanks to Scott and the Mash team who hosted a few bloggers and writers on Saturday to celebrate this beer hitting stores. 

Gage Roads Alby

  • Brewed with 100% WA barley

There are two versions of Gage Roads Alby, the Draught at 4.2 percent ABV and the Crisp Lager at 3.5 percent ABV. 330ml bottles are available in stores now and word is that these are two of the beers destined for the new Perth stadium.

Innate The Uprising

  • Limited release
  • Available on tap only
  • 7.0 percent ABV

Innate Brewers latest single batch brew is a Belgian IPA. You can find it on tap at Refuge Small Bar in Subiaco.

Colonial The Pioneer

  • Limited Release
  • 7.5 percent ABV
  • Single Hop IPA

Released yesterday in super limited quantities, The Pioneer is the latest in the Colonial Brewing Project Beer series following the super popular The Inquest.

The Pioneer uses a new hop variety from Hop Products Australia that is experimental so it doesn’t have a name yet, simply referred to as HPA-016. They used whole hop cones and a malt bill of pale, wheat, melanoiden and caramel rye with a clean American ale yeast.

List of stockists found here.

Thanks to Colonial Brewing Co and brand ambassador Margaret McCarron for providing me with free samples of The Pioneer.

Feral F-15

  • Limited Release
  • Bourbon barrel-aged brown ale
  • 9.0 percent ABV

First up I’ll say this beer is absurdly drinkable given its complexity and high alcohol content, either that or my palate has some pretty questionable taste buds.

The F-15 was brewed to celebrate 15 years of Feral Brewing and is also a salute to Will Irving, the man behind the brew kit. They made a brown ale and then filled Heaven Hill Distillery bourbon barrels and left the beer to age for six months.

The bourbon influence hits you right away but there’s a lot going on behind it with pear, light toast and nutty aromas. It all follows through on the palate alongside some caramel, subtle toast, vanilla and sweetish, well-rounded alcohol.

Nowhereman Festbier

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

Nowhereman Brewing got into the German spirit by brewing an Oktoberfest style beer. Festbier is a malt driven lager, a little grassy with just a hint of smoke for a twist on the classic style. Very approachable and full flavoured, you’ll find this beer at the brewery and also at Old Faithful and The Belgian Beer Cafe.

Eagle Bay Double IPA

  • 8.0 percent ABV
  • Available on tap only

This is the first double IPA from Eagle Bay Brewing and it’s super limited release with just 15 kegs available.

Mighty hop character coming from Simcoe, Columbus, Mosaic and Centennial hop varieties and is supported by pale, crystal, wheat and Munich malt.

Look out for this beer at The Norfolk in Fremantle, Five Bar in Mt Lawley and Bar Lafayette and Petition Beer Corner in the CBD.

coming soon …

Black Brewing Saison

  • 4.8 percent ABV
  • 330ml bottles

I had been hoping a local brewery would make a Saison available all year round so it was high fives all round when Nowhereman Brewing in Leederville made a saison, made it beautifully and made it part of their permanent line up.

Now Black Brewing are also coming to the Saison party!

Saison, meaning “season”, originates from Wallonia, Belgium and is a showcase for characterful fruity and spicy yeast flavours.

Black Brewing will release their Saison on Monday and even though it is officially their summer seasonal, national sales manager and all round good beer guy, Tim Hoskins, is hoping it makes a big impression and becomes part of the year-round lineup.

They’ve brewed this with a French yeast strain, a malt bill that includes wheat, corn and oats for added mouthfeel and some mandarin peel for a boost of citrus.

Cheeky Monkey x Mane Liquor x Chico Gelato Frosty Fruit Sour

  • Release Date: Friday 3 November
  • 4.4 percent ABV
  • Berliner Weisse

Two’s company but three is … going to be fantastic! Cheeky Monkey had the guys from Mane Liquor and Chicho Gelato over to brew a passionfruit, mandarin and lime sorbet Berliner Weisse and if you’re not drooling after reading that, I’m genuinely surprised.

This beer used 55kg of local juice and pulp and 10kg of Chicho Sorbet and they say the result is reminiscent of Frosty Fruits icy poles.

