Thus Let us Drink Beer – Pirate Life
I have covered quite a few Australian breweries over the last couple of years as part of this series and discovered quite a diverse range of quality brews. It is always specifically gratifying when I come across a brewery that does a brew so well that it makes me reconsider my preferences, especially when it come to variations that normally would not rank high in my go-to list.
Then there is my unwavering preference for hopped out brews of the IPA family. This constitutes an area where there is a myriad of good ones, but few are truly great.
Enter Pirate Life.
I vividly remember celebrating a joyous occasion with a dram of Ardbeg Ardbeg 19-year-old Traigh Bhan, which as connoisseurs would know, comes pretty close to the OG fantastic Ardbeg DNA that was refined in the 1970s. The occasion demanded a suitable brewed companion to complete the boilermaker and by chance, Pirate Life’s IIPA caught my eye. Hallelujah, it was a match that so far has yet to rivalled.
Then again I should have not been overly surprised about how well Pirate Life’s brew paired with the emission from Islay as Pirate Life Brewing ’s story began in Scotland, where the founders originally refined their brewing skills and the idea of starting operations on terra australis was incepted.
After further apprenticeship at Australian breweries on the West Coast, a suitable location for their own shop was identified in Adelaide, where the Pirate Life HQ and brewhouse was established in 2014. The awards for its core range kept rolling in and within a short period of time Pirate Life established itself as a veritable player on the firmament on the ever-expanding Australian craft beer firmament.
Continuing its success on all front, Pirate Life was eventually incorporated into bigger distribution networks, which allowed them to expand their operations even further, including the opening of a new location in 2019, which not only has the capacity to house large-scale events but also serves as a forum to sell their own, stylish merchandise and skateboards. Many breweries tout their own gear, but if you check out Pirate Life’s merch, you will see from a distance that it is a cut above. I own one of their garments and the attention to detail as well as the quality is quite something. No wonder street gear brands like Burton made a beeline to team up with Pirate Life for collaborations – an area that is shed light on in their blog section.
As mentioned above, my favourite of the Pirate Life Brewing range is their Imperial IPA and yes, it is a big beer in every sense of the word: What tickles the nostrils is an avalanche of fruity nuances, which seamlessly translate to what materializes on the top of the roof in the most creamy of ways.
I love how the citrussy and tropical highlights are counterpointed by pine notes derived from the quartet of Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial and Mosaic hop, and a delicate, well-calibrated bitterness derived from the hops and the malty backbone.
Pirate Life’s IIPA is not just because of its comparatively high alcohol content of 8.8% and the 500ml treatment a tour de force as flavour-wise it reigns supreme in a league of its own.
images from company website