Two WA microbreweries, Fremantle based The Monk Brewery & Kitchen and Dunsborough based Eagle Bay Brewing Co. join forces to create a one-off collaboration brew for The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular 2013.
Introducing The Monk Brewery & Kitchen + Eagle Bay Brewing Co Collaboration “The Cacao Cabana”
Despite the distance between some of our Western Australian craft-brewing counterparts, the industry in WA is close-knit. Collaborations happen on a day-to-day basis in many ways both big and small. You will always find beer loving folk and brewers sharing a pint, helping each other out with advice, discussing ideas and in some cases sharing a brew-house and brewing a beer together.
The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular provides local and international brewers the opportunity to be as creative and experimental as they fancy, provided they brew a new release beer especially for the festival. It enhances the craft-brewing experience for everyone: The brewers are able to indulge ideas they have been contemplating and the customers enjoy the fruits of the brewer’s innovative labour.
So, while pondering creative concepts, The Monk Brewery & Kitchen Head Brewer Paul Wyman had a childhood flash back. While reminiscing the good times as a kid, a craving of tasty choc-banana lollipops came to mind and the idea of Cacao Cabana was born. Paul ran his brewing brainstorm past fellow Head Brewer Nick d’Espesissis of Eagle Bay Brewing Co. who jumped on board immediately. From a blossoming brewing ‘bro-mance’ the latest WA based collaboration brew came into existence.
With a concept firmly in place, inspired by beer styles English Brown Ale and Hefeweizen, Nick and Paul sourced the quality ingredients they wanted. To create the collision of dark chocolate and banana flavours they used an English Brown Ale base, Hefeweizen yeast and the essential ingredient, single origin cacao husks from local Margaret River chocolate maker Bahen & Co.
Nick was the perfect brewer to join forces with, as he had previous experience brewing with cacao husks. Josh Bahen, of Bahen & Co Chocolate Maker approached Nick last year to see if he was interested in brewing a beer using cacao husks which are a by-product from their chocolate making process. Bahen & Co Chocolate Maker is based in Margaret River and they are dedicated to making single origin stone ground chocolate.
It was decided the collaboration brew day involved a weekend down south, so Paul and his brewing assistant Jack Purser headed three hours south of Perth to Eagle Bay Brewing Co, microbrewery and restaurant located on the family farm in the picturesque Eagle Bay.
The Saturday brew day kicked off with the A-Team, brewers Nick, Paul and Jack. Girl + Beer Blogger Pia Poyton and her partner were invited along to enjoy the banter, a brewer dressed in a Monk Robe and Barry Manilow serenading “Copacabana” in the background.
The Cacao Cabana is a single batch brew of only 900 litres using fresh rainwater from the farm at Eagle Bay Brewing Co. The Cacao Cabana uses hefeweizen yeast that will create bold banana flavours, a 50/50 combination of Madagascar and Brazilian cacao husks from Bahen & Co thrown into the mash and an English Brown base. The malts used were a pale malt base with the likes of Carafa, Caramunich and a touch of wheat added. It will be dry-hopped or dry-husked in this case using the cacao husks instead of hops.
The Monk Brewery & Kitchen + Eagle Bay Brewing Co.’s Cacao Cabana collaboration will be first tapped at the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular in Melbourne on May 24th and available for the duration of the festival. The Cacao Cabana will only be available in draught and will be pouring at The Monk Brewery & Kitchen, Fremantle and Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Eagle Bay from late May to early June. Stay tuned for details.