In March last year Little Creatures released their first beer under a new Single Batch label in an effort to capitalise on growing interest in different beer styles and flavours.
A Little World Beverages corporate presentation notes – “The force of consumer interest that continues to open up Australia’s bars and stores to a variety of different beers drove Little Creatures to create “Single Batch”…one off brews developed “in house” and sometimes “in home” by our team to experiment with the many different ingredients and methods available.”
The first two Single Batch release, an India Pale Ale and a Brown Ale, were met with generally favourable responses. Although, much of the positive reaction was primarily directed towards the arrival of new beers from the highly regarded mid-sized brewery that had seemed somewhat stagnated in a flourishing craft beer market. Aside from the introduction of the two White Rabbit beers, the popular Little Creatures portfolio of the Pale Ale, Bright Ale, Pilsner and Rogers no longer reflect the wider diversity in beer styles and creativity that is capturing the market’s imagination today. Whilst popular beers, they were at risk of becoming uninteresting against the new range of flavours and characteristics being ultised by craft beer producers.
After the initial Single Batch IPA and Brown Ale, the Oatmeal Stout, East Kent Goldings Ale and Märzen were all met with mix reactions, with many reviewers labelling them as “underwhelming” or “too conservative”. Interest in the Single Batch releases started to wane and the word “boring” was heard often when discussing them.
Last month’s release of The Dreadnought (a 7.4% Foreign Extra Stout) began to restore faith in the brand. Dreadnought supply was cut short due to a product recall but the release of a rich, full bodied stout was enough to appease many of the Single Batch dissenters. Dreadnought displayed a complexity and flavour profile not experienced in Little Creatures beers before.
For their latest Single Batch release, The Big Dipper, Little Creatures have brewed a big beer for the hop heads. The big hoppy beer loving community is growing every day with an influx of such beers from America in the last two years. Hop heavy ales from American breweries such as Southern Tier, Rogue, Anderson Valley, Sierra Nevada and now Moylan’s, Schmaltz and Victory have inspired a raft of similar brews from Australian and New Zealand craft brewers. Now Little Creatures joins the Double IPA party with the adventurous use of seven hops known for their big tropical fruit or resinous aromas and a 7.8% abv that will surely be welcomed by lovers of characterful hoppy beers.
Once again bottled in the signature Little Creatures’ pint size (568mL), the The Big Dipper will be hitting the shelves of good beer outlets this week. A lucky few Melbourne and Perth drinkers will also have a change to try the beer for free this afternoon as Little Creatures shout the first keg to be tapped at their two venues. [JLD]
We just can’t help it. We’re addicted to fresh hops. So, it’s no surprise that for our next Single Batch release we couldn’t wait to make a massive hop fueled double IPA…. The Big Dipper.
When 215kg of fresh hops arrived at the brewery it took us all a little while to collect ourselves. Columbus, Cascade, Chinook, Stella, Centennial, Citra and Simcoe…mmmm…. we were like a bunch of kids in a hop flavoured candy store! (which on second thoughts and for anyone who’s been sipping on wort lately probably wouldn’t be all that delicious but let’s not let the truth get in the way of a good story)
We’ve thrown a heap of these hops at this beer throughout the brewing process to create a big, double IPA full of flavour. Of course it didn’t take long till we started calling it the Big DIPA and when we realised there were seven stars in the constellation and seven hop varieties going into this bad boy the name just stuck.
As for the technical stuff it’s about the biggest charge of hops ever seen in the Creatures brewhouse and has ended up with an IBU of 55, a EBC of 24 and a massive alcohol percentage of 7.8%. One for the true hopheads for sure.
We’ve just finished packing it all up so it’s time for the necessary “quality control” testing and then we’ll send it off around the country for you. Keep your eyes peeled on your inbox or here for the latest updates and details on exactly where to find your nearest Big Dipper.
Until then, hold tight everyone.
Try it on us
As always, we want to share the first kegs of the latest Single Batch with you, our shout. On Friday, October 21st, we’re tapping the first kegs of The Big Dipper at the brewhouse (WA) and the dining hall (VIC).
If you’re in Freo come join us from 4pm on Friday afternoon or if you’re over in Melbourne we’re tapping off at 4.30pm.
Want to get a little?
If you can’t wait for the Big Dipper to be released (and we can’t blame you) and you need a fresh hop hit in the meantime we’ve got the answer for you. We love to be led by our tastebuds but they’re simply no good at directions….
If you’ve got a hispter smartphone just head to www.littlecreatures.com.au and check out the beer finder to find a Creature near you.