Strawberry Milkshake IPA


Strawberries are something that Aussies remember fondly from their childhood, the ubiquitous summertime fruit, a staple in the fridge over the holidays and a regular on the Christmas pavlova. But when it comes to quintessential childhood memory of strawberry, nothing beats a Strawberry Milkshake. After enjoying brewing and drinking our Vanilla Malt Thickshake last winter we decided that our upcoming Third Birthday Celebration was the perfect time to debut a new, summery variation of the milkshake style. Introducing the Strawberry Milkshake IPA...

The challenge of creating a beer with the taste and texture of milk starts right from the mashtun. A huge dose of rolled oats in the mash is the first big difference as we tried to build a smooth, silky mouthfeel into the beer. The mashtun was also the first point that we added strawberry to the brew, 80 kg of freshly picked and sliced South Aussie strawberries which imparted a jam like sweetness into the wort.

Once in the kettle we added apple puree, lactose, dextrin and wheat flour. The idea behind these unusual additions to the beer is to add unfermentable sugars and proteins into the wort all of which contribute a fullness on the palate in the final beer. Into the whirlpool we added 80 kg of freshly pureed strawberry along with a 30 kg of Hüll Melon, a German bred derivative of Cascade hops who’s flavour descriptors include fresh cut strawberry and honeydew melon.

The beer fermented away for a week or so with a sneaky late ferment dry hop of Hüll Melon for good measure. Then came the next dose of fruit: another 80 kg of freshly pureed strawberries which kicked of a secondary ferment. After this was done we added another dry hop of Hüll Melon and the beer was chilled, gently filtered and nitrogenated for a smooth, creamy consistency.

The result is a beer which is as close to strawberry milkshake as a beer can be. Due to the nitro, a heap of residual sugars and a complex combination of proteins the beer pours with a rich, creamy head and a hazy, milky appearance. On the nose there is a gentle, sweet aroma brimming of Strawberry with a touch of honey thanks to the Hüll Melon. On the palate there is just enough hop character to remind you that you are indeed drinking a beer. But the real stars here are the strawberries; their characteristic flavour and slight tartness working perfectly with the sweet, full body of the beer. It really does remind you of shaking up a carton of strawberry milk back in the day and taking the first mouthful.

The Strawberry Milkshake IPA will be pouring for the first time on Sunday 4th of March as part of our Third Birthday Celebrations. The day is shaping up to be a cracker with a heap of fresh AF beers as well as a bunch of fun for the whole family, including SA inspired foods and local music. The party kicks off at midday!


PLB Crew


Black IPA


Late in the first decade of the new millennium, a beer style popped up that struck a pretty resounding chord with the growing craft beer community. Although no one could agree on what to call it. Some called it an “India black ale,” some “American-style black ale,” or even when you chat with people who hail from the pacific northwest of the USA “Cascadian Dark Ale” but we at Pirate Life prefer to go with the most well know and oxymoronic of its many names – The Black IPA.

That description perfectly describes the way that this beer is built. With the basic design of a classic IPA providing the foundation. We chose a base of Pale, Oats and Crystal malt then dropped a little of the darkness on it with equal parts Carafa I, Carafa II and Chocolate Malts. The result is a deep dark beer which doesn’t let the faintest hint of light through the glass even on a bright day. The dark malts provide a rich, roasted character without the astringency of a stout, an aroma reminiscent of fresh toast and coffee on the breakfast table prevails with a hint of chocolate and caramel.

Into this we threw Simcoe, Nelson, Mosaic and Centennial in quantities that may not have worked in a regular IPA. But the rich, roast malts manage to hold their own against what can only be described as a barrage of new world hop character. The citrus fruit aroma dominates the nose and provides an amazing contrast to the roasted tones of the malt. On the palate there is a delicious orangey, chocolate combination which is accentuated perfectly by a lingering malty sweetness.

The Pirate Life Black IPA is a beer which will prove to be moreish beyond your expectations and will be pouring for the first time at the Pirate Life Third Birthday this Sunday 4th of March.

The party kicks off at midday with plenty of excellent South Aussie beer, food and live music.

See you there!


PLB Crew

Unfazed by the Haze IPA


No beer style has grown with the same momentum over the past two years as the New England IPA. Typically, the style is brewed with low bitterness, high haze and is packed full of fruit characters care of both yeast and hop selections.

For our third birthday we have decided to brew a variation of the style. Using the same basic blueprint but removing the haze. The idea behind the concept was to experiment and find out if we could impart the same luxurious juicy characteristics that we love about the style but have it crystal clear, crisp and summery.

The Unfazed by the Haze IPA is brewed with an arsenal of big, juicy, fruity hops from across the globe. From the US Mosaic, from NZ a recent addition to our hop fridge in Kohatu and from here at home, one of the newest Aussie hops to strike a chord with brewers and drinkers alike Enigma.