A sneak peek of this beer will be at Mane Liquor’s Carpark Party tomorrow.

The beer officially launches on Friday 3 November at The Bird.

news …

Scarborough Cellars get taps

Scarborough Cellars has joined the growing list of bottle shops installing taps so that we can take home more draught fresh beers. They also have a canning machine for 375ml cans to take home.

Rocky Ridge cans now available

Rocky Ridge Brewing from Busselton have recently started canning their beers. They have released their Pale Ale and IPA in 500ml cans plus their Citrus IPA in 375ml cans. 

WA Beer Week event calendar goes LIVE

WA Beer Week might still be a few weeks away – 17 – 26 November – but events are already starting to sell out so head over to check out what’s happening. There’s a 6km beer run, quiz nights, beer dinners, beer versus wine dinners, games and more!

So long Charlie and thanks for all the Copy Cat

It was great to sit down with Charlie, literally in between his time at Mash and the beginnings of a new venture over in Brisbane called Helios Brewing, and reflect on his time in WA and what’s coming up!

While I was chatting with Charlie Hodgson last week, on his last day as head brewer at Mash Brewing, it had clearly been a weird day for him, closing such a significant chapter of his life. We sat down over a pint, both choosing local brews by Cheeky Monkey Brewery, and I think Charlie was just happy to stop for a moment in between finishing up at Mash and the removalists coming the next day.

Over Charlie’s six years at Mash he created award-winning beers while the brewery has continued to grow. The brewing schedule has been jam-packed to meet a very thirsty audience, they’ve added a sales team, launched a range of cans and gone through a re-brand, trust me, breweries are busy places.

I’ve known Charlie, we figured out during our interview, for about a decade, starting when we were both at Gage Roads Brewing. It’s where Charlie began his brewing career, coming from the wine industry, and where I also started something new as a sales rep after years of bartending and late nights.

It was great to sit down with Charlie, literally in between his time at Mash and the beginnings of a new venture over in Brisbane and reflect on his time in WA and what’s coming up.


As I write this Charlie is driving to Brisbane, he’s moving from one side of the country to the other to be the head brewer at Helios Brewing. Though daunting to move from WA particularly given Charlie’s self-confessed aversion to change, he is feeling very positive about the move.

Helios Brewing is named after the Greek sun god, a theme that carries through in their beer names such as Poseidon, Aphrodite, Zeus and Hades, and is estimated to open at the end November.

Image from Helios Brewing Facebook

Charlie’s role will be a lot different to the one at Mash, he’ll be brewing plenty of beer, don’t worry about that but he will also be taking on some different tasks which he says will involve a little sales, some bar work and maybe even washing dishes in the kitchen! Charlie listed these tasks all with a smile on his face, he is looking forward to the variety and a less frantic production schedule.

A career in brewing wasn’t always on the cards for Charlie, in-fact he worked in wine before and it wasn’t until his late-twenties he realised beer was where he wanted to be. His brewing career started in 2006 at Gage Roads Brewing where he learnt under Aaron Heary who is still at Gage today, now their Chief Operating Officer.

When the opportunity to take on the head brewer role at Mash came up, it was a chance to showcase what he could accomplish in a leadership role and, like anyone would, at first he had to ask himself, “can I do this?”

Six years on and the answer is pretty clearly ‘hell yeah’.


I asked Jack Purser, head brewer at Indian Ocean Brewing, for a few words reflecting on his time as an assistant brewer with Charlie at Mash.

“He’s been a massive influence in my life so I’d gladly say a few words,” Jack said.

Working with Charlie was hands down the most significant learning curve I have had during my time as a brewer.

Everyone knows how brilliant of a brewer Charlie is. But this isn’t necessarily the reason behind why people in the industry respect him so much.

Charlie once said to me “I won’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself”. This wasn’t just a statement, he then followed this up during the 3 years I worked alongside him (even if I razzed him for always being upstairs shining his boots).

The most valuable slice of information I gathered from Charlie, is his simplicity in his approach. He preaches knowing your ingredients, simplicity in recipe development and a host of non-negotiables with regards to processing.

