Beer & Brewer is a consumer lifestyle magazine that celebrates all things beer in Australia & New Zealand. Read by consumers and trade, the title delivers entertaining and authoritative content via a quarterly magazine, a website and a weekly e-newsletter.
The autumn issue of Beer & Brewer is now on sale, with some amazing features to enjoy with a fine beer… or two if the mood takes you!
This issue sees us celebrate the most important beer in a brewer’s recipe book – the pale ale. Every brewery has one and it’s usually one of their top sellers, so we’re exploring this diverse category and highlighting some of its best examples.
Early autumn is hop picking season, so what better time to learn about this magical bine? We’ll be investigating everything you need to know about hops both here in Australia and around the world – how they’re grown, how they’re used and what they bring to beer.
In the last issue, we explored the rise of the humble tinnie. One fantastic consequence (or indeed a driver) of growing interest in canned beer has been the explosion in amazing artwork and design on said tinnies. This autumn, we take a moment to appreciate the container in which your lovely beer is brought to you, asking the people who created it why they chose their designs and what they about their product.
And speaking of containers, we’re also looking at the more technological aspects of keg technology and people working to ensure that the beer that leaves the brewery gets poured into your glass just the way the brewer intended.
Meanwhile, on the homebrewing front, have you ever fancied taking your homebrewing one step further? Homebrewer editor Chris Thomas is talking to some of the brewing industry’s biggest names about the steps they took to go from homebrewing in their sheds to pro brewers creating some of the nation’s best-loved beer.
Beyond that, don’t forget to check out all the latest tasting notes from our esteemed tasting panel, stacks of homebrew recipes for you to try and a trip to Mexico as Ricardo Amare del Castillo takes us through to the taco-sphere!
Beer & Brewer is available at independent bottle shops, homebrew shops and news agencies nationwide. To subscribe, click here.
On Wednesday 21 March, Goose Island will be putting its last 12 bottles of Bourbon County Stout under the hammer in a Facebook Live beer auction.
Broadcast from Melbourne’s Beermash, the auction will allow beer lovers over the age of 18 to bid on the beer in real time through Goose Island’s Facebook pgae, with the winners declared live. All proceeds raised will go to Pink Boots Society, an organisation empowering women in the beer industry.
The beer, which was first brewed in 1992, is aged in bourbon barrels from Kentucky.
“Today, while it now seems every craft brewery has adopted a barrel program, the legendary status of the Bourbon County Stout ensures its enduring appeal and place within the beer world,” says Mick O’Rance, brew master Goose Island Australia.
The auctions will be hosted by Ale of a Time’s Luke Robertson and Goose Island’s Tiffany Waldron. As well as the 12 auctions, there will be feature commentary on the beer, with users able to submit questions to the hosts online.
“This is going to be a fun and unique way to get your hands on our last few bottles of the world’s best bourbon barrel aged beer (well I think so anyway!),” says Waldron. “All while spending time chatting with Luke and I, plus sharing the story of Pink Boots Society and raising money to support scholarships to empower more women in the beery industry.”
Redline Taphouse & Kitchen has opened at the Tramsheds in the inner-Sydney suburb of Forest Lodge, bringing a slice of the USA Down Under.
The venue is the latest venture by chef Joe Slakey – the man behind nearby Glebe favourite Flying Fajita Sisters, a lively Mexican cantina – and occupies the space that once housed Sir Chapel Bistro & Brewery.
Redline Taphouse features a ten-tap lineup of beers; six are rotating guest brews from local craft breweries, while the remaining four are Slakey’s own, brewed using the SmartBrew system on site.
“Our first two brews are a Mississippi Ale and a South Pacific Lager – adding to our house lager which we currently have on pour,” Slakey explains. “Next off the line will be a pilsner and something darker, maybe an amber ale.”
And it won’t stop there: “We have loads of ideas for seasonal releases and nice little tweaks that tie back to our Americana theme, including the use of bourbon barrels, etc.”
With a background in homebrewing, Slakey says that he’s been studying a number of styles over the years – which he’s excited to pour at the Taphouse – and is also aiming to one day offer Redline cans, as well as growler and squealer refills. However, it’s the beers from the surrounding breweries that Slakey says are the focus.
“We see ourselves as a platform to showcase the awesome brewers in Sydney and NSW first and foremost, adding our own branded microbrews and the odd interstate and overseas guests into the mix to give customers the opportunity to try lots of different styles.
