The launch of McLaren Vale Beer Company’s latest beer was lavish by craft brewing standards and will have done little to change the minds of those dubious about the brewery’s business model and resources, but it was probably not meant to. Doubtless the 200+ guests tucking into the free food and Vale Dark didn’t really care about such things anyway.
Company CEO, Adam Trippe-Smith, seems unperturbed by such things anyway, happily describing his beers as ‘gateway beers’ at the launch luncheon at his Salopian Inn in McLaren Vale. The McLaren Vale Beer Company’s range now extends to four styles and the ‘gateway’ description is a fair assessment of the beers, which find their competition in the James Squires and Gage Roads of the brewing world more so than the Murray’s and Bridge Roads. Still, having tried head brewer’s Jeff Wright’s twin oak-aged Russian Imperial Stouts – one aged in French and one in American oak – and his recent Vale/Cow collaboration IPA, brewed for the recent Milking the Cow beer festival, it will be interesting to see what occasionals come from the company once they commission their long promised brewery in McLaren Vale.
In the meantime, Dark – or DRK in the company’s branding style – fits neatly into the space occupied by a beer such as James Squire Nine Tails Amber Ale and matches to a similar range of foods. At the launch lunch it paired very nicely with a duck neck sausage and beef pie.
*McLaren Vale Beer Company Sponsor Australian Brews News. The writer was a guest of McLaren Vale Beer Company at the launch event.
Designed using pale, Munich, crystal and carafa roasted malt. A filtered beer with brilliant clarity. Dark brown in colour with ruby and garnet highlights. It has a strong malt backbone with hints of coffee. Chocolate and cocoa that balance the use of falconer’s flight hops, giving rise to citrus, pine and vanilla flavours and aromas. The combination of dark malt and hops with lager yeast delivering a crisp, clean dark beer.
Style: American dark lager
McLaren Vale Beer Company has unveiled its dark side with the launch of VALE/DRK, an American Dark Lager.
Head Brewer Jeff Wright said VALE/DRK was “perfect drinking on cooler days, balanced so it can be enjoyed all year round”.
VALE/DRK is an American Dark Lager, brewed using Pale, Munich, Crystal malts and Carafa roasted malt. It has a great malty backbone that is perfectly matched to the bitterness and flavours derived from the hops. The hops leave a perfect clean palate that will leave you wanting another glass.
VALE/DRK is 4.5% ABV, 30 IBU and uses Falconer’s Flight hop from the US.
“VALE/DRK complements the other Vale beers that we produce for the beer fan looking for something different,” Jeff Wright said.
“Like all Vale beers the best way to enjoy it is in a large glass amongst friends.”
VALE/DRK joins McLaren Vale Beer Company’s growing stable of beers including VALE/ALE, VALE/IPA and VALE/DRY.
Its launch comes on the back of McLaren Vale Beer Company’s Gold Medal win for VALE/DRY in the 2011 International Beer Challenge – one of only two Australian brews to win gold. VALE/DRY is now in the running to be judged the world’s best beer at an awards ceremony in London on September 12.
VALE/DRK will be available in all good liquor outlets in September.