In the 'Tiser

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The ladies got some love in this article! Thanks to the lovely Katie Spain from the 'Tiser for this one... Along with a big invite to Adelaide to join us this Sunday. Do it.

Cheers to the Pirate Life, me hearties

"Message in a can"

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"A new craft beer is about to hit the pubs and bottle shops of Australia, but don’t search the shelves for a designer bottle, it’s coming your way in a can.

Owners Red and Jack, the brewers behind new venture Pirate Life in South Australia, go by a single name each and a different drum, but are all business when it comes to beer. The pair, who upped stumps from West Australia last year, first met while learning their craft beer trade at BrewDog in Scotland. On returning to Australia, Red found himself as the chief brewer at Cheeky Monkey in Margaret River and Jack working at Little Creatures. It didn’t take too long to decide they should join forces and go it alone.

Knowing that the West Australian brew scene is quite crowded, they looked east and only had to cross the Nullarbor to find their perfect HQ. “Adelaide is a great little city,” says Red. “And it’s in the middle of the country so we can dispatch our beer in any direction. We are geared toward national distribution.”

This ease of dispatch is also behind their decision to put their suds into cans.“Cans are lighter to transport,” says Red of the 8.5kg weight of a carton of cans compared to 13.5kg for bottles. “That adds up quickly.” “But first and foremost, cans are best for the beer because they limit light and oxygen exposure,” says Red. “And in any case, you should be pouring any beer into a glass.”

The duo have a nifty infographic explaining their love of the can – why cans – and there isn’t a bearded hipster in sight – which features everything from improved internal coatings that eliminate the metallic taste to the fact cans are easier to recycle and chill faster.

Pirate Life is brewing out of a 1,000m2 warehouse in Thebarton, on the edge of the Adelaide CBD, with three 25hL brewhouse vessels, a combined mash/lauter tun, and separate kettle and whirlpool. “On the cold side of things,” says Red, “We’re starting off with two 25hL CCVs, four 50hL CCVs and one 50hL BBT with room to expand and add another 100hL BBT and eight 100hL CCVs.”

The pair plans to launch at the beginning of March with around 17,000 litres of packaged beer across three styles: 3.5% ABV session IPA, 5.4% ABV pale and an 8.8% ABV IIPA.

So far they have approached more than 30 pubs to stock their product and Red is confident that the tinnie “is making a comeback”.

City Mag

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"The native West Australians first became friends when they were both working as brewers in Aberdeenshire, Scotland for internationally renowned company BrewDog. It was in that cool climate the seeds of the idea for their own venture were first sown.

After returning home, Jack spent some time working for Little Creatures while Red set-up a beer and cider venture called Cheeky Monkey. It was the intervention of Jack’s Dad – Michael Cameron, a long time hospitality veteran and now CEO of Pirate Life – that set the pair on the path to eventually setting up their own brewery in Adelaide.

“Red’s a good mate of Jack’s – we’d spend a lot of time together tasting beers and talking about beers and the more time I spent with them the more I realised they had a real passion for it and they already had a lot of the learning behind them,” says Michael. “So I got together with a good mate of mine and talked to him about putting a plan for this brewery together.”

Over 12 months, Michael set about raising investment funds through friends and family. Having gathered the necessary cash, the trio identified Adelaide as the best place to get Pirate Life going. “We wanted to come to Adelaide,” says Michael.

“The thing I like about Adelaide is that people are really proud of being from Adelaide. You go into pubs and you see it’s all Adelaide beers, it’s all Adelaide wines and Adelaide food. And all those places are successful because people go there because they’re proud to consume South Australian produce – that’s something you don’t really get elsewhere.”

When CityMag visits Pirate Life’s South Road facility, which has been transformed from air-conditioning part factory to brewery in just 12 weeks, Red and Jack have just pumped their first batch of barley from the gristmill into a big vat where it is going through a process called “mashing in”. As the starches in the barley turn to sugar with the help of water, Michael explains that this first brew is destined to become a Double IPA.

“I really enjoy this one,” he says. “It’s an 8.8 per cent IPA – lots of hops in the backbone and we’re going to sell it in 500ml cans.”

It’s a big beer in all ways, and it will be one of three foundation releases from Red and Jack. The other two – a Pale Ale and a mid-strength session IPA – will make up the balance of the brewery’s first releases.

All of the beer produced by Pirate Life will be distributed in can or keg, not a bottle in sight. Despite some existing stereotypes about canned beer, the boys say it is important for them to use the more sustainable, lighter option that also keeps the beer fresher by not exposing it to light or oxygen.

“Our first job is to open up and make great beer. And we have a lot of faith in the boys that they’ll do that,” says Michael. “We want beer that is fresh, canned, and we want to make a volume so publicans know that we will always have product when they need it.”

Several Adelaide bars and pubs are already making inquiries about stocking Pirate Life brews, which should be ready to deliver in about three weeks. But publicans and the public aren’t the only ones who are anticipating the first release. Michael himself decided on New Year’s Eve that he wouldn’t drink another beer until he could drink one produced by Red and Jack in the new brewery.

As good as that first taste of Pirate Life is going to be for the rest of us, we’re willing to bet it will be twice as delicious for Michael."

Thanks City Mag