Pirate Life Brewery Tour

Pirate Life Brewery Tour – Port Adelaide

We took a tour of Pirate Life Brewery in Port Adelaide and it was VERY cool.

Background

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.

Pirate Life Brewery

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.

Beer Tasting at Pirate Life Brewery.

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!

Vegan Beer Festival – Manchester

The Vegan Beer Festival took place on the 17th/18thSeptember, and we were in attendance! As lovers of all things alcohol, and with the location of the festival just a few minutes from our apartment, we couldn’t resist trying something new. Rami is a seasoned ale-lover, and Mady is a lager-sipping vegetarian looking to cut-down on animal products. Here is what we thought:

Location

The location of the festival was former cotton-spinning Islington Mill in Salford. It was cosy, but not restrictive. Friendly and inviting. The courtyard was by far the best area to sit and have a drink.

Cost

We had to think twice about the £7 entry fee, but it was only £4 if you bought in advance which would have been well worth it. On arrival, we were given wristbands, and information book and a free pint-sized cup for all our beer needs. The price for the beers averaged at a modest £3.50 a pint, with most drinks available as thirds or halves for between £1.20 and £2.50. We were also given a free box of “vegan eggs” if we signed up to the FollowYourHeart newsletter.

All the beers!


Booze


Black Fox Porter: Made by Red Fox, 4.8%. 

Paradise Pale Ale (Left), Black Fox Porter (Right)

Now, this is the one of the first porters that Mady has felt safe to drink. Dark in colour, with a light tan foam. It was surprisingly hoppy for such a dark porter, with the traditional chocolate notes with only the slightest hint of coffee. Overall, this is quite a light porter in both texture and flavour and was an easy-drinking porter. 

Paradise Pale Ale. Made by Red Church, 3.7%.
One of the most flavourful beers of the festival – and Mady’s favourite – and definitely suited for a hot summer day in the park with a BBQ.  It was more akin to a lager than an ale, very light with slight carbonation.  Flavour-wise there were some slight hints of hops but it was overwhelmingly floral. 

Attack of the Ryeclops. Made by Weird Beard, 5.5%. 
The first rye beer we’ve had, so we had no idea what to expect and nothing to compare it to! At first, we were both put off by the smell – honestly, it was not pleasant.  However, it was nice to taste.  One of the strongest palates of the festival. The beer retained a little spice of the rye, a bit peppery with a slight chilli flake tinge, that combined with the traditional hoppy notes very well. It was slightly reminiscent of a rye whiskey notes. Surprisingly good.

Gorgon Alive Amber Ale. Made by Clarkshaws, 4%. 
The plainest beer of the festival – but that doesn’t mean it was bad! Admittedly, it just means we don’t have a lot to say. It was easy to drink pleasantly floral and refreshing. 

Railyway Porter (Left), BLY (Right)

Railway Porter. Made by 5 points, 4%. 
In comparison to Black Fox, this is the style of Porter that Rami is used to – and coincidentally it was his favourite. It was much thicker and much heavier than the Black Fox – too heavy for Mady’s taste – and stronger in flavour.  Strong notes of coffee and chocolate dominate the palate. This is definitely the sipping pint. 


Bohemian Like You Oatmeal Ale. Made by Wild Weather, 2.9%. 
Another style of beer that neither of us have tried, and yet again we didn’t know what to expect! It was only slightly heavy, but immensely filling. It was very fruity and, unsurprisingly, oaty! It was a pleasant change of pace, and something we’d definitely explore again. Though, admittedly, it left a strange aftertaste. 

Fat Gay Vegan Lime and Pink Salt). Made by Dominion, 4.5%. 
For us this was just awful. It was an interesting experiment and maybe with more lime and a lot less salt it might have worked for us. We were heavily dehydrated afterwards, and it made difficult to drink more beer! Not for us. 

Overall

We didn’t try everything, but vegan beer does not really taste any different from regular beer, albeit slightly lighter in texture. It was a good experience and it was very nice to meet such passionate brewers who have put such work into ensuring that everyone can enjoy good beer.  We didn’t eat but the food looked and sounded amazing. We’re yet to try the vegan eggs but they have a six month expiration date so we have plenty of time! We also learnt that Red Bull is suitable for vegans! Next time the festival is in town, go check it out.

All the free stuff!