Partnership results in liquid gold
A COLLABORATION between two respected Surf Coast producers has resulted in a medal winning performance at this year’s Australian International Beer Awards.
Bells Beach Brewing teamed up with Mikro Coffee Roasters to create the Bird Rock Brown which was awarded a gold medal up against the best brews from around the world.
The Torquay-based brewery also took home three silver medals for the Hells Bells XPA, EVO’S ESB and Rincon Raspberry Sour.
Bells Beach Brewing co-owner Jeff Crow said the team – including fellow co-owners and brewers Adam Smith and Jono Moscrop – were excited because their intention was only ever to create “really good beers that are easy to drink and that we enjoy ourselves”.
He said medals were not a top priority but still a big bonus.
“We don’t generally take the medals all that serious so it was a real surprise,” Jeff said.
“What’s really nice is that it’s the world’s largest beer competition across 38 countries.
“It was also nice that the Bird Rock Brown was the only gold medal awarded in the category so we are pretty happy about that.”
The Bird Rock Brown is a smooth brown ale combining malty richness, coffee from Mikro and classic British hops.
“If you love coffee it’s a great beer. It’s a traditional English brown ale which is actually light,” Jeff explains.
“When we say it’s a brown a lot of people who don’t know brown ales think it’s a stout or porter but it’s not … for alcohol it’s actually one of our lighter beers we make.
“I think it’s one of our most flavoursome beers.
“The Mikro boys brewed us a special blend … then we brew the coffee here and literally pour the espresso into the beer to get that true coffee flavour.
“It’s a really, really enjoyable beer. Some people might think it’s a winter time beer but we sell just as much in the summer time.”
Jeff said the judges informed them the silver medal winning Rincon Raspberry Sour rated high on every criteria but was entered in the wrong category.
“I think we put it into the fruit beer category instead of the sour category so it actually did exceptionally well in the wrong category,” he said.
“If you read all their comments you think ‘if you took that and put it into the sour it’s easily a gold medal … so we need to read a bit more carefully,” he added, with a laugh.
But Jeff said they were proud of all their medal winning brews.
“The XPA is a good one as well because it’s a really tricky style, it’s purely an Australian style beer and it’s quite popular at the moment,” he said.
“The EVO’s ESB is a seasonal beer that we bring out every year – it’s an Extra Special Bitter which some people call an English Special Bitter … and our three brewers are all English so its success might have something to do with the origins of the people who are making the beer.”
Bells Beach Brewing has two taproom venues at 22 Baines Crescent, Torquay, and 2/73b Little Malop Street, Geelong.
Discover more about the winning brews or session times by visiting bellsbeachbrewing.com and follow @bellsbeachbrewing on Instagram.