“We’re very passionate about the Inner West beer scene in Sydney – it’s really unique and probably the best opportunity in Australia to access so many incredible beers in a small area.”
The food offering at Redline is boldly Americana, including classics from both the Deep South and New England: succotash, jambalaya and hush puppies line up next to more familiar dishes, all inspired by Slakey’s travels around the US.
“I’m really excited to see Sydney’s reaction to our food,” says Slakey. “As a chef, you always want to be able to serve up the dishes you enjoy the most and opening Redline is an opportunity to do that.
“Many Aussies will have heard of these dishes, like hush puppies and succotash, but a lot may never have ever actually seen them or know what’s actually in them. It’s real, down to earth American food and we think people will love it.
“When we decided to open a new venue I wanted to focus on real Americana – classic regional food and great craft beer. It’s a core part of American culture and we saw Redline as a way of bringing this to life and showing Sydney a new concept, backed up by the best local beer available.
“Combining my two great passions of good beer and real American food is the ultimate dream for me.”
La Sirène Brewery in Alphinton, Victoria, has unveiled Citray Sour, a farmhouse style sour ale made with orange.
The beer was initially made solely for kegs at the end of 2017. Conceived as a one-off release following the discovery of a parcel of locally grown orange, it attracted enough positive feedback for the brewery to create its first canned farmhouse sour.
The straw coloured beer has a 4.5% ABV and has been fermented with the La Sirène’s house yeast before being soured by natural microbes living within the brewery’s walls.
“The Citray Sour is a newly canned beer here at La Sirène that excites us to no end,” comments Costa Nikias, founder and chief artisan at La Sirène Brewing. “Finally a permanent sour in our range in such a great format! The heady citrus aromas from Victorian-grown citrus against the natural sourness from our brewery is a perfect match. Sante.”
It is available across Australia from Friday 16 March.
The Federal Court has dismissed Stone & Wood’s appeal of an earlier ruling regarding Thunder Road’s use of the ‘Pacific Ale’ name.
Stone & Wood appealed an initial ruling which allowed Thunder Road to continue to use the Pacific Ale name, having launched proceedings in 2015 against Thunder Road’s owners, Elixir, alleging passing off misleading or deceptive conduct in contravention of Australian consumer law.
In that ruling the primary judge rejected Stone & Wood’s claims for misleading or deceptive conduct, false or misleading representations and for passing off. He also rejected Stone & Wood’s trade mark claim.
In dismissing the appeal the Federal Court said of the original ruling: “It was not a contradictory finding to find that the words ‘Pacific Ale’ alone and without a clear textual and visual connection with Stone & Wood (the latter words as the dominating brand) did not distinguish the beer of Stone & Wood.
“The reasons of the primary judge elucidate his conclusions about this. First, as a matter of impression and looking at the labels, decals and get-up of Stone & Wood Pacific Ale his Honour did not see (and we agree with him on this) the words ‘Pacific Ale’ being used as a prominent branding reference.
“This was entirely consistent with what those behind Stone & Wood wanted to achieve by the words. The words ‘Pacific Ale’ and ‘Pacific’ do have (as the primary judge found) a ‘descriptive’ quality: that is, the word is apt to connote or evoke imprecise senses that do not distinguish the product. The vague geographic reference, the calming reference, and over this the reference to Australian and New Zealand hops are examples. All of these connotations were recognised by the business people involved, as discussed by the primary judge.
“The primary judge did not make any finding that Stone & Wood had a substantial reputation in the phrase ‘Pacific Ale’. The reputation accepted was ‘Stone & Wood Pacific Ale’ with the words ‘Pacific Ale’ not being used alone, but being used in a subsidiary way, and having a descriptive quality.
“In circumstances where those behind Elixir sought to distinguish their Thunder Road product by very different colouring and get-up and where the consumers are discerning and attentive to the look of the bottle and packaging, the origins of the product and the story of the brewers behind the hundreds of beers, the conclusion by the primary judge that there was no association between Thunder Road Pacific Ale or Pacific and Stone & Wood or Stone & Wood Pacific Ale conveyed is one that was open.
“It was also partly based on the assessment of the presentation of both products in their get-up, colour and use of language for labels, decals and packaging. We are unable to identify any error in how his Honour has analysed these matters. Indeed, we agree with his overall assessment.”
