The unique and highly-anticipated Collaboration Beer has become a highlight of the Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA), conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV).
The AIBA is the largest annual beer competition in the world assessing both packaged and draught beer. A diverse range of styles across 18 categories are assessed with a total of up to 30 Champion and Major trophies presented.
The Collaboration Beer is created by the previous year’s Champion brewers in the Large, Medium and Small Australian Brewery categories.
This year’s brew, Girt By Three, will be a celebration of Australia’s rich brewing history as the name implies, along with a nod to the future direction of the industry. The collaboration between 2014 Champions CUB (Large), Thunder Road Brewing (Medium) and 3 Ravens (Small), demonstrates a sharing of experience and innovation across three diverse stars of Australian beer.
The three brewers last week visited Victoria’s Ovens Valley, sourcing the hops which will fuel a creative brew featuring old and new world influences including: a classic English yeast strain; an old English malt variety; the inclusion of refined sugars; the inimitable Pride of Ringwood hop for bittering; and an age-old tradition of blending in aged beer from the cellars of all three breweries.
The new world influences will include assertive use of modern Australian aroma hops – with a view to exploring and expanding on the future of Australian Pale Ale.
“We are really enjoying working with the other brew teams in this collaboration and believe the beer will be a stand out,’’ says Thunder Road Brewing’s Marcus Cox.
‘‘In style, it will take some great, historical elements of the past and combine them with modern ingredients and processes. You might say it will take the best of the old and the new, and combine them into a beautiful, highly drinkable and refreshing drop that we think will be a crowd pleaser.’’
The brew day will be on April 16, at 3 Ravens in Thornbury, Melbourne. Brewer Brendan O’Sullivan described the chance to work with other breweries as incredibly exciting.
‘‘For some time I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to brew a barley-wine like I did as a homebrewer – blending fresh, young beer with a hint of old, sherry-like beer (much like Crown Ambassador),’’ he says.
‘‘When the penny dropped that all three of us have skunkworks involving aged beers it seemed like too good an opportunity to refuse.”
CUB’s Jaideep Chandrasekharan agreed, saying, “The AIBA Collaboration Beer is a great opportunity to celebrate beer and an opportunity for brewers to come together and produce a beer that enhances the beer category.”
In a first for the collaboration beer, the designer behind the 2014 Best Packaging Trophy awarded to Beechworth Brewery, Korinne Arblaster from Kore Graphics, will design the label for Girt By Three.
The beer will be revealed at the AIBA dinner and awards presentation on May 21 as part of Good Beer Week. This eagerly anticipated beer, bold in design, will be served alongside dessert.
It will then be available to taste at the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular during the final weekend of Good Beer Week, Melbourne and at the Sydney GABS event later that month.
Categories: Beer festival