Wed Nov 14 2012 by Crafty Pint
Sometimes it’s good to put the cart before the horse, as the brewers behind the collaboration beer made in honour of this weekend’s inaugural Beers By The Bay festival did. Whereas it’s commonplace to come up with a beer first and then worry about the name and packaging, here AG, brewer at Mornington Peninsula Brewery suggested that he and the team at collaborators Red Hill work on the name and branding first.
“We’re both reasonably traditional in terms of what we brew, our labeling and our branding,” he explains. “From my perspective, first and foremost a collaboration is about having a bit of fun and doing something that you wouldn’t normally do. So I had an idea that we would turn the beer into an anagram with a funny name so we did that and worked backwards. I also wanted to make a beer I’d not made before.”
The name they came up with was Bleak Piracy, an anagram of Black Rye IPA. Using a black wheat malt that gives a beer heaps of dark colouring without the roasty or acrid flavours you would normally associate with them, plus 20 per cent rye malt, which usually adds a richer body and some spiciness to beers, AG and Red Hill’s Dave Golding finished the beer with Kiwi hops, something that had never been used before at Mornington Peninsula Brewery – and included a variety, Waimea. never used in a commercial Aussie beer before.
“Epic [from NZ] did a brew with the hops when they were still just known by a number,” says Dave, who normally only travels across the Peninsula to drink AG’s beers, not brew them. “It’s just been released here and has some good, earthy characteristics.
“We do a lot of European stuff [at Red Hill] and they [Mornington] do a lot of US stuff so we wanted to stay away from what we do with this beer that sort of sat in the middle.”
Bleak Piracy will be tapped for the first time at Saturday’s Beers By The Bay. The two breweries have stands next to each other and will be sharing the tap pouring this beer. They’ll also be joining The Crafty Pint onstage to take beer and anything else that takes our fancy as part of the program on the Education Stage. We’re hosting a number of Brewer Q&As alongside masterclasses and presentations from the likes of Paul Mercurio and Pete Mitcham, AKA Prof Pilsner from Beer Blokes and Australian Brews News.
Elsewhere, there will be stalls pouring beers and ciders from around 20 local producers, plus food from some of the Peninsula’s top restaurants. And on the main stage Ash Grunwald is headlining the entertainment, with MC duties being handled by The Footy Show’s James Brayshaw. For those planning to use public transport, the shuttle times for buses from Frankston to the festival site at the Mornington Racecourse are now available on the festival’s Facebook page.
As for the festival’s collaboration, AG says it’s maturing into a “nice little drop”.
“I’d done a collaboration before when I was over in America in May,” he says. “I stopped in Seattle to see a brewer who liked my Imperial IPA and did a different version of that. But this was my first ‘formal’ collaboration. Dave was great to work with. We have two different systems and different takes on brewing, so it was good to see how another brewer approaches it.
“Saturday’s going to be a good day. The weather forecast looks OK and these sort of festivals are always good fun.”
Beers By The Bay runs from midday to 8pm on Saturday. It is an over-18 only festival this year. You can still buy advance tickets through the website.