WESTMINSTER barley grown on Kangaroo Island is the star local ingredient in Coopers Brewery’s first beer to be made using single-origin malt, its 2018 Vintage Ale.
Coopers said this use of single-origin malt in the production of a seasonal beer has opened the door for the development of other special provenance beers in the future.
As the 18th Coopers vintage ale to be brewed, the 2018 bottling is the first to be made from malt produced at its new malting plant which opened in Adelaide last year.
Coopers national sales and marketing director, Cam Pearce, said a limited quantity of 2018 Vintage Ale in kegs and cartons would be available as of 1 August.
“Seasonal releases of beer and spirits have become popular in recent years with the craft movement,” Mr Pearce said.
“Coopers has been bringing an annual seasonal release to market for the past 20 years, and we are proud to continue this with a greater focus on the seasonal aspect and the origins of the ingredients.”
Westminster is a GrainSearch variety, and the company’s business manager, Phil Jobling, said its suitability for export as malt or grain, coupled with its appeal to the domestic market, made it a versatile PBR variety
“The key reason brewers like using it is because of its high and consistent extract levels across all seasons, and growers in medium and high rainfall zones like it because it is high yielding.
The variety is popular in southern Victoria, southeast South Australia, and Tasmania as a dryland crop, and under irrigation in southern New South Wales.
Westminster originated in the United Kingdom, and was commercially released to Australian growers in 2013, and Mr Jobling said the variety was quick to prove itself.
“Even in China, it’s being asked for more and more, and demand is slightly exceeding supply.”
Coopers managing director and chief brewer, Dr Tim Cooper, said the hop variety Aramis from the Alsace region of France was chosen as the feature hop in the 2018 s Vintage Ale because of its aroma and moderate levels of bitterness.
Dr Cooper said Westminster offered improved head retention in the beer, which when blended with dark crystal malt, created an ale with a delicate and sweet malt character, and a rich, red copper hue.
Source: Coopers, GrainSearch