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 #2

News and stuff about what’s happening in WA craft beer

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!


Little Creatures gets hoppy

It’s been a little wait but Little Creatures ‘Single Batch’ beers back! Now in 640ml tall bottles – a change up from their previous Little Creatures pint size bottle – the series returns with a double IPA called “Very Hoppy Ale” aka VHA.

VHA uses seven different hop varieties and the recipe took inspiration from their 2011 Single Batch release – The Big Dipper.

A very limited number of bottles are available from their Fremantle brewery where it’s also on tap, limited number of kegs too of course! A little birdy tells me the beer will make an appearance at this weekend’s BeauVine Festival in Highgate but there’ll only be ONE KEG so get in quickly.

Image from Little Creatures Facebook page
Image from Little Creatures Facebook page

WA Beer Week is COMING

This year is the 15th annual WA Beer Week which I am pretty sure makes us the oldest beer week in the country! There’s over 40 events across the “week” which is, as always, actually ten days and starts on Friday 11 November, running until 20 November.

Fremantle BeerFest is on the first weekend of the week spanning three days – it’s not just beer either, plenty of cider, live music, master classes and comedy shows too. Local legends Cellarbrations Superstore will be the retail sponsors of the festival and not only will they be hosting a master class but also pouring a collab beer they’ve been working on with a few local breweries!

2014 Fremantle BeerFest
2014 Fremantle BeerFest

An event guide will be coming out with an upcoming edition of The Sunday Times but if you can’t wait and want to plan out your sick days / holidays / late mornings now, you can check out the website for full details and also buy tickets here.

Aging on The Beer Farm

A short and sweet post on Facebook this week showed The Beer Farm have had some Saison aging away in barrel, it’s been in for three months and they’re unleashing it this weekend. It’s available only at the brewery so if you’re down south this weekend, stop in and please let me know how it is!

The Beer Farm

Spotted on tap this week …

Otherside Brewing Co. Festival Ale at Old Faithful, Northbridge

Gage Roads Little Dove at Clarence’s, Mt Lawley

Cheeky Monkey Hop Flinger IPA at Indian Ocean Brewery, Mindarie

Boston Brewery Marzen at The Flying Scotsman, Mt Lawley

 

5 Minutes with Josh from The Beer Farm

This edition of ‘5 Minutes with’ is with Josh Thomas, brewer aka “beer farmer” at The Beer Farm in Metricup …

The Beer Farm on Gale Road in Metricup is one of the most recent breweries to open in the Margaret River region in the last couple of years and this edition of ‘5 Minutes with’ is with Josh Thomas, brewer or, according to his email signature, “beer farmer”.

Karridale Cottages and Hop Farm

Trey, Karridale Cottages and Hop Farm (left) with Josh (right) selecting wet hops for a brew. You can read more about Karridale Cottages and Hop Farm and the beer they made with Josh here.

Photo Credit: Karridale Cottages and Hop Farm Facebook page 

The Beer Farm was once a dairy farm and for the first few months of its life as a brewery there weren’t any walls or roof on the brew house.

The place is delightfully carefree and relaxed; Mocha the brewery dog is often around, the kids can fly down the homemade water slide and though there isn’t a kitchen you’ll find a local food truck on site.

Water Slide at The Beer Farm

What was your epiphany beer?

To be honest I could never pick a certain beer, for me it’s all about the experience beer creates that brings out the best epiphanies. To me sitting down with a stout next to a fire when it’s pouring with rain outside during the winter is one of the favourites.

What appealed to you most about being a brewer?

Good question. It’s hard to pick one certain aspect of being a brewer that is appealing, I love it all. When I was given the opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade, it wasn’t long before I grew an enormous passion for the job. Always learning and progressing. The variety each day throws at you is probably what I love the most.

Every day is a new challenge. How could you not be into that?

The Beer Farm brewery

What do you think is the biggest obstacle for WA craft beer growth right now?

I think the growth of WA craft beer and breweries has really taken off in the past couple of years, it’s hard to see it slowing down. I can only see one obstacle and that’s competing in the market. The ‘big guys’ have really started to push into the craft market and breweries over east have really cemented themselves on WA soil which is great, also keeps everyone on their toes and that eventually brings out the greats (exceptionally good beers).

What do you look for when you are looking at a beer label / can design?

Another good question. You could look at them all day and get lost in a whole other part of the brewing industry, an important one at that! For me I think it’s something that attracts the eye instantly and is recognisable anywhere it sits.
It has to be timeless and not fade in and out with a trend.
In saying that there is some pretty cool art work being thrown on cans lately and that’s quite the novelty in itself. Really enjoying the art work coming out on Beavertown cans presently.

If you could only drink one beer per day forever, what would that beer be?

You have asked all good questions but I think this one is too hard for me to answer. There are way too many! I don’t think I would survive on this earth with just one beer a day. Thinking, thinking….. Nope can’t decide.