Bright red gumboots, frilly aprons, converse high top in hot pink, and conversations about soap making , is not , I presume, an average brew day for Ian Watson and Gerard Connors at Fortitude brewing.
But that is exactly what they got when Brisbane’s Chicks With Ales (CWA), Bar of Social Conscience (BOSC), and Fortitude Brewing teamed up for charity, the Pink Ribbon Society, last week.
At 6.30 am, coffee in hand, Six of Brisbane’s keenest swillers, tasters, promoters and all-round female craft beer lovers made their way up Mt Tambourine with four kilograms of hibiscus flowers, good will and the intent to turn things pink.
Ian greeted us all with 75 kilograms of pale malt, 25 of Munich malt and 25 of malted wheat and it was made evident that we weren’t here for a mothers club meeting.
Within ten minutes Ian had lugging sacks of malt over our shoulders, pouring it into an already hot mash tun. Ok, so he had us dragging 25 kilograms sacks of malt, over to him so he can pick it up.
We were away. We were brewing, we were “all fired up”. We were “eye of the tiger”. We were “sisters are doing it for themselves”. We were…watching Ian work his magic and trying not to get dirty.
We waited patiently for the birth of PIPA (Pink IPA). The impatient chef in me had to taste the wort and even before the addition of Nelson and Motueka hops this beer is something special. It delivered distinct berry notes drawn from the hibiscus flowers, and an already bitter undertone. I managed to convince Ged to let me take some to churn into ice cream it was that good.
The CWA ladies showed their finesse with the hop back, maybe it was its similarity to a giant tea infuser or bouquet garni that had the chicks feeling more at home. Regardless a final injection of pink and off PIPA went to ferment.
This beer is brewed with love , respect and an aim towards awareness and support of breast cancer.
The Brisbane CWA, Fortitude brewing and BOSC hopes to see you at PIPA’s official launch and fundraiser at BOSC in West End on Monday 21st October.
Tickets are available at www.fortitudebrewing.com.au.