(l-r) Melanie Cooper, Paul Esposito, Graham McDonald and Jon Meneses at the Sydney 2016 Vintage Ale launch


Written by Andy Young, editor The Shout

Coopers has launched its 2016 Extra Strong Vintage Ale with special events taking place in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

The 2016 Extra Strong Vintage Ale is the sixteenth beer in the vintage series, which dates back to 1998. Coopers managing director and chief brewer, Dr Tim Cooper, said the 2016 Vintage Ale featured the use of five varieties of hops, which had been carefully chosen to ensure a strong balance, depth of flavour and delicate aroma notes and flavours.

“The 2016 Vintage will again deliver the intense aromas and flavours that loyal drinkers have come to expect over time,” he said.

“The master hop breeder at Ellerslie Hop Estates recommended the use of a new variety of hops, Astra, which has been grown in Myrrhee in Victoria.

“This particular hop offers floral and fruity tones, which complement another favourite stablemate, Melba, grown in the same region.

“The third variety is Northern Brewer, a variety originally bred in England in 1932, which imparts herbaceous and spicy notes.

“All three varieties contribute to the bitterness and aroma of the beer.

“Dry hopping with Styrian Goldings and Cascade provides added complexity, with delicate aroma notes and flavours.”

Speaking at the launch in Sydney, family member Mel Cooper said: “My father Bill Cooper wanted to introduce a vintage Christmas Ale, and he asked the brewing team to come up with a traditional, high strength, and full flavoured ale.

“There’s only been three years when we haven’t had a vintage; 2001, 2003 and 2005 and overall it’s been very successful for us.”

The 2016 Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale maintains the bitterness of last year’s at 60 IBU and an alcohol level of 7.5 per cent ABV.

The ale has also been seeded with live yeast for bottle conditioning and to enhance the longevity of the beer, which will change over time as the bitterness slowly mellows and rich, sweet caramel-like characters emerge.

The 2016 Vintage Ale is priced from around $85 per carton, or around $25 per six-pack of 355ml bottles.

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