October 7th, 2013 by Crafty Pint
Itâs a Tuesday and Iâm in the brewhouse at Eagle Bay Brewery looking down at a drain.
As we gaze down at the floor watching the drain do what drains do, I realise that this is what happens when a bunch of brewers get together: they talk beer and eye off bits of the brewery theyâd like to steal. Thankfully, the brewhouse remains intact.
If it were any other day at Eagle Bay Brewing youâd find Nick d'Espeissis brewing solo, but on this particular Tuesday he was joined by several of the south westâs best brewers for a collaboration. Included in the dayâs roll call were Sorcha Gillen and Justin Fox from Colonial Brewing, Shannon Grigg from Duckstein Brewery, Margaret River, Jared Proudfoot and Alex Poulsen from Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Jeremy Good from Cowaramup Brewing. Unfortunately, some unexpected storm damage kept brewer Ryan Nilsson-Linne at Bootleg Brewery, so instead he represented himself in the form of a donation of hops. If you’re playing along at home, that gives us seven brewers plus one brewhouse – all of which should equal a pretty great beer.
So why were we all gathered at Eagle Bay? It was to create a beer for a forthcoming event at Perth’s Five Bar that will see each brewery represented by one of their beers on tap. Essentially, the venue will be transformed into a gateway to south west breweries – but minus the tour bus driver telling you to stop singing.
Anyway, back to the brew day. And seven brewers deciding on what beer to make, the sort of situation with the potential to result in either a) the country’s most overcomplicated beer or b) no beer at all but seven very jolly brewers.
It soon transpires, however, that they are a fairly agreeable bunch and that something hoppy with lots of Aussie ingredients and a bit of oomph would result in a pretty good drop. What that translates to is a pale ale with an all Australian hop line-up including Vic Secret, Topaz, Summer and some Pride of Ringwood for bittering. The end ABV should be in the high five per cent region too, a bit higher than the original plan, although in hindsight this was probably inevitable.
The collaboration beer will make itâs debut at âSouth West in the Cityâ on October 27, where it will appear alongside each of the brewers and their chosen beers.
With the beer locked away, the next big task is finding a name for it. Initial attempts at trying to roll together all the animals from each brewery and their beers were unsuccessful unless the beer was to sound like a Noahâs Ark checklist. Taking the first letter from each brewery also ended poorly, particularly if you had a stutter – âA pint of cccbed please, barkeep!â doesnât exactly roll off the tongue.
The current frontrunner is The Council Worker, so named due to the portions of the day where there was more standing around and talking than actual working.
To see what beer name floats to the top and to try the first ever south west collaboration brew, you’ll need to snaffle tickets for South West in the City – contact the venue for details. Tickets include a couple of beers and a tasting board designed by Beersine aka Gerrard âMitchâ Mitchell – beer inspired chef and all round nice guy.
Not only will the event be a great showcase of south west beer but an excellent warm up for WA Beer Week in November and we all know how important it is to warm up. You donât want to strain anything now, do you?
Thanks to Pia Poynton, aka girlplusbeer aka Crafty’s spy in south west WA, for her latest article for the site. Follow her on Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest beery goings on in the region.
Thanks also to Jess Shaver for the photo at the top. Awesome work as ever.