Charlie with three of his past assistant brewers (L-R) Charlie, Robin, Eddie and Jack

One of the most significant beers in Charlie’s time at Mash is Copy Cat, an American IPA which, on its very first batch, took out Champion Australian Beer at the 2014 Australian International Beer Awards.

“This was obviously huge for us,” he says with a smile.

A barrel fermented version of Copy Cat

By now it is pretty well documented that an American IPA wasn’t a style Charlie was tripping over himself to brew but Copy Cat is still the Mash beer he is most proud of, though he was reluctant to choose just one of his “children” of beers when I asked him this question.

Charlie had preferred a beer like Challenger, an English IPA, would have been the beer to make a big splash but it was the bold American hops that people wanted and boy, did he give it to them.

Charlie with the Australian International Beer Awards trophies in 2014

“The consumer drives us very hard,” Charlie says and we’re seeing it again with the current hazy IPA trend, one that Mash have jumped on relatively early with only a few local breweries having brewed the style, like Feral’s Biggie Juice. When Charlie read up on the NEIPA style he said he knew exactly what he wanted to brew,

“I thought, man, this reeks of a mid-strength; lower bitterness, enhanced mouthfeel, hop forward, hazy.”

The beer is called Little NEIPA and is available on tap now, “three tanks in and we are having trouble keeping up with it,” Charlie says and 375ml cans will launch towards the end of October.

“I’m a traditionalist with a spin,”

“I like to pay respect to a style and then turn it on its head a little,” he says. Grasscutter is one of his favourite beers and a great example of his brewing style,

“Grasscutter is probably the smartest beer I ever made, ever. It was a light clean beer, fermented on oak, clean, summery but really complex,”

Commissioning the new brewery at Helios will be new ground for Charlie and amongst other factors, appealed to him when considering the role. The brew kit is an 18 hectolitre Premier Stainless setup, the same size as West Leederville’s Nowhereman Brewing.

Helios will open with six core range beers and two speciality brews though Charlie predicts those six are likely to change in the early stages as they play around and see what people respond to.

So what were your highlights at Mash, I asked Charlie.

“Mash, in general, has been a highlight,” he replied and I have to say, it has been for us too. See you later Charlie!

 

WA Beer News #18

New beers from Nowhereman, White Lakes, Boston, Mash and Eagle Bay + more!

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 out now …

Nowhereman Six Seasons

  • 5.5 percent ABV
  • Saison

Head brewer Paul Wyman describes Six Seasons “as a beer for those people who say they don’t like beer.” If you ask me, there is not enough Saison in the world so it is great to see not only a new Saison kicking around but one by a local brewer! Brewers notes on this one include gentle bitterness, banana, bubblegum, clove, pepper, spice, musk and lemongrass.

Boston Sinker Bay Oak Aged Stout

  • 7.5 percent ABV
  • Limited release

White Lakes Festival Amber

  • Marzen style beer
  • Limited Release
Marzen is a German amber lager known for its bready and toasty malt character and White Lakes have put their own modern twist on the style using New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops which provide fruity and white wine notes.

Mash Brewing + Petition Boys to the Yard

  • Chocolate Milkshake Stout
  • 6.3 percent ABV
  • Launching 28 September

You gotta love a great pun and cheesy beer names and Mash’s limited releases have been killing it lately! The beers have also been fantastic and so I’m expecting this chocolate milkshake stout to be no different.

coming soon …

Rocky Ridge brewing

Busselton’s Rocky Ridge will be releasing their 500ml cans in early October!

Eagle Bay Citrus IPA

  • Brewers Series
  • Available in 330ml bottles and on tap

Brewed with grapefruit, lemon and orange zest Eagle Bay Brewing released this beer back in late 2015 and it was stunning! Expect the new batch of Citrus IPA out soon but if you’re the impatient type, they’ve got a sneak peek of it at this weekend’s Beer & Beef Festival.

news …

4 Pines Brewing

The big news in Australian beer this week was the acquisition of 4 Pines Brewing by AB InBev, bringing the New South Wales brewery into the global portfolio that also includes brands like Yak Ales, Great Northern and Goose Island.

