Last year was pretty epic so for our first blog post of 2016 we thought we would take a look back at the highlights of Pirate Life's 2015.
The first step in our adventure was a big trip across the Nullarbor from Perth to begin building our brewery here in Adelaide. Rather than just jumping on a plane we packed up a truck, a campervan, a couple of cars with 15 of our mates and a heap of good beer then took off across the desert. The five days on the road were wicked with night time stops at Mt Thirsty in WA, The Great Australian Bight, Streaky Bay and Port Lincoln, plenty of good beer, good wine, good food and good times.
Over the next couple of months, our brewery began to take shape and by February 2015 we were brewing our first batches of Pale Ale, IIPA and Throwback which were officially released in South Australia on 1st March at the Gilbert Street Hotel here in Adelaide. And from there the craziness began. First order of business was a trip west to launch the beer in WA in April with a whirlwind tour all over the state and a chance to share our beers with friends and family back home. And it wasn’t long before our beers made it to Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and NSW giving hop heads their fix in every state of Australia.
Along the way there has been plenty of fun in the brewery: our first GABS beer the “Barbe Noir” - a 10.5% Imperial Black Belgian IPA, the Adelaidian Brown Ale, our Export Stout and a couple of barrel collabs with Barossa based winery Tomfoolery (which are sitting on oak right now). Perhaps our coolest brewing collaboration came when we had the opportunity to brew with the Hilltop Hoods. The result is the Pirate Life x Golden Era Records Golden Ale - an easy drinking ale which will be served at the Hoods upcoming Australian concerts.
It seems like our hard work has been paying off. We can’t seem to make enough of the stuff and to top it off we have managed to scoop up a few awards along the way! The biggest of which was Best Commercial Brewery at the Perth Royal Beer Show. We also managed to pick up a couple of awards for packaging in both Perth and Melbourne so a big shout out to our amazing designer Lauren Bonkowski for all her hard work creating our epic can and case designs!
The brewery has expanded in terms of both manpower and capacity. In the past year our family on the ground has grown from three to seven and we have undergone our first major tank upgrade with our capacity increased by 140% thanks to the installation of four new tanks. The result of all this hard work and growth was evident in the numbers: 99 batches, 442,500 L brewed and packaged in just 10 months. We brewed 178 individual 2500 L batches meaning that last year Pirate Life spent 1608 happy hours brewing froths.
The list of people we have to thank is far too long so we will just say thank you to everyone everywhere in Australia for the support. Mostly thank you to the beer drinking public for getting behind us. The response to our beers has been fantastic and the support we receive every week from you guys via social media, Untapped and the likes is what makes all the hard work worth it.
Happy new year from everyone here at Pirate Life Brewing and here’s to a big one to come - full of more good times and most importantly more great beer.
Cheers, PLB Crew