International Beer Day: Five SA froths with a twist

By Melissa Keogh

From Thomas Cooper’s first batch of ale brewed in 1862 to the modern-day crafty drops spilling from boutique breweries, South Australia knows how to do beer.

If we need even more of an excuse to pop the cap off a frothie on a Friday, well, Friday August 4 was International Beer Day.

While there’s nothing wrong with sipping on a run-of-the-mill beer, we’ve given some thought to the brews that have captured something a little out of the ordinary.

From chocolate to hibiscus, and a beer worthy of being crowned the world’s best, here’s our top five glorious SA brews to celebrate this divine occasion.

1. CHOCOLATE STOUT
Chocolate and beer? Say no more.

Bracegirdle’s House of Fine Chocolate and Goodieson’s Brewery at McLaren Vale have joined forces to combine the best of both worlds – choccie and beer.

Raw cocoa nibs were infused into the beer, creating a sweet and smooth limited edition brew that’s far less bitter than your usual stout.

Chocolate

Bracegirdle’s and Goodieson’s Chocolate Stout.

2. PINK BEER
Yep, you read right. Pink beer.

Stepney beer legends Little Bang Brewing Company are behind this sour Hibiscus Wheat Ale, The Pickening.

Infused with the tropical bloom hibiscus, it’s a “zippy pink drink” that is “looking for the middle ground between beer and sour iced tea”.

The Hibiscus Wheat Ale is pretty in pink. Photo: Iain Dalrymple

The Hibiscus Wheat Ale is pretty in pink. Photo: Iain Dalrymple

3. DRUNKEN HONEY BEER
Small microbrewery Drunken Drone Brewery on Kangaroo Island hand-crafted this sweet little number, Honey Wheat Ale, using Ligurian honey from the island.

The beauty of South Australia’s microbreweries is their ability to play scientist and experiment.

The result is this easy drinking, yet ultra sweet brew.

Oh, and while you’re here, Kangaroo Island is under the spotlight at La Boca Bar and Grill in Adelaide this month. Check it out.

The Honey Wheat Ale is brewed and bottled on Kangaroo Island.

The Honey Wheat Ale is brewed and bottled on Kangaroo Island.

4. PELLICOSIS RED
A beer named after brewing lingo and fermented in ex-wine barrels must mean business.

The Pellicosis Red is made by Adelaide Hills brewery Left Barrel.

Head brewer Brad Bown says its low bitterness allows complex sourness to develop from the house blend of yeast and bacteria.

“(Pellicle) is the name of the delicate membrane formed by the bacteria across the top of the beer, protecting it from oxygen while it slowly sours the beer over time adding complexity and flavours,” he says.

Two kegs from the first barrel of this Flanders style sour ale were poured at last month’s Adelaide Beer and Barbecue Festival.

Featuring in the upcoming 2017 Ferment The Festival, Brad has hinted at an exciting future brew featuring Kombucha, a fermented tea renowned for its health benefits.
Watch this space!

Left Barrel Balhannah

The Pellicosis Red is a Flanders style sour ale fermented in ex-wine barrels.

5. WORLD’S BEST BEER
Adelaide Hills brewery Prancing Pony galloped all the way to the top in 2016 when its India Red Ale was crowned the World’s Best Beer at the International Beer Challenge in London.

Praised for its big and bold flavours, the India Red Ale packs a solid punch at 7.9% abv (alcohol-by-volume).

The Totness brewery won World's Best

The Totness brewery’s India Red Ale won World’s Best Beer in 2016.