Of course, if you prefer to drink independent craft beer then sadly you’ll have to cross 4 Pines off your list but it has to be acknowledged that the brewery has had a big impact over the years on the brewing scene and have worked very hard to brew great beer and get it all across the country. Not too shabby for a couple of boys from WA’s south-west!

Read: Crafty Pint – 4 Pines: Behind the Sale

Read: Australian Brews News – AB InBev Buys 4 Pines Beer

See You Later, Charlie

After six years at Mash Brewing, head brewer Charlie Hodgson is leaving WA to go to a new brewery opening in Brisbane called Helios Brewing. Charlie has been hugely influential to the WA scene over the years and has been responsible for introducing some great beers to local drinkers like the multi-award winning CopyCat AIPA and Sarcasm to name just two.

See ya Charlie and thanks for all the beers!

WA Beer News #13

New beers from Mash Brewing, Eagle Bay Brewing, Last Drop Brewery and Colonial Brewing plus an upcoming collab between Feral Brewing and El Grotto and Nowhereman Brewing is almost ready to open!

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!


Mash Brewing

Barrel Fermented Cat – Port Barrel & French Vanilla Barrel

You may have noticed that the brewing team at Mash Brewing have been playing around with their award winning American IPA, Copy Cat, recently. We have had Black Cat, a black IPA version of the beer and now we have two barrel aged versions – one that’s spent time in Port Barrels and another in French oak.

Photo from Mash Brewing Facebook page

Both weigh in at 6.8 percent ABV; the Barrel Fermented Cat – aka BFC – in port barrels is described by the brewery as having “fortified wine notes, rich dark fruit and of course port/wine like characters” whilst the version in French oak has “dry hops still present and tying in very nicely with the vanilla offering from the French oak.”

This beer is available in keg only and there are kegs heading to several venues around Perth, check Mash Brewing’s Facebook page for their full list of stockists.

Eagle Bay Brewing

Black Vanilla

Eagle Bay Brewing Black Vanilla is a 9.5 percent ABV whiskey barrel aged coconut and vanilla imperial stout and has been brewed in collaboration with fellow WA locals Mane LiquorWhipper Snapper Distillery and artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers. This is third year in a row these guys have gotten together for the sake of beer. Black Vanilla is preceded by Black & Tannin in 2015 and Forest for the Trees last year.

Brew day for Black Vanilla // Photo courtesy of Eagle Bay Brewing

They brewed an imperial stout and then aged it in Whipper Snapper Upshot Whiskey barrels for three months before toasted coconut and vanilla beans were added.

“It’s dark and roasty, combining sweet vanilla and toasty coconut with a subtle coffee intensity, it’s smooth and damn delicious. Crafted to be enjoyed with good friends now or stashed away for a little bit later down the track.”

Eagle Bay Brewing

The beer launches at the brewery on Thursday 20 July with additional launch events at Mane Liquor on Saturday 22 July at Mane Liquor and then on Wednesday 26 July at Lalla Roohk for a Black Vanilla Winter Feast

Last Drop Brewery

American Brown Ale

Last Drop Brewery have released something special, a single batch limited release 4.0 percent ABV American Brown Ale. It has been brewed with two US hop varieties, Chinook and Simcoe. The brewery’s notes suggest “some mild chocolate, some nuttiness and malt sweetness characters.”

Colonial Brewing Co.

Colonial Brewing Co will be releasing something special this coming week, an imperial stout called Colonial Inquest, that is 11.7 percent ABV and will be available in 375ml gold and black cans.

“We’ve created something special here, employing a brewing method we’ve never tried before to create our biggest release yet. It’s big, rich, loaded with malt and complex flavours but doesn’t completely overpower the palate, remaining balanced and moreish.”

Ash Hazell, Colonial Brewing Head Brewer

The brewing method Ash refers to is the two separate mashes to create more fermentables by using the last worts of the first to mash in to the second.

Expect this to be very big, bold, malty and rich after some extended time in tank to develop all its complex flavours.

