Australia’s most wanted this winter! The line-up for Australia’s favourite winter beer festival has been unveiled for 2014. Two Imperial Stouts (one made with more than 1000 oysters and mussels!), one Black IPA and – for the first time in the bottle – a Strong Dark Belgian Ale will be launched as part of Murray’s Craft Brewing Co’s Dark Beer Month (which actually runs for two months!).
“Dark Beer Month will be even bigger than last year, with some great winter beers coming out of our new brewery,” said Head Brewer, Shawn Sherlock. “It begins on the June long weekend, with the release of this year’s Wild Thing Imperial Stout in the bottle and the much anticipated return of my namesake beer, Shawn’s Fault Black IPA.”
“We follow up with the early July release of our collaboration beer with Crafty Pint, Auld Bulgin’ Boysterous Bicep Imperial Stout, in the bottle. This Smoked Belgio Imperial Mussel and Oyster Stout sold out in 4 days last year, so we’ve decided to brew a bit more this time so more people have the chance to experience the smoky deliciousness of this unique beer.”
Auld Bulgin’ Boysterous Bicep Imperial Stout was originally conceived for the New Zealand ‘Beervana’ festival Media-brew beer challenge. The beer is brewed to reflect the origins of the parties involved and utilises Port Stephens Oysters for Murray’s Brewery (based at Port Stephens); blue-lipped mussels from Victoria for Crafty Pint; and green-lipped mussels (native to New Zealand). Taking things even further, the team added peated distilling malt to the grain bill and fermented it with a Belgian yeast originally sourced from a Trappist monastery.
“The original pilot batch of the beer won its class at New Zealand’s Beervana Festival with a perfect 45/45 score – much to all our surprise! The judges obviously knew a great Smoked Belgio Imperial Mussel and Oyster Stout when they tasted one!” Shawn said.
“And the grand finale for Dark Beer Month is our first-time bottle release of Murray’s Hell of the North Strong Dark Belgio Ale. We thought we’d brew another dark style to show there’s more to Dark Beer Month than stouts!”
“While we’ve released a lot of Belgian inspired beers over the years, we’ve never before released this style. We trialed a small batch on draught last year but now we’re VERY excited at the brewery that more people can experience this special beer,”added Shawn.
Dark beers are becoming more and more popular in Australia, but the trend naturally becomes more prominent in winter. Murray’s is aiming to give people some great reasons to celebrate these cooler months.
Murray’s Dark Beer Month runs across June and July, incorporating a total of four dark beer releases, dark beer-inspired dishes at its restaurant and special events at leading craft beer venues across Australia.
• Murray’s ‘Wild Thing’ Imperial Stout in the bottle. This is a massive, intense drinking experience inspired by the great stouts favoured by the Russian Imperial Court. The colour is intensely black. The flavour is an intense hit of mocha with some malt sweetness but an aggressive hop bitterness and roast grain bite to balance. 10% abv.
• Shawn’s Fault India Black Ale on draught. This is an out-there beer and a lot of fun! Inspired by the emerging India Black Ale style, this is a full flavoured IPA brewed using dark malts. The result is a great blend of big hop flavour and aroma with the strong dark chocolate, almost coffee-like flavours. If you like big flavours and something a bit different, you'll love Shawn's Fault. And if you don’t, then it's Shawn's fault! 7.5% abv.
• Auld Bulgin’ Boysterous Bicep Imperial Stout in the bottle. Brewed in collaboration with the Crafty Pint beer blog, this is a truly bizarre beer. Strong chocolate character underpins the beer with peaty smoked notes from the distilling malt present, especially when the beer is young. The high abv and Belgian yeast character combine to add even further complexity to the beer, before a minerally, briney finish from the mussels and oysters takes the beer in yet another direction. Rich, complex and fun. 10% abv
• Murray’s ‘Hell of the North’ Strong Dark Belgio Ale in the bottle. Brewed using a blend of Trappist ale yeasts it is a beast of a beer... in a very elegant way. Raisiny and warm from the high abv, it’s a perfect winter warmer. Sweet mouth filling malt up front with a remarkably dry finish for a beer of this size. Enjoy in moderation by the fire from your best chalice glass with a selection of the finest cheeses.11.5% abv.
• Murray’s Wild Thing Imperial Stout in the bottle and Shawn’s Fault on draught will be released on Saturday 7 June at Murray’s Brewery, then progressively available from leading craft beer outlets from 10 June. 3
• Auld Bulgin’ Boysterous Bicep Imperial Stout in the bottle will be released on Saturday 5 July at Murray’s Brewery, then progressively available from leading craft beer outlets from 7 July.
• Murray’s Hell of the North Strong Dark Belgio Ale in the bottle will be released on Saturday 19 July at Murray’s Brewery, then progressively available from leading craft beer outlets from 21 July.
For everything you want to know about Murray’s Dark Beer Month releases, tastings, events and promotions visit us on facebook, twitter and Instagram - #DarkBeerMonth
For further information and images please contact:
0411 110 953
About Murray’s Craft Brewing Co.
Port Stephens-based Murray’s Craft Brewing Co. is one of Australia’s leading craft beer brewers. From humble beginning in Taylors Arm (population 50) on the NSW North Coast eight years ago, Murray’s Brewery relocated to larger premises at Port Stephens in 2009 where today it runs a microbrewery, Cellar Door and one of the region’s best restaurants. Murray’s beers are available nationally. www.murraysbrewingco.com.au