Home' National Liquor News : NLN MAY 2016 Contents 22 | MAY 2016 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
STONE & WOOD ADDS TO BEERS
OF OUR BACKYARD RANGE
Paying homage to the natural beauty of "our backyard", Stone & Wood has
added to its Beers from our Backyard range with the limited release, Big Scrub.
The Beers from our Backyard range, which also includes the Cloud
Catcher, draws from the provenance of the Northern Rivers of NSW, where
the Stone & Wood brewery is based.
Big Scrub is a new age lager that balances the subtle malt foundation
with a firm bitterness and dry finish. It is different to traditional lagers by
being dry hopped, using new world hops and being left unfiltered.
It offers impeccable balance of floral aromatics and spicy herbal nuances,
and with subtle hints of lemongrass from dry hopping. It finishes with a subtle dry malt
and with firm balanced bitterness that make for a refreshing and moreish finish.
The Big Scrub beer is available now across the country in 500ml bottles at RRP up to $10.
FOUR KEY TRENDS FOR BEER IN 2016
Techno-brew: Automated home-brewing appliances
providing crowd-sourced recipes alongside the
opportunity for their co-operative deconstruction, the
rise of online marketplaces and social networking
capabilities bridging the cohorts of aficionados
and micro-producers, the democratisation of beer
exchanges -- allowing the tracking down of obscure
varietals -- and a full utilisation of multi-platform content
to promote, interact and reach out to millennials will
all become key themes across the macro and micro
landscape. Customisation, convenience and interactivity
will be the driving forces behind the strange-yet-hugely-
promising technological brew.
Under pressure: From ingredient and material
inventories running low to the seemingly-infinite pool
of quirky, controversial or irreverent brand names,
pressure on brewers will build further in 2016. An
on-going dearth of cans leading to mobile canneries
making a fortune and industry leaders raising their
limits for minimum orders, stocks of hops getting ever
lower, the introduction of distribution incentives as the
larger brewers look to disrupt channel access for craft
brewers, and an on-going civil war amidst the micro
movement over intellectual property, the competitive
environment will become fiercer than ever.
Don't mention the 'C' word: Beyond definitional
acrobatics and the rebellious groundswell of
microbrewery openings breaking every historical record,
2016 will see the 'beer empire' fighting back. Quasi-
craft offerings, takeovers and aggressive cost-cutting
initiatives will force the craft movement on the defensive.
However, the real danger comes from within: Economic
headwinds could easily exacerbate pricing fatigue,
increasingly more outlandish flavours could precipitate
flavour fatigue, and the stereotype of the elitist hipster
pontificating over an obscure brew will ultimately lead
to a geek fatigue. Artisanal, grounded-yet-experimental,
traceable, locally-produced and small-scale will become
the new craft this year.
Future styles bubbling with potential: A shift
from super-hoppy, high-ABV IPAs towards lighter,
more sessionable alternatives, the rise of nitrogen-
carbonated offerings beyond the realms of stout and
porter and nascent-but-dynamic experimentation with
flowers/botanicals as well as sour beers, fresh/low life-
span products or even cannabis infusion and flavour
sophistication will further expand the wide range of
options available. Additionally, repositioning initiatives
to hijack occasions historically associated with the
consumption of adjacent categories like sparkling
wine will irreverently question traditionalist ideas as
cider and hard soda vie for the protagonist role in their
struggle to capture some of the category's momentum.
ALCOHOLIC DRINKS ANALYST
TASMANIAN INNOVATORS CREATE LIMITED
EDITION BARREL AGED CIDER
Following a successful first release, Lark Whisky Distillery has once again combined
with cider makers Willie Smith's to create a limited edition barrel aged cider.
The two iconic Tasmanian innovators have combined their talents to produce the
unique winter warmer, with just 400 bottles of the 2014 vintage being produced.
Sam Reid, Willie Smith's co-owner said the 2013 vintage was so well
received it was decided to regularly release a vintage.
"The Vintage 2014 Lark Distillery Whisky barrel aged cider comes in at 9.9
per cent which is higher than the first batch, having spent up to 12 months in
the barrels, which was longer that the inaugural offering."
Reid said a decision was made to hold back on its release until autumn
2016, as a perfect way to welcome winter.
"We felt it was a better product to have going into winter to warm the cockles of your heart
as the first chills of the season set in," Reid said.
"It has also allowed the product to continue to soften in bottle in our controlled environment
and so it's perfect for drinking in the next six months."
Reid said chief cider maker Dr Tim Jones was very strict on quality control this year,
resulting in the production of only 400 bottles.
Jones said: "Following maturation times ranging from six to 12 months, individual barrels
were selected and blended to achieve a complex, balanced cider that express both soft apple
cider characteristics and persistent whisky and oak notes. Soft carbonation and no filtration
has resulted in a structured cider with textured mouthfeel and lingering warmth."
Willie Smith's Whisky Aged Cider, this year features a copper label and can be found
at leading independent retailers around Australia from April and retails for $60 per 750ml bottle.
TWO NEW IPAS RELEASED BY MURRAY'S BREWERY
Murray's Brewery has released two new bottled IPAs. The Skully
Red IPA and Spartacus Imperial IPA add to the range of IPAs already
available from the brewer.
Head brewer, Graeme Mahy said: "We're a little bit obsessed
with IPAs, having already launched our favourite Fred IPA, plus Big
Wednesday IPA, Black Bear Black IPA and -- who could forget -- even
LambBorghini IPA for Australia Day last year. Across April we'll
be releasing a range of IPAs of differing colours and flavours in the
bottle and draught, beginning with the unconvential 'Skully' Red IPA
and culminating in the launch of Spartacus Imperial IPA."
Skully Red is a 5.6 per cent ABV beer with a deep red colour,
which comes from European caramalts. The brew also has Mosaic
and Mt Hood hops and Mahy describes it as being "simply delicious".
The Spartacus Imperial is a much bolder beer which has been brewed in the big US IPA
style and has a 10 per cent ABV.
The Skully Red and Spartacus Imperial were released in bottle on 2 April and 16 April
respectively and are available through Murray's cellar door and website, as well as from
leading craft beer retailers nationally.
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