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Pirate Life x Ballast Point – Strong Pale Ale

By Pirate Life 04 Sep 2017

The roots of Pirate Life’s brewing style can be traced back to the US. West Coast Pale Ales are the foundation that the craft beer revolution was built on. The new hop cultivars that sprung up in the pacific Northwest during the 80s and 90s gave brewers the chance to fully realise the incredible array of flavours that hops could deliver.

The craft beer industry evolved slowly but began to snowball as more and more people discovered these new hop forward beers. What were once small brew pubs expanded into fully fledged production facilities. Craft beer was no longer a hobby, it became a billion-dollar industry. Among these trail blazing breweries was Ballast Point. Once a small brewery at the back of a home brew store in San Diego it now consists of several sites, including a huge 100 thousand square foot brewery. Their amazing hopped up, fruity brews are available the world over.

Last year at the Beertopia Beer Festival in Hong Kong we ran into Chris Roberts, who handles Ballast Points worldwide sales. He liked our IIPA so much he stuck around drinking it all afternoon. An idea was tossed around, Pirate Life and Ballast Point should brew a beer together…

So earlier this year when we were in the USA for the 2017 Craft Beer Conference we hitched a plane to the West Coast and caught up with Ballast Points Specialty Brewer, Colby Chandler. A day of touring Ballast Points massive brewery and drinking a bunch of epic beers at their Little Italy taproom and the deal was done. The Trans Pacific Partnership was born.

The Transpacific Partnership is a 6.0% Strong Pale Ale. A simple malt bill of Vienna and Pale gives the beer a crisp, light malt character with a touch of honey like sweetness. In the true spirit of a transpacific campaign we loaded the brew with six hops from across the Pacific. From America: Amarillo, Simcoe and Mosaic. From New Zealand: Kohatu and Pacifica. With a little Aussie Cascade thrown in for good measure. Along with these hops the whirlpool was loaded up with Finger Lime and Coriander. The result is a beer which hits every tastebud in equal measure. Pleasantly bitter and massively fruity with just the right amount of malt and booze to even it all out.

A beer this eclectic needs a can to match. Back in February, tattooist turned street artist Steen Jones dropped by the brewery and painted an amazing pirate ship on the northern wall of our offices. The can design is a homage to this epic mural. Featuring the ship, the high seas and a bit of Steen’s trademark artwork: Hibiscus flowers and his signature skull. Being able to work with an artist as talented as Steen is a huge thrill and we couldn’t be happier at the way the cans have captured the spirit of the Transpacific Partnership!

Due to contractual obligations between Ballast Point and Woolworths, the Transpacific Partnership will be available exclusively for retail sale through Dan Murphy’s. However it will also be available on tap and in cans at bars and restaurants across the country.

A brewing alliance for the ages – The Pirate Life x Ballast Point Transpacific Partnership.


PLB Crew