Eagle Bay Lighthouse Lager, Cali IPA & Hoops Blend 005

Style
Aussie Lager, Cali IPA & Fig & Yuzu Brett Saison
ABV
4.0% & 6.1% & 8.8%

Eagle Bay’s March 2024 trio moves from broad sociability through lean hoppiness before delivering a third act that’s an early short-lister for the year end WA wrap. And with that kind of tease, we best get into them...

Made in collaboration with the South West Brewers Alliance and Line In The Sand, a land conservation and rehabilitation not for profit, Lighthouse Lager’s honest spirit captures convivial afternoons spent around Cape Naturaliste, whether whale-watching or scaling the modest 59 stairs of the lighthouse featured on the label. As such, there’s nothing too complicated here: sweet malt directs a light body, one which resolves with a soft bitterness, creating the kind of easy thirst-slaker that doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Speaking of feeling comfortable, Cali IPA’s ascendence into the broad pantheon of IPA – we wrote about them here – feels right at home in Eagle Bay, what with its endless sunshine and coastal oeuvre. Add in their ongoing tinkering with hoppy lagers, plus a considered approach to melding old and new hops, and it's as if this beer style was designed with the 6281 postcode in mind.

Lean yet kinetic, the dance of bittering, DIP-hopping and double dry-hopping with a mix of Simcoe, Manilita and Motueka hops brings grapefruit, mango, pine dust and taut resin with an economical pulse – there’s a lot happening on a lean arc, not in the least a modern hop thwack.

Which leaves this trio’s finale, one sharing Cali IPA’s crystal ball foresight on the back of "The Summer of Lemoncello Spritz" and Suntory -196 festival season. However, rather than the faded Insta filters and forgotten weekends of the former, Hoops Blend 005 is a considered, four-year chardonnay barrel-aged saison in which you'll find disparate fruit, oak and bacteria in elegant harmony.

In many ways it’s a fearless blend, one underscored by the half a decade’s worth of quiet mixed ferment innovation. For starters, fig and yuzu don’t seem an immediate coupling, but if yuzu is your thing, then this is the beer for you. The sweet, juicy fruit is the hero as fleeting fig aromatics are quickly subsumed by bright citrus. It bursts like the kind of bloom that erupts as thumbs dig into mid-season mandarin, but as yuzu: heady, exotic and familiar, almost recalling the aforementioned -196 RTD if it wasn’t so elegant.

And, as the enticing Brett nose melts into the mix, there’s a sense that something special has arrived. A light fizz wraps the tongue, evoking a buoyant Méthode Traditionelle creaminess that resolves with moderate cleansing acidity, shuffling oak texture, and an ebbing Bretty dry length. Beer nerds love these releases, and this as smart as anything head brewer Keegan Steinbacher has tucked away in the back shed.

A word of warning, however: the curious best make haste as there’s precious little available.

Guy Southern

Published March 14, 2024

Name
Eagle Bay Brewery
Address

252 Eagle Bay Rd
Eagle Bay
WA 6281

Phone
(08) 9755 3554
Open Hours

11am to 5pm - 7 days a week
Summer/Christmas school holidays: 11am to 7pm

Regular events

Super Fresh Fridays - $15 growler fills every Friday!!!!

Tours

By appointment

Fresh Harvest Frenchies 2024
Lallemand May 2024 B

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