Aussies love craft beer. It’s a fact. Our adventurous nature has set us on a path of discovery, where we are continuously searching for full flavour and new experiences. And the beer always tastes better when it’s local. Within the last four years, the number of Australian breweries has doubled to over 400. It’s a statistic to make you proud, although, with such an immense selection of quality brews, it’s easy to get lost amongst the new boutique pale ales, pilsners, stouts and IPAs to name a few. This month, Dan Murphy’s wants to make your craft beer selections easier and more informed with the launch of its new Beer Discovery Guide.
The Beer Discovery Guide.
The Guide examines the current top 11 trends and predictions in craft beer and takes you on a journey through the history, styles, people, stories and breweries that make beer so special. Dan Murphy’s is famous for its incredible selection of craft beers, and now the chain of liquor supermarkets provides you with everything you need to take advantage of the new styles and flavours lining its shelves. Plus, it’s an awesome opportunity to expand your knowledge to impress your mates.
It’s a Pirate’s Life for Me
To celebrate the launch of its Discovery Guide, Dan Murphy’s invited us to Adelaide to spend the day with the guys from local brewery Pirate Life to sample some of the current trends. Our first activity was tailored to highlight the ‘adventurous’ nature of both craft beer brewers and drinkers. Pirate Life made us jump out of a plane. From a height of 15,000 ft. and falling at a speed of 200km/h, one works up quite a thirst. After touching down on Semaphore beach, we shared a can of Pirate Life’s IPA with the guys from Coastal Skydive before heading to the brewery for a tasting, a tour and to find out exactly what earned the brewery multiple slots in Dan Murphy’s guide.
Established in 2014, Pirate Life has grown to become one of South Australia’s most popular craft brewers. Led by the father and son team of Mike and Jack Cameron, the brewery operates 30 fermenters and employs a similar number of staff, some with experience brewing for Brew Dog in the UK and Little Creatures in Western Australia. Pirate Life has scrapped the beer bottle and instead, harnessed the humble nature of the tinnie. It makes perfect sense when you consider that cans are cheaper and appear more striking on the shelf. While the Pirate Life range is not immense, it’s the breweries quest for flavour that saw Dan Murphy’s recommend the following brews:
The Pale Ale
Pale ales are renowned for their hoppy taste, low-to-medium malt presence and crisp, bright bitterness typically offset by natural caramels and citrus notes. Most locally brewed pale ales mimic the hop-driven characteristics of the American versions with lashings of tropical fruit. The pale is the best-selling type of beer at Dan Murphy’s and the flagship brew of Pirate Life. Pirate Life brews its pale ale with bucket loads of big US hops, a full malty backbone and characterful yeast so it can stand proudly amongst the beers available in bars across San Diego. It features a much darker colour than typical pale ales to set it apart from the competition. Try pairing it with a steak or salad.
The Golden Ale
The golden ale was first introduced in the 1980s and is perfect for lager drinkers looking to try an ale. Golden ales taste of citrus and sweetness, brewed with pale malts that create a low level of carbonation for less fizz. Pirate Life’s Golden Era beer features notes of fruit, pine and citrus with a dry, bitter finish. The beer was brewed in collaboration with Golden Era Records, the home of the Hilltop Hoods. You can find it at Pirate Life’s cellar door and music festivals like Groovin the Moo. Pair a can of Golden Era with light summer meals such as cold prawns, Caesar salads and Margherita pizzas.
The IPA (Indian Pale Ale)
IPA’s are about big and bold hop flavours with citrus and floral notes. The IPA originated in India during the 1780s with the stationed British Troops missing the taste of home. Extra hops were added to preserve the ales before being sent on the transoceanic voyage. The extra hops and long fermentation had the unexpected benefit of adding unique flavours. Thus, the IPA was born. Today IPAs are incredibly popular with those who enjoy pairing beer with food. Try pairing with spicy cuisine and strong cheeses.
The Pirate Life range consists of three IPA variations available all year round. With its bright blue and orange can inspired by a McLaren concept car, the IPA is bright, fruity and full of flavour. It’s brewed to emulate the hoppy American style. The rise of mid-strength beers led Pirate Life to create the Throwback, an easy-drinking zealously hopped ale, endowed with an ample malt chassis and lower alcohol content. Finally, the Imperial Indian Pale Ale (IIPA) is big, bold and black. Big Malt + Big Hops + Big Fermentation = a big beer with deliciously fresh flavours. A single 500ml can is 3.5 standard drinks, which is more than your average longneck.
These are just a few of the ales leading the craft beer boom. They’re not for everyone, which is why the current Beer Discovery Guide features the top 11 trends. You can download a PDF copy of the guide from Dan Murphy’s website with every beer available for purchase online or at any of its 217 stores across Australia.
As for Pirate Life, our day concluded with a tasting of its much-anticipated stout and then more experimental beers such as a vanilla ale and several others fermenting inside whisky and wine barrels. Keep an eye out for these creative yet incredibly tasty limited batches in the future.
Disclosure: Man of Many travelled to Adelaide to visit the Pirate Life Brewery as a guest of Dan Murphy’s.