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New tack for Pirate Life in strong beer sales

Jared Proudfoot from Pirate Life. The Sip

There will be a different Pirate Life emerge over the next six months.

Two years after two men and a dad launched an Australian beer juggernaut, the booming brewery is looking for something new.

After all, according to one half of Pirate Life’s Adelaide-based brewing command, Jared Proudfoot, above, the operation is three years ahead of schedule.

“We had a fairly robust business plan but we reached our five-year projections in just over 18 months,” said Proudfoot on a lightning visit back to Perth this week to mark Pirate Life’s recent second birthday.

“We’ve probably even seen Pirate Life 1.5 with Pirate Life 2.0 coming around very quickly.”

That sparks great interest from a hoppy beer lover point of view. The brewery, which also includes Jack Cameron at the helm with his father Michael handling the business and sales division, burst on to the Australian market with their Throwback India Pale Ale (3.5%), Pale Ale (5.4%) and scrumptious Imperial India Pale Ale (8.8%) in 2015.

The beers, in their distinctive cans, were quickly adored. The black labelled IIPA was the third most popular brew in the GABS Hottest 100 Beers of 2016. It was an extraordinary achievement. A beer with such a high ABV in a 500ml vessel seems to break a lot of rules. Drinkers were very keen to aid and abet the brewing villains. Sales soared. Rightly so.

In the second wave the team released the Hopco NZ Pale Ale (4.8%), a special release Pirate Life Stout (7.1%) and a full strength India Pale Ale at 6.8%.

Pirate Life cans. The Sip

Now, Jared, or Red as the brewery team refer to him, wants to get a bit more bitter.

“I think we are a long way off super dry India Pale Ales,” he said.

“We’d like to get beers to about 1.5 Plato (gravity measurement), give them more body, more malt character but have that good dry finish.

“That might be the next direction.”

Since formation Pirate Life have also been involved in brewing festivals from Melbourne to Reykjavik.

Earlier this year the team carried the Aussie flag at the Icelandic Beer Festival, far from being out of place alongside two much-loved international brewers.

“On one side of us was Stone (US) and on the other was Omnipollo (Sweden) and we more than held our own,” Proudfoot said.

“We were stoked and humbled to be invited to Iceland. It was a big tick for the 35 people that work in our brewery. They’ve all worked hard to get us to where we are after just two years. It has been a team effort.”

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