Image from Colonial Brewing Co Port Melbourne Facebook page

Feral Brewing

The team at Scarborough’s El Grotto bar, a haven of tequila and good times, were hanging out at Feral Brewing’s Swan Valley brewpub recently for a collaboration brew. El Grotto’s Insta-story showed the El Grotto crew having a pretty fun day out in the valley with Feral’s head brewer Will Irving and it looked like there was much citrus involved. The beer should be ready early August; stay tuned to El Grotto’s social media for more details.

Nowhereman Brewing

It is a mere couple of weeks before West Leederville’s Nowhereman Brewing opens their doors. Bags of malt are being delivered and the brew kit itself is being put through its paces by brewer Paul Wyman, watching their Instagram feed is a fantastic tease as we get closer to opening day.

Read more: Broadsheet – Opening Soon: Nowhereman Brewing

Nowhereman Brewing’s Paul Wyman

 

WA Beer News #12

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!


Honest Ale

Honest Ale is a partnership between Black Brewing Co. and local surfing pros – Taj Burrow, Dino Adrian and Jay Davies. The beer has already launched in Margaret River with the first keg tapped at Margaret River Brewhouse in April and now it’s Perth’s time.

The first Perth venues to get kegs are Bather’s Beach House, El Grotto and The Cottesloe Beach Hotel. 330ml bottles are available from the usual great shops you’d find local craft beer.

IMG_20170624_192224.jpg

Rocky Ridge Rock Juice

Rocky Ridge have gotten together with two great WA beer guys – Adam Lesk from Cellarbrations Carlisle and Ricky Watt from Cape Cellars in Busselton to make Rock Juice.

“It’s the most hops I’ve ever used in my life!”

Hamish Coates, Rocky Ridge Owner/Brewer

The beer will be available from 1st July at just a handful of venues, it is a seriously limited release, so best to check out their Facebook page for the details.

Colonial Porter

The Colonial Porter is their winter seasonal release featuring five malts – Pale, Vienna, Amber, Crystal and Chocolate – alongside three hop varieties – Goldings and Fuggles from the UK and Wakatu from New Zealand.

Mash Brewing Little NEIPA

Mash have taken the current love affair with the New England IPA, aka NEIPA, and created their own for limited release but have managed to brew one at just 3.5 percent ABV.

Whilst there’s nothing more important than the beer inside, you gotta love great artwork and I think the tap decal for this beer is brilliant, funny and cute.

IMG_20170622_160400

Indian Ocean Brewing x Dainton Family Brewery x DTC Sacred & Profane

A collaboration between two breweries and a beer bar, Sacred & Profane is an Imperial Stout that was first brewed in mid-2016. Just 50 bottles are available from DTC in Victoria Park.

Eagle Bay Cacao Stout

Part of their Brewers Series, the Cacao Stout comes around every year and, for me, it’s a signal that winter is really here! To brew this beer Eagle Bay team up with local bean-to-bar chocolatier, Bahen & Co and use the cacao husks which are a by-product of their bean-to-bar chocolate making process.

The result is a fantastic stout every year with the subtle features of whichever variety of cacao bean the husk has come from.

Eagle Bay Fusion Beet Pale & Orchard IPA

Gotta love Eagle Bay Brewing for pumping out the single batch beers, here’s two more and they’re both kick-ass!

The Fusion Beet Pale Ale is a beetroot pale ale that I got to try last weekend at the Mane Winter Beer Festival and it’s gorgeous. It’s a little sweet and earthy and once you realise it’s beetroot you realise, “of course it is!”

The Orchard IPA has been brewed using grapefruits from the Eagle Bay Brewing farm, what sounds like more of a spring release beer, it’s ready now because the grapefruit was late to ripen but it’s well worth the wait. Packed with delicious, unmistakable grapefruit aroma and flavour, it’s gorgeous.

img_20170616_174611.jpg

 

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 Scott from Mash Brewing

This edition of 5 minutes with … features Scott Earley, brand ambassador for Mash Brewing Co.

This edition of 5 minutes with … features Scott Earley, brand ambassador for Mash Brewing Co. Like many people in the beer world, Scott is passionate about great beer and also happens to be a downright great guy too. Scott has been at Mash during a time of a lot of change including a full re-brand and the introduction of cans, both of which he played very significant roles in, not to mention the celebration of Mash’s 10th anniversary.