We departed from our usual yeast strain for this beer, using White Labs Burlington Ale yeast which is a go to for New England style beers due to its increased ester production. The result is a beer which is more rich and full bodied than those fermented with our usual California Ale strain. It is as we intended, full of fruit character. The tropical fruit and citrus notes care of Mosaic and Kohatu and an unexpected but amazing currant and gooseberry character which may be the result of a heavy dose of Enigma or perhaps the Burlington Ale yeast.

The Unfazed by the Haze IPA will be one of three new beers pouring at this weekend’s Pirate Life Third Birthday at the Gilbert St Hotel in Adelaide. Anyone who has been down for one of our birthdays so far already know that it’s a solid day of good beer, good food, good music and a heap of craft beer fans enjoying the chance to enjoy the late summer sun.

If you are in Adelaide (or even anywhere close) then do yourself a favour and head down. The party kicks off at Midday this Sunday!


PLB Crew

Cirque Alfonse x Pirate Life - Alfonse Ale


Cirque Alfonse is a young circus company from Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez in the province of Quebec, established in 2005. Its founding members have all worked with some of the most renowned “nouveau cirque” companies around the world. This young company is comprised of a team of professional acrobats graduated from the École nationale de cirque de Montréal, as well as a professional dancer, an ex-skiing champion and three talented and versatile musicians.

In early 2016 the Cirque Alfonse company got in touch with us. Turns out that as well as being incredibly talented performers they were also big fans of big beers. That first year we invited the Cirque Alfonse crew out at the brewery. One Tuesday arvo a couple of car loads of big bearded blokes rocked up and proceeded to drink IIPA, stroke their beards and juggle kegs in their undies. This isn’t something that you see much when you work at a brewery, it was a pretty different day at the office. That year the Cirque Alfonse also performed at the birthday showering themselves in Pirate Life Pale Ale as the finale.


The Alfonse crew came back to Adelaide Fringe again last year to perform their acclaimed Barbu show and once again we spent the festival drinking and enjoying the fringe with some pretty interesting cats from Quebec. They headed back out to the brewery and made a day of it, drinking beers, throwing some kegs around and lifting a few of the brewery crew about as high off the ground as they have ever been…


This year Cirque Alfonse are bringing their new show Tabarnak to the fringe and to celebrate we have collaborated to brew a something special for the occasion. The Cirque Alfonse crew have always been big fans of the Pirate Life Pale Ale and last year at the birthday they were especially taken by the newly brewed Mosaic IPA. So we decided that a little twist on two classics was in order...


Brewed with the Mosaic malt bill and the Pirate Life Pale Ale hop combo the Alfonse Ale is a 5.7% pale ale with a surprisingly unique flavour and aroma considering it is a hybrid of two existing brews. Lighter and easier on the liver than the Mosaic and more delicate in its malt character than the Pale Ale the Alfonse Ale lets the hops do most of the talking. This beer is dripping with Cascades intense grapefruit and pine characters which perfectly complement the fresh tangerine and papaya tones of the Mosaic. The Alfonse Ale will only be be available in South Australia and will be pouring in bars around Adelaide all fringe season.


PLB Crew


Pirate Life Kiwi IPA


New Zealand’s hop growing region is squeezed into the north-west corner of the South Island. Small though it may be, this tiny slice of a tiny nation produces many of the world’s most curious hop varieties. With more sunny days than any other town in New Zealand and heavy winter rains, the micro climate of Nelson and the surrounding areas is perfect for growing almost anything, it is not unusual to drive through the nearby Motueka Valley and interchangeably see vineyards and hop farms competing for view from the car window. So it made sense that the town of Nelson is where New Zealand Hops decided to base their state of the art breeding program and hop processing facilities.

The Pirate Life Kiwi IPA is an homage to the hard work of these dedicated hop breeders, who’s unique cultivars spent many years in the shadows of their older siblings, grown far across the pacific in the Northwest of the USA. Only recently have names such as Motueka, Kohatu and Nelson Sauvin become well known beyond the shores of their home country. But the secret is now well and truly out…

Brewed with a simple malt base of 100% Maris Otter to let the hops shine, the New Zealand IPA was plied with hops right from the word go: equal parts Nelson Sauvin, Taheke, Kohato and Motueka were added to the mash. Lightly bittered with Nelson the bulk of the action happened at the end of the boil and in the whirlpool, a total of 22.5 kg of some of New Zealand juiciest hops were added for aroma. Once the ferment was finished, a healthy dry hop of Kohatu, Nelson Suavin and Taheke was added to the tank.

The Kiwi IPA pours a warm orange with a lacey snow-white head. The aroma is bursting with melon, ripe white table grapes and stone fruits. On the palate the Marris Otter lays a rich, clean foundation for the New Zealand hops to build on. The result of this particular hop combo is like a summer fruit salad, crisp, tart citrus layered over sweet, juicy mango, dragon fruit, apricot, grapes and kiwi. A beer which is a little too easy to drink more than a few of on a warm summers evening…

Big shout out to Beer Deluxe Fed Square for inviting us to brew this beer for their annual Hop Quest event last Friday!

The 6.0% Kiwi IPA will be hitting a limited number of taps throughout Australia over the next few weeks.


PLB Crew