The court added that it saw no error in how the primary judge dealt with the expert evidence, adding: “Stone & Wood have not demonstrated any error in the findings of the primary judge. We would dismiss the appeal with costs.”
Stone & Wood’s co-founder Jamie Cook, sent a statement to TheShout, in which he said this appeal was not about winning or losing and that the brewer was simply trying to maintain a respectful industry, he also said that Stone & Wood was continuing with its efforts to trade mark the Pacific Ale name.
“This judgement is the closure of just one chapter in what has been a long drawn out process for us in protecting our IP. It wasn’t about winning or losing, it was about making a stand on behalf of our community (our team, customers, drinkers, and suppliers), it was also about making a stand for originality and creativity,” Cook said.
“There are a lot of businesses in this industry that search for new spaces and create new directions. It’s fine for the rest of the industry to capitalise on the momentum created by that if it’s done in a respectful way.
“We also understand it’s a cluttered market and occasionally we, as an industry, unknowingly step on each other’s toes. In those situations, we can usually sort it out brewer to brewer. In fact, we have demonstrated an ability to do just that in the past and have changed our branding when we accidentally used a beer name that had been used by another brewer.
“Our stance is about trying to maintain a respectful industry.
“Meanwhile we are now left with continuing our efforts to have our IP protected via the trade mark process, by dealing with the current opposition to the PACIFIC ALE Trade Mark registration which will take some time to resolve.”
Harbour City Ferries has awarded a contract to 4 Pines Brewing Company to operate bars and cafés on the Manly ferries.
4 Pines Brewing Company will offer a range of canned craft beers, including Indian Summer Ale, American Pale Ale, In Season IPA, as well as Brookvale Union Ginger Beer (alcoholic).
In addition, a selection of non-alcoholic beverages and healthier food items will be available on the four Manly ferries Narrabeen, Collaroy, Queenscliff and Freshwater, seven days a week. Food will be available throughout the day, with beers available from 4-8pm on some ferries and 4-9pm on others.
“The move brings Sydney into line with ferry services around the world and Australia, offering a bar service,” comments Martin Kearney, managing director of Sydney Harbour Ferries. “It’s just the latest move by Harbour City Ferries to improve the customer experience on our ferries. Extra security will be on board during the peak times of operation. The bar service is about improving customer experience and providing an additional service to customers. We have listened to what our customers want and believe the bar service on Manly ferries adds an enjoyable dimension to the journey of regular commuters and visitors to our city.”
“When we were born in Manly not quite 10 years ago, we would have never imagined we’d be part of something of such scale in conjunction with the iconic Manly Ferry,” adds Jaron Mitchell, co-founder of 4 Pines Brewing Company. “If we all do our job, we are hoping to amplify peoples expectation of what customer experience can be, in places you’d never imagine it and build something that one day becomes famous and celebrated by locals and visitors to Australia.”
Vostok, a joint venture between Sydney-based brewery 4 Pines and space engineering company Saber Astronautics, are giving one lucky earthling the opportunity to be part of their space beer research and development team – testing beer in zero gravity conditions.
The winner will float 32,000 feet above the earth on a Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G) research flight, which recreates the weightlessness you feel in space.
Vostok was formed seven years ago with the sole purpose of creating the world’s first beer to be drunk in space; from the beer recipe to the patented bottle technology.
Led by Saber Astronautics CEO Jason Held and 4 Pines Brewing Company co-founder Jaron Mitchell, Vostok has achieved a few significant milestones already – including testing to ensure alcohol is safe for people to drink in space (it is), whether you can actually create a beer than can be drunk in space (you can), and determining if this beer will taste any good (definitely).
L-R: Jaron Mitchell and Jason Held
“There would be very few of us that don’t enjoy having a beer when you’re travelling and if you have the opportunity to travel to space and have forked out a good amount of dollars to do it, then I’d be wanting a beer,” says Mitchell.
“We’ve anticipated that demand and are on track to meet it. It’s extraordinary to reflect on what we’ve achieved since 2010. It’s been a self-funded project to date and we’re on the cusp of creating a comfort product that will benefit all of mankind in space.”
Space travellers have been drinking liquids from something similar to a yoghurt squeezy tube to date. Vostok are now in the final stages of testing the prototype of a beer bottle that will enable you to drink the beer as you do on Earth.