Scott has been hitting the books and recently sat the Certified Cicerone exam, the results of which are still unknown, and will continue to learn and study and he’s keen to help others learn about beer too. That’s why he is teaming up with the Belgian Beer Cafe in Perth’s CBD to present School of Beer.

He’ll be covering six topics, one per month held on the first Wednesday of the month, you can sign up for one or two or all of them!

Before you join Scott at School of Beer, you can get to know him a little better here where he talks about changing the way his mates drink, the growth of craft and what he loves about his job.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about craft beer?

I think the most common misconception about craft beer is that it is just beer.  It’s not just a beer it’s a drink, it’s a luxury, it’s a lifestyle, it’s sustenance, it’s massively varied, it’s food, it’s a status symbol, it’s heavily ingrained into our history as human beings and most of all it’s just plain freaking gloriously delicious when done right!  I feel that all beer is tarred with the same brush by so many and it has copped a bad rap over the many years due to unscrupulous large corporations and ridiculous tax laws that have strangled the life of beer over the years and left us with the conception that beer is a light fizzy yellow drink that is good for blokes to get pissed on and cause all of society’s problems.

I think the best thing about my job is I feel like part of an army of educators going out there and changing people’s minds!

You sort of get that Matrix kind of feeling when you start to see your mates bringing their own good beer to your parties rather the same old swill they have been drinking for years. It’s like “he’s starting to believe!”

What do you look for in a beer label / can design?

My opinion on label design is probably a little more skewed towards what’s ticking off the boxes from a marketing perspective rather than what looks cool.  I look at everyones designs and think, “yep, they get it” or “nope, sorry looks cool but your message is lost”.  It’s a tough gig trying to be individual out there at the moment. With so many people getting it right, it often feels like all your ideas are copying someone else’s work and you have to start again.

What has surprised you the most in your time at Mash Brewing?

I would say the growth of the industry in such a short time.  Not only is the demand going crazy but the amount of breweries popping up is bananas.  You sort of think “geez, I hope this demand keeps growing otherwise we are going to see a lot of cheap brewing equipment for sale in a few years.”

Scott showing people around the brewery

What is your favourite food and beer pairing?

I have been studying food and beer pairing for short while now and really I am not sure I have completely struck gold yet but a recent beer dinner saw a lot of the beer used in the actual food preparation and this really made a measurable difference to how the food was perceived and the what people thought of the actual taste while drinking and eating the same thing.

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

Right now I think WA really seems to be kicking all sorts of arse.  We have some truly solid breweries pushing boundaries that I think would certainly give anything from the US or NZ a run for its money.  Though some stand out more than others there is little brewed in WA that is not quality.  The crew in the industry I get to work with and learn from in WA is also pretty rad.  I was only an outsider less than 18 months ago with ZERO industry experience and the amount of people who were more than happy to help me along was amazing.

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.

wp-1488809499493.jpg

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!

wp-1488810137417.jpg

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 #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

 

 

Love Berliner Weisse

When temperatures are close to 40, it’s when I love Berliner Weisse beers even more …

“I’m melting, pass the Berliner Weisse!” this was basically the motto of the day in our house on the Monday after Christmas as Perth sweated and complained it’s way through a few 38+ degree days.

Like any sane and sensible humans we stayed inside for most of it, cranked the air conditioner and did lots of sitting around. We also indulged in a little “it’s the holidays!” justified Monday drinking and cracked open a few beers.

When the temperature persistently hovers around the 40 degree mark it’s hard to find a more refreshing beer than a Berliner Weisse. It’s the delicate sourness, the relatively low alcohol content and the zingy mouth feel that ticks all the right boxes.


