While seasonal brewing has been a concept that's been around for centuries, that's not to say it can't still be exploratory. Our Four Seasons IPA series aims to craft a unique beer for each season, complementing the both the tangible and intangible associations with each season—the aromas, the temperature, the light, the feeling, the nostalgia, the changing colours. Over the course 12 months, we will release four distinct beers, each representing the season it's released in. To make things interesting for our brewers and to add a challenge to the project, we've decided to limit the series to a single overarching style: IPA. All four of the beers will maintain the same lineup of malts and hops across all four releases. The only changes we make will be in the ratios and brewing techniques.
Our goal is to showcase the impact of varying ingredient ratios while colouring inside the guidelines of a single style family to create four unique and completely different beers. We believe that all beers can be enjoyed in any season, but we of course recognise that people may crave different beer styles depending on the time of year. To that end, we're creating this series as a foray into what can be achieved with the same select ingredients across four beers, while giving each a suitable personality for the time of year.
We decided to keep the ingredients the same—it made sense for all the ingredients to remain fixed, especially considering harvest happens once annually and we use the same ingredients throughout the year (ingredients do evolve and change from crop to crop, and that will also be reflected in how they manifest in the beers).
For the can art, we enlisted the help of Sydney-based digital artist Tanya Hong (Sad Skelly) to create illustrations for each of the four releases of the series. Her specialty is drawing emotionally aware skeletons (sad, happy, hungry, etc.) with the aim to help motivate your day, doing designs for things like apparel, phone cases, coffee, and of course, beer labels (favourite). Sad Skelly has been a project of hers for the last couple years, gleaning inspiration from artists such as Mulga and Kentaro Yoshida often manifesting in psychedelic, highly colourful ways that deliver with a great deal of positivity. She also incorporates her love of nature into the work, featuring mushrooms, trees and twisted roots, lakes, flowers, etc.
Her work aims to be inclusive of everyone—because after all, we’re all skeletons inside.
We'll be sharing and updating this blog with each beer's release, but before we dive in, let's establish the parameters:
Our malts consist of:
Pale Malt from Barret Burston - AUS,
Wheat from Barret Burston - AUS,
Caramalt from Barret Burston - AUS,
Chocolate Malt from Joe White - AUS,
Malted Oats from Canada - CAN,
Special B from Dingemans - BEL.
Our hops comprise:
Citra from Yakima Chief - USA,
Cascade from Yakima Chief - USA,
Simcoe from Yakima Chief - USA,
Neslon Sauvin from NZ Hops - NZ.
For our first release, the Autumn Red IPA, we've crafted a beer with a warming malt profile and a crisp bitterness to complement the cooling weather of the season. Hopped with Citra, Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin, and Cascade, this beer has a rich and complex hop character that is perfect for the season, clocking in at 6.0% ABV.
Next up in the series of our Four Seasons is our Winter edition, coming to you in the form of a Triple West Coast IPA. As promised, this beer has utilised all of the same ingredients as its Autumn predecessor, including hop varieties and specialty malts; the only difference is the ratios. This beer combats the dreary grey skies with a huge tropical brightness and an ABV that will keep you warm at the same time.