Pirate Life Brewery Tour – Port Adelaide
We took a tour of Pirate Life Brewery in Port Adelaide and it was VERY cool.
Established in 2014 by Perth brewers Jack and Red, Pirate Life’s first home was Hindmarsh, a suburb just west of Adelaide city center, where their brewhouse had a 2500-liter capacity. They launched their core range in 2015: an Imperial IPA, a West Coast style pale ale and their Throwback IPA. In 2019, after 5 award-winning years, the team moved to the old Dalgety Woolstores in Port Adelaide which doubled their capacity.
Port Adelaide Brewery Tour
The Pirate Life Port Adelaide Brewery looks like it was made for purpose. The opening of their new site has brought new life into the old Port town. Featuring colorful murals, arcade games, shuffleboard tables, a barbers (that was almost a tattoo studio…), a merch store, food trucks and 24 beers on tap, where else would you want to spend your afternoon?
We booked a 3pm tour online for $20 each. It was a Friday afternoon and we were the only ones on the tour which meant we got very well looked after. All the staff we spoke to were enthusiastic about the beer and were happy to answer our questions. Our tour guide (and tour manager) Matty was great fun and took very good care of us. The brewery was actually being cleaned when we arrived so nothing was brewing during our tour, but this meant that we got to see some backstage areas up close that would otherwise have restricted access. After trying some different grains, smelling some hops and viewing the brew set up, we grabbed a South Coast Pale Ale from the office fridge and walked around the canning line, the fridge room and back to the bar. We got to taste some interesting craft beers before choosing a free schooner.
We tried the barrel-aged Lime Gose, Orange & Mango Sour, New England IPA, Slow Pour Pilsner, Mosaic, West Coast IIPA, Lemon Meringue Nitro IPA, and the Jujube Cola Sour Ale.
The beer that won for us was the barrel-aged Lime Gose. Pale, wheaty, zesty and finished in Chardonnay casks, it’s a super refreshing summer drink that goes down easy.
A favourite of mine was the West Coast IIPA. If you’re an IPA fan, this is the one for you. This double IPA had ALL the hops and was kind of piney. Very enjoyable, and more of a sipping beer than an all-nighter.
The Lemon Meringue Nitro was silky smooth and unlike anything I’ve tried before. I’d definitely recommend this, or the Jujube Cola Sour, for a taste of something unique from Pirate Life.
The only beer that really didn’t do it for us was the Orange & Mango Sour. If you handed me a pint and didn’t tell me it was beer, I’d guess it was a mimosa that had been sat out in the sun for too long. Mango puree and orange juice are late fermentation additions. It’s a little too fruity for my taste but I’m not the biggest fan of sour ales anyway. It could be someone else’s perfect pint, who knows.
Overall, we had an awesome afternoon. We’ll be back soon to start a shuffleboard team and win more South Coast Pale Ale prizes!