The bottle will be a world-first and once perfected, will then be manufactured and available for space-travelling civilians to drink from; with hundreds of people signed up for commercial space flights already, a beer is bound to top that experience off.
The prize is valued up to $20,000 USD (depending on where the winner is based) and is available to residents of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
It includes a return flight from either of these three regions to Cape Canaveral, Florida, accommodation for three nights in Florida and a seat on a ZERO-G Weightless Lab parabolic flight, during which the winner will be part of the Vostok research and development team for space beer.
Two Edith Cowan University (ECU) researchers have called on Tourism WA to use the craft beer boom as a tourism resource.
The Western Australian government’s aim is to raise the value of tourism to $12bn by 2020, and Nevil Alexander and Dr Abel Duarte Alonso from the ECU’s School of Business and Law think that the state’s breweries should be championed in the same way as its food and wine.
“Judging from the awards brewers in WA are getting, it’s fair to say they’re producing really good beers,” states Alexander, who is also chief steward of the Perth Royal Beer Show. “Craft breweries work very well with wineries and food, as they fit the ‘premium’ reputation of the region. There is clearly a desire for craft brewery experiences – the whole industry is evolving, and we need to recognise beer as a tourism asset. However, they need recognition and support to thrive.”
Currently, there are approximately 66 craft breweries in WA, with the highest concentrations in Perth and the Swan Valley, while the number of craft breweries in Australia overall has risen from 30 to 528 since 2006.
Following a canvassing project with craft brewery operators and hobby craft brewers, Alexander and Duarte Alonso identified the potential for collaborative events celebrating beer, as well as more behind-the-scenes activities, such as hop farm tours and opportunities to observe the malting process.
“Both groups indicated that the craft brew experience would work best in combination with other activities, whether that is gourmet food, wineries or things like festivals and sporting events,” Mr Alexander adds. “This would help overcome concerns about the distance between breweries and provide those taking tours with a more enhanced experience.”
Popular Gold Coast brewery Balter has released a limited-run Imperial IPA. Bursting with hops, strong in ABV and coming in a tall, 500ml tinnie, it’s the brewery’s biggest beer yet – and leads the charge in what has been an exciting week for new releases.
“We’ve never brewed a beer this big, so it was a test of our capacity,” says Balter head brewer Scott Hargrave. “We had to figure out just how much malt can we get in the mash mixer without it overflowing. We got a tonne in. It’s a huge beer, hopped to the shithouse.”
Only the brewery’s second ever special-release of the style, the recipe has been refined over the last six months to deliver a strong flavour that’s still balanced in its approach.
“IIPA can be overbearing because they’re big and boozy and get sweet and sticky,” explains Hargrave. “You have much more of everything. So we stripped the malt way back to be essentially pale malt with a sprinkle of wheat then dissolved as much hops as we could into it.
“That should give it more drinkability. Still, stop at one and you’re good. Maybe that’s a challenge to some, but it’s meant to be a stand-alone salute.”
Packaged in a 500ml tin with four distinctive yellow stripes, and clocking in at 8.6% ABV and 105 IBU, Balter IIPA is described as a “tangy fruit salad with extra punch.”
“Clean, hefty hop notes provides substantial palate weight with hints of pineapple, pine and citrus, while the higher alcohol content delivers a delightfully dry, spicy finish,” reads the tasting notes.
BentSpoke Brewing Co has launched its latest Drifter Series beer and only its sixth packaged beer: the “Red and Hoppy” Red Nut, a Red IPA.
According to BentSpoke, Red Nut has gained a fanatical following in BentSpoke’s Braddon Brewpub and it was only a matter of time before it was made available to a wider audience.
“We listened to what the fans were saying, and we couldn’t keep them waiting any longer,” says BentSpoke co-owner and head brewer Richard Watkins. “As the leaves turn, and the days get shorter and colder, people’s thoughts turn to darker beers.
“Red Nut’s fans have been vocal and frequent on social media, so we hope they’re going to enjoy it now in cans.”
A Red IPA, with a resiny hop and caramel malt character, Red Nut features Fortnight, Mosaic, Citra, EKG, and Amarillo hops for a big hoppy punch on top of a strong, dark, malt base. Red Nut clocks in at a solid 7.0% ABV, and comes packaged in a 375ml can with BentSpoke’s signature 360-degree lid.
