New Malt and Hops in Coopers 2018 Vintage Ale
Single origin malt from barley grown on Kangaroo Island and a hop variety sourced from France are key features of Coopers Brewery’s 2018 Vintage Ale.
This year’s Vintage Ale also has a different look with new packaging and a revamped roundel label, which brings it into line with Coopers’ other ales while still retaining the distinctive image of Thomas Cooper.
The release of Vintage Ale is a much anticipated annual event in the Australian liquor trade and wider brewing community and is being celebrated at simultaneous launches in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne on July 31.
This year’s Vintage Ale, the 18th in the series, has been produced using malt sourced from Westminster barley grown by Kangaroo Island farmers and malted by Coopers in its new malting plant. This has been blended with dark crystal malt, to provide a light, sweet malt character and a copper hue.
It is the first time Coopers has used a single origin malt in the production of a seasonal beer and opens the door for the development of other special provenance beers in the future.
Coopers Managing Director and Chief Brewer, Dr Tim Cooper, said the hop variety Aramis from the Alsace region of France was chosen as the feature hop in this year’s Vintage Ale because of its aroma and moderate levels of bitterness.
Like all Coopers ales, the 2018 Vintage Ale undergoes secondary fermentation and natural conditioning.
Coopers 2018 Vintage Ale retains an alcohol level of 7.5 per cent ABV and has a bitterness of 55 IBU. Dr Cooper said the brewing of Vintage Ale provides Coopers’ brewers with the opportunity to hone their expertise in the development of premium quality, limited edition beers.
Coopers National Sales and Marketing Director Cam Pearce, said only a limited quantity of kegs and cartons were available and Vintage Ale lovers should act quickly to ensure supply.
“Seasonal releases of beer and spirits have become popular in recent years with the craft movement,” said Pearce.
“Coopers has been bringing an annual seasonal release to market for the past 20 years and we are proud to continue this with a greater focus on the seasonal aspect
and the origins of the ingredients.”
Coopers 2018 Vintage Ale is priced from around $90 per carton, or around $30 per six pack of 355 ml bottles. It is expected to be available at good liquor outlets from 1 August.
Coopers Vintage Ale 2018 Tasting Notes
The 2018 limited release Coopers Vintage Ale is the 18th in the series, since first launching in 1998. This year the Coopers brewing team has used a unique triple fermentation process to enrich the flavour of the beer, imparting a velvet-like finish on the palate, accompanied by a warming aftertaste.
As in previous years, the brewers have sought ingredients from around the globe to enhance the distinctiveness of this seasonal brew.
The barley variety Westminster has been sourced solely from the pristine coastal environment of Kangaroo Island, and then malted at Coopers’ own maltings. Westminster is a high-yielding malting barley that offers improved head retention in the beer.
Blended with dark crystal malt, the result is a delicate, sweet malt character and a rich, red copper hue.
The hop variety Aramis, grown in the Alsace region of France, was chosen as the feature hop for its aroma and moderate levels of bitterness. Added late in brewing, and during fermentation, the essential hop oils are preserved to provide flavour characteristics in this seasonal ale of dried fruit, red apple, vanilla and mild spice.
Like all Coopers ales, this beer has been brewed with a secondary fermentation and natural conditioning process. This year, however, the inclusion of an added re-fermentation step at the end of primary fermentation has created a delicate and smooth flavour, whilst balanced with a moderate 55 IBU level of bitterness.
Coopers 2018 Vintage Ale maintains an alcohol level of 7.5 per cent ABV, which integrates well with the aromas and flavours from the malt, hops and the distinct fruity esters produced by Coopers’ cherished ale yeast.
Stored under cellar conditions, this beer will become more complex over an extended period of time, increasing the sweet malt flavour with soft caramel undertones.
To fully appreciate this ale, we recommend an ideal drinking temperature of 5oC, and served in a wide, tulip-shaped glass.
Limited stock will be available in key venues from 1st August.