A little information about Berliner Weisse …
It’s German, or more accurately it has origins in Berlin and it falls under appellation d’origine controllee meaning you can’t say your beer is a Berliner Weiss unless it’s from Berlin. Yup, that’s a law and that’s why frequently you’ll see the word “style” slotted in to the beer name.
It’s sour, not super dooper sour but certainly sour. It gets like this from using lactobacillus that, like yeast, eats sugar but instead of producing CO2 and alcohol like our yeast buddies, lactobacillus will produce lactic acid and therefore the lovely sourness!
It’s a wheat beer. At the heart of this refreshing sour brew is a wheat beer. Percentages of wheat tend to vary, one article I read said as low as 25% and a couple of others said 50%. The remaining malt is usually pilsner malt.
Fun Note: In 1809 when Napoleon and his troops entered Berlin and drank some Berliner Weisse beers they apparently enjoyed them so much they referred to the beer as the “champagne of the North”
Low Booze: Usually 2.8-3.8 percent ABV.
IBU: 3-6, though sour or tart, the beer isn’t bitter.
Cellaring: Debateable. I came across a few forums and the topic caused a good bit of debate and, from time to time, some name calling.
Read: CraftBeer.com style guide for Berliner-style Weisse
Read: German Beer Institute – Berliner Weisse

Buxton Brewery | Far Skyline

This was the first beer we had, it was recommended by Rich at Mane Liquor and if Rich recommends a beer, you should definitely listen because this was a cracker.

It bucks tradition a little with a higher ABV of 4.9 percent and it’s also dry hopped, a departure for a beer style that’s normally without any hop character.

There’s a light tartness, some lime and the zesty yet soft mouth feel you’d expect from this style. The dry hopping adds subtle and simply lovely stone fruit flavours.

Buxton Far Skyline

Boatrocker Brewing | Orange Sherbet

Back closer to home is this one from Melbourne’s Boatrocker Brewing. Again there’s some differences with this one, for one it’s been aged in Chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces (a wild yeast strain).

I wrote no tasting notes at all on this one, I was too busy sipping away happily but it doesn’t disappoint if you like the sound of the label. It’s bright and zingy like sherbet, there’s a lot of orange happening and hints other citrus friends along the way.

Boatrocker Orange Sherbet

Boatrocker’s Orange Sherbet isn’t their first Berliner Weisse and judging from their dedicated barrel room it won’t be the last. If you see any releases from these guys be sure to grab some.

Read more about Boatrocker Brewery, their barrel room and beers at here.

Though Berliner Weisse beers can be hard to find, there are a couple of local ones kicking around –

Feral Watermelon Warhead

Feral Watermelon WarheadThis only makes it out of the brew pub occasionally so you’re best bet is to head to the Swan Valley, grab it at the source otherwise keep an eye out for it at craftier beer bars like Petition, DTC and Bob’s Bar.

Watermelon Warhead is a Berliner Weisse brewed with fresh Swan Valley watermelon which also spends a little time in chardonnay barrels.

Mash Brewing Wizz Fizz

This one comes from 3 Ravens / Mash brewer Brendan O’Sullivan whose passion for sours is second to none. Wizz Fizz is not only a great Berliner Weisse but it’s also the base for a series of Berliner Weisse beers of which we’ve seen Purple Stain, Granny’s Apples and Cola Nick.

Read more about these beers here and here.

Mash Purple Stain

Wizz Fizz is intended to be a regular brew so this should be the easier of the bunch to find, there has been two versions released now. I went along to WA Beer Week’s Sour Power event at Mane Liquor in November where Brendan presented a few of his beers including the second version of Wizz Fizz. He said he had tweaked a couple of things from the first Wiz Fizz, using Vienna malt instead of pilsner malt, using 100% lactobacillus for primary fermentation and he also added some Brettanomyces* (a wild strain of yeast) after the first fermentation. Also, just to keep clouding the topic of cellaring Berliner Weisse beers, I’ll add in here that Brendan mentioned this beer in particular had cellaring potential to keep evolving.

*Read more about Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces etc at this great article on Draft Magazine – Yeast and Bacteria 101: Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces and Pediococcus

More Reading …

Paste Magazine – Tasting and Ranking 11 of the Best American Berliner Weisse

All About Beer – Stylistically Speaking: Berliner Weisse

Sour Beer Blog – Ask Dr. Lambic: Brewing a Berliner Weisse