Stomping Ground Astra Man Fresh Hop Pale Ale
Stomping Ground has released a fresh or ‘wet’ hop pale ale called Astra Man, using a new strain of fresh Astra hop flowers from Ellerslie Farms – with the beer being brewed the same day that the hops were picked.
To showcase the freshness of the very limited edition beer, Stomping Ground personally delivered cases of the beer to the fridges of inner Melbourne bars and venues within 24 hours of it being canned on March 1.
Three weeks earlier, the brewing team were invited by Ellerslie Hop to their King Valley hop farm in Victoria to pick the first of their newly developed Astra hops, the day before the 2018 harvest officially began.
Described as herbal, floral and melon-y, a very limited supply of the 5.5% ABV Astra Man were made available at select bars and bottle shops around Melbourne last Friday – so you’ll have to get in quick to grab a couple!
The refreshing summer style beer was launched in kegs to the hotel trade late last year. Coopers’ Sales and Marketing Director, Cam Pearce, says that in January this year, Session Ale had become Coopers’ second largest selling keg beer after Original Pale Ale and ahead of Sparkling Ale and Mild Ale.
“It’s been a tremendous response,” Pearce says. “As Session Ale has become better known, we have been inundated with customer requests for it to be released in a packaged format.
“It’s an excellent example of innovation by Coopers’ brewers and as a beer, it is fully on trend. We believe Session Ale will quickly establish itself as one of our most popular beers.”
East 9th Brewing: Doss Blockos ‘The Colour Of Beer’ Unlimited Pale Ale
In an ironic wink at the practice of copyright and ownership of colours by large corporations, East 9th Brewing has created an ‘official’ colour of beer with its latest cheeky release.
In order to find the ‘official’ colour of beer, the East 9th Brewing team collaborated with Australian street art company Ironlak, which supplies spray cans and art supplies for graffiti artists.
“The can design of the new Doss Blockos The Colour of Beer imitates the iconic Ironlak spray-can design,” Benjamin Cairns from East 9th Brewing explains.
“Ironlak is simultaneously releasing the spray-paint can across the globe knows as Ironlak’s ‘Doss Blockos The Colour of Beer’. It’s been matched as closely as possible to the colour of the actual beer.”
The beer itself has been designed to be the “ultimate session beer”; Cairns says that “it’s the type of beer that the East 9th Team love to drink – it’s generous on the tropical notes (delivered by a combination of three hop varieties), without being too heavy on the bitterness.”
BrewDog recently launched a ‘new’ beer called Pink IPA in a bid to highlight gender pay inequality and combat sexist marketing.
Bottles of the brewer’s core beer Punk IPA were sold with lurid pink labels for 80% of the normal price in BrewDog bars to those who identify as women. The brewer intended to trigger questions about why women continue to earn less than their male counterparts.
BrewDog is also donating 20% (the gender pay gap in the UK) from bottled Pink IPA and Punk IPA to causes that fight against gender inequality: The Women’s Engineering Society, a charity and a professional network of women engineers, scientists and technologists that inspire and support girls and women to achieve their potential as engineers, applied scientists and technical leaders; and 9to5, national membership organizations of working women in the U.S. dedicated to putting working women’s issues on the public agenda.
“The fact that the gender pay gap is still an issue in 2018 shows that a lot of lip service is being paid, but not enough action is being taken to tackle inequality,” comments Sarah Warman, BrewDog’s global head of marketing. “We want to accelerate change by empowering more women to make their voices heard and calling out industries and employees that need to do more. With Pink IPA, we are making a statement the only way we know how – with beer.”
However, the move has been labelled a marketing stunt by some, with questions asked about whether the campaign is a patronising gimmick and if the sarcasm in the joke is clear, with other brewers in the past having launched ‘girl-friendly’ beers with pink labelling.
“The beer industry has a duty to be representative of the people who drink beer,” adds Tanisha Robinson, CEO of BrewDog USA. “In practice, this means actively working toward inclusive work environments, rejecting sexist marketing and fighting societal stereotypes that push women away from spaces where beer is enjoyed. This is our overt parody on the failed, tone-deaf campaigns that some brands have attempted in order to attract women. Pink IPA is our rallying call to brewers and beer fans to rise to the challenge and change the image of beer, forever.”