Our resident beer writer (best job in the world, right?!) has sipped his way through everything from Emu Export to Barrel-Aged Imperial Porters.
Trying out this week’s sip, Simon Collins gives his verdict on the Tinnie of the Week and whether it’s worth cracking one with a mate.
Rocky Ridge Pilsner
WHERE’S IT FROM?
The first Pilsner was made in the Czech Republic back in 1842, but this one comes from Jindong in WA’s South West.
Specifically from a dairy farm turned brewery called Rocky Ridge Brewing Co, which makes great craft beer while maintaining sustainable business practices. Their facility is carbon neutral, 100 per cent “off the grid” and just getting started.
Busselton couple Hamish and Mel Coates have had a rocky year, including having to withdraw two batches of beer from the market due to suspected bacterial contamination, but have bounced back with a brand refresh.
The Pilsner was launched last week as part of a new-look core range also featuring Ace West Coast IPA, Baby Peach Hazy IPA, Jindong Juicy Pale Ale and a surprisingly tasty mid-strength Session India Pale Lager.
The core quintet makes a lot more sense than their previous pack of regulars, which included multiple pale ales that could have cannibalised the others’ sales.
In addition to the refresh, Rocky Ridge have recently launched some fun limited edition beers, including Karl’s Hot Date (a stout with chilli and cacao), Black Forest Lager schwarzbier and a kiwi fruit iteration of their Holy S… It’s a Mid gose series using produce destined for landfill.
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT IT?
West Aussie drinkers haven’t seen a better black-and-gold can since the days of Swan Gold.
And unlike Alan Bond’s beloved mid-strength lager, Rocky Ridge’s new 4.5 per cent Pilsner packs a lot of flavour into a 375ml can drenched in our official State colours.
Described as an unfiltered lager, Pilsner is a crisp, herbaceous beer offering aromas of freshly cut hay.
Playing with the straightest bat since Geoff Marsh, Coates and co. used a classic recipe of noble hops from Germany on a bed of Pilsner and Munich malts to create a lager that should appeal to craft aficionados as much as old mate demanding “nothing fancy”.
Pilsner is often described as the king of lagers, and Rocky Ridge’s tilt at the throne has the potential to become a WA classic.
SHOULD I SHARE IT?
Grab a four-pack or a carton, drop around to your dad’s place and sling him a beer that proves craft isn’t all about milkshake IPAs and fruit goses.
WHAT’S THE DAMAGE?
Pilsner goes for around $5 a single beer, $19 a four-pack and $90 for a 24-tin carton, so not a bitter pils to swallow. Sorry, I get my coat.
4 tins out of 5. Bondy would approve.