Capital have teamed up with Young Henrys in the aim of creating a brand new beer style: an Australian Winter Ale.
“We’re trying to do something that’s basically the opposite of an Australian-style summer ale,” Capital’s head brewer Wade Hurley told Beer & Brewer.
“I think the winter version of that would be something more malt driven. The beer is going to be a brown ale verging on a porter, and we’re going to use a bit of rye in there, some Melbourne Ale yeast, and some Australian Ella hops.
“So it will kind of be like a nice, rye, dark brown ale with Ella to offset the spiciness; not overly hoppy, just enough to balance out that malt. It will be pretty crushable too – maybe around the 4-5% ABV mark.
“We’re still throwing ideas back and forth though and I think we’ll chat over a few beers at GABS Sydney this weekend, so hopefully something good comes out of it. We need some juice to get the creative juices flowing!”
The new style is described on Capital’s social channels as a “raised middle finger” to brewing tradition; in the words of the brewery’s Dan Watters, “rather than brew a traditional style we wanted to invent something totally new that no-one had done before –that’s what we’re shooting for. We really wanted to accentuate the Australian side of it too.”
The collaboration is the result of a long running friendship between Capital and Young Henrys – with Capital co-founder Laurence Kain pouring Young Henrys at the Canberra bar Honky Tonks that he used to run, before Young Henrys even had the means to deliver beer that far.
“They used to drive up with a ute and totally load it up with kegs and kegs of Young Henrys beer and drive it back down to Canberra,” explained Watters.
“Young Henrys was an inspiration for us and one of the reasons why we ended up starting Capital. We’ve always wanted to do something with them but it’s only now that we’ve got our own facility, it’s all up and humming and we’ve been trying to squeeze something in to the brew schedule.”
To launch the beer, Capital will host a naming party at its brewery on the evening of 15 June, with local bands and Capital’s Sydney sales rep Joe Barrs DJ’ing as entertainment.
“The dudes from Young Henrys are bringing a bus load of people down from Sydney for the brew day on 15 June. They’re going to come down, brew during the day and then in the evening we’re going to party,” said Watters.
“We’re also going to decide on a name for the beer based on suggestions that people submit before and during the party – there’ll be an opportunity for people to suggest names online, through our social channels and then on the evening itself.”
Initially a keg-only release, the Australian Winter Ale will also be available at select venues in Sydney and Canberra in early July. For more information about the launch, check out Capital’s Facebook page.