Last year saw the launch of the pair of beers from Endeavour Beverages. The beers had a very successful year on the awards circuit and the Endeavour team are back and about to launch their 2011 ‘vintage’. While many breweries use ‘vintage’ to describe the year of brewing, Endeavour use it in the narrower sense of describing the year the ingredients used in the beer were grown.
Ingredients are a a key part of the Endeavour story though. While, as I reported last year, it may have been a little bit of a stretch for them to talk about selecting their ingredients at the source last year, this year they say they have been able to be much more hands-on. To ensure the consistency and quality of their malt supply, they have negotiated with a Tasmanian barley co-op to quarantine a silo of their selected barley for small batch malting in Victoria as required by their brewing schedule. Endeavour has also worked closely with Hop Products Australia to select what they regard as the pick of their hops this year. This year’s selections differ from last year’s and it will be interesting to see how the resulting brew changes this time around.
The other difference is the company has backed away from the 2-3 year cellaring recommendation made last year. According to co-owner and Business Manager, Ben Kooyman, they haven’t abandoned the idea completely.
“It was a learning for us, and we were suggesting that the beer would develop over 2-3 years. We still believe that.”
I’ll be looking forward to trying my cellared 2010 beside the 2011 to see for myself, and it will be interesting to see how the 2011 ingredients express themselves – or whether they do – in the new brew.
From a growing period where hops and barley farmers battled with tough weather conditions, comes two True Vintage 2011 Reserve Ales, both crafted from ingredients personally selected by ENDEAVOUR Head Brewer, Andy Stewart.
This is the second vintage release from the boys at ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Beer, who believed that by using an approach similar to winemaking; selecting the finest, seasonal ingredients before forming the recipe, could result in delightfully complex and expressive beers that enthusiasts would love… and if the success of the 2010 vintage brews is anything to go by (full list of results below), they’re being well received.
So putting his winemaking experience to use for the second vintage, Andy spent hours in the hop and barley fields, talking to the growers, and carefully selecting each ingredient required, just as he would have done in the vineyards;
“The hops selected for the 2011 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Beer were grown inBushy ParkTasmania” Says Andy.
“They were chosen primarily to deliver the style of beer that we wanted to achieve for both our Pale and Amber Ales, taking into account growing conditions and variety” he continues.
“For the 2011 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Reserve Pale Ale, we chose Summer, Galaxy and Cascade Hops.
“Summer came into its own this year and features prominently in our 2011 Pale Ale due to the unprecedented agronomical and analytical results. Given its genealogical makeup and its parentage in the Saaz varieties, it has some nice spice aromas that are typical of the variety, but stone fruits also dominate.
“Galaxy was used in our 2010 vintage and we liked it so much that we decided to continue with it in 2011 after a good harvest. While important for bittering and providing texture, it also gives a lovely citrus and passionfruit lift.
“Australian Cascade is a new addition to our 2011 Pale Ale, due to a standout 2011 harvest. Alike to Galaxy, it delivers a citrus freshness but it also adds a floral grapefruit and distinctively hoppy aroma.
“For our 2011 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Amber Ale, we completely changed the single hop used. While POR worked exceptionally well in our 2010 Vintage Amber Ale, we were so impressed with the Topaz harvest this year that we could not look past it. Topaz delivers an earthy, resinous and spicy aroma complemented by fruit-driven characters and also provides the bitterness that is required in our Amber Ale.
“For both the 2011 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Pale Ale and the 2011 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Amber Ale, we have used Gairdner Barley harvested inTasmaniaand small-batch contract malted inVictoria.Tasmaniaexperienced a very good winter in 2010 with mild temperatures and plenty of rainfall. This continued throughout the growing season and into 2011 with above average rainfall setting up a very large Barley crop when harvesting began in January 2011. While some crops were susceptible to lodging (bending over of the stems at the base), due to the higher than normal rainfall, the moisture and protein levels were very good for malting barley.”
The official launch of the 2011 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Beers will be on September 1st with samples available the week prior.
2011 ENDEAVOUR Reserve Amber Ale 330ml has an ABV of 5.2% and a RRP of $17.99/four pack
2011 ENDEAVOUR Reserve Pale Ale 330ml has an ABV of 4.5% and a RRP of $17.99/four pack
Both brews are widely available and a full list of stockists can be found online at www.ENDEAVOURbeer.com
2010 Vintage Awards Summary
- Silver medal at the 2011 Sydney Royal Beer Show for the 2010 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Reserve Pale Ale
- Bronze medal at the 2011 Sydney Royal Beer Show for the 2010 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Reserve Amber Ale
- Trophy for People’s Choice Best Beer at the 2010 Australian Beer & Wine Festival for the 2010 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Reserve Pale Ale
- Trophy for People’s Choice Best Beer at the 2011 Taste of the World Beer Festival for the 2010 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Reserve Pale Ale
- Bronze Medals (and both Best in Class) at the 2011 Royal Perth Beer Show for both the 2010 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Reserve Pale and Amber Ales
- Silver medals at the 2011 Australian International Beer Awards for both the 2010 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Reserve Pale and Amber Ales
- Gold Medal at the 2011 International Beer Challenge for the for the 2010 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Reserve Pale Ale
- Bronze Medal at the 2011 International Beer Challenge for the for the 2010 ENDEAVOUR True Vintage Reserve Amber Ale