(l-r) Thunder Road’s Marcus Cox, 4 Pines’ Chris Willcock and Boatrocker’s Matt Houghton at Boatrocker Brewery


The Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) collaborative beer for 2016 is underway, with brewers from 4 Pines Brewing Company, Thunder Road Brewing Company and Boatrocker Brewing Company beginning the process this week at Boatrocker’s Braeside brewery.

The collaboration, in its fifth year, sees brewers from 2015’s Champion Large, Medium and Small Australian Breweries combine their knowledge, skills and experience to create a limited-edition beer, to be unveiled at the AIBA Presentation Dinner in Melbourne on 19 May.

Speaking at the brew day, Matt Houghton, head brewer and founder at Boatrocker said about 1,600 litres of the yet-to-be-named amber saison-style beer will be made available.

“The 2016 collaboration brew will use both French and Belgian-style yeasts, malt from Cryermalt and HPA hops,” said Houghton, last year’s recipient of the Champion Small Australian Brewery Trophy.

Chris Willcock, chief brewer at 4 Pines, which won Champion Large Australian Brewery in 2015, added the brew would have a nice and balanced flavour to it, with the use of tangerine peel and herbs bringing sweetness and texture to the palate.

“With the attributes of sweeter layering, spiciness and unique fruit tones with the use of tangerine, the brew will be a dessert beer,” he said.

Marcus Cox, who is part of the collaborative brew team for the second year running, after Thunder Road’s successive wins of Champion Medium Australian Brewery in 2014 and 2015, said the brew did however alter slightly from the original style.

“The collaborative brew is darker than a normal variety saison, which is traditionally a pale ale,” said Cox at the mash-in.

The beer will be bottled in three weeks allowing for bottle fermentation, with the naming of the ale and packaging design also still to come.

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