There are a lot of events pencilled into this office’s beer calendar.
Yet as soon as the book of dates arrives every December, the wise guys in the organisation place a ring around a handful of days in mid-March.
That’s the real turn of the summer beer season. And to mark the change the title "Eagle Bay Time" adorns the month of highlights.
The Eagle Bay team are something of weather gods because they can pick the change in clouds and know when it is right to give their buds some new tastes.
So as we wave goodbye to the sun and prepare for darker times Eagle Bay have returned their Black India Pale Ale (5.5 per cent) to our taste buds.
And brewer Nick D’Espeissis has gone back in time to resurrect an old favourite, a 4.7 per cent American Wheat that has already started to appear in the Fremantle region.
To get the beer just as he wanted D’Espeissis had to wait for the right moment to garner the necessary ingredients. They might seem unusual but they provide great anticipation for drinkers seeking a new delight.
D’Espeissis hasn’t gone near this type of beer since his stint with Sydney’s 4 Pines earlier in the decade.
The West Coast Native American Wheat Beer is a bit of a mouthful. That prepares the consumer for all the ingredients – rainwater, hops, malt and yeast, together with 5kg of Desert Limes from Marvick Native Farm and 50grams of Anise Myrtle from the Bush Food Experience, all native foods grown in Western Australia.
So it is to be expected that West Coast Native Ale features herbaceous and citrus notes upfront, with zesty lime
The brew is a collaborative effort with Fremantle establishment The Mantle and was produced to celebrate the inaugural Taste of Kimberley and WA festival happening this month at the port venue.
It is also part of Eagle Bay’s single batch series, brews of 1000 litres, all made on-site and using only natural ingredients.
Eagle Bay follow a strong environmental philosophy and strive to reduce, reuse and recycle. The Margaret River brewhouse is fully powered by South West sunshine, all the water component of all their brews contain rainwater and all the spent grain is fed to the cows at the farm.
The Sip concedes the Black IPA is an office favourite and its return is anxiously awaited each year. Our team was so keen to get hands on the brew some members are believed to have raced their growlers to Cellarbrations at Carlisle last weekend for a fill.
The use of the cacao nibs is the signature of this beer. It combined so well with the strong bitterness to provide an apt winter India Pale Ale.