Experimental brewer, Murray's Craft Brewing Co, has revealed four new beers in its Dark Beer Month line-up this year, in addition to its iconic Wild Thing Imperial Stout. The five winter beers will be released from the June long weekend.
“Each June we bring out our darkest beers and throw a flavour party,” says brewery owner, Murray Howe. “These aren't ordinary beers. They're big, bold, crazy Imperial Stouts, Belgian Strong Ales, Dunkelweizens and Baltic Porters – and we've ensured there's something for everyone this year.”
For the first time, there will be two 'Wild Thing' Imperial Stouts in the bottle – the original milestone beer, PLUS Murray's Wild Thing Chocolate Imperial Stout, both brewed by the beer's original recipe-meister and head brewer, Graeme Mahy.
“I love this beer! There is just nothing insipid about it – Wild Thing is just full of attitude,” says Graeme. “It's well above the upper limits of flavour and colour for its class – Wild Thing is totally black - impossible to see through even when held up to the light.”
“So why would we tinker with this beer and choose to also create a chocolate version? This Easter we brewed our first ever Chocolate Easter Egg Beer, and not only did we get a HUGE public response to the beer, but we were quietly thrilled with how good the beer turned out to be! It got us thinking about experimenting with Wild Thing and chocolate flavour – and boy, has it worked! Not only does it taste sensational for us beer nuts, but it makes dark beer far more approachable for a much broader audience of drinkers. People love the chocolate because it's a flavour that makes people happy, and it removes the bitterness of the original beer that non dark beer drinkers may not be familiar with.”
The third beer featuring in Murray's Dark Beer Month is The Night Demon, a Strong Dark Belgian Ale.
“This beer is a special addition to our line-up, as it was conceived by Newcastle local home brewer, Mark Bigland. Mark was awarded Champion Beer of Show for his Strong Dark Belgian Ale at this year's Newcastle Show Home Brewing Competition. As part of his prize Mark got to brew and bottle a batch of his winning beer with the Murray's brewing team. And we thought his beer was so good it was worthy of a place in this year's Dark Beer Month line-up,” added Graeme.
The brewer's first Dunkelweizen, Ronny Dunkel, is the fourth beer in the Dark Beer Month line-up. It will be available as a draught only beer, providing a lower alcohol, easy drinking alternative to the stronger dark ales.
And finally, the brewer will release a special collaboration beer - a Baltic Porter brewed at its Bobs Farm brewery jointly with New Zealand craft brewer, Coromandel Brewing. This is another beer with broader appeal and comparatively lower alcohol – an English style beer that's mild on roast character, but quite hoppy, using English-style East Kent Goldings hops.
“Dark beers are becoming more and more popular in Australia, but the trend naturally becomes more prominent in winter. We're aiming to give people some great reasons to celebrate and get out of the house these cooler months,” added Murray.
Murray's Dark Beer Month runs across June, incorporating a total of five dark beer releases, dark beer-inspired dude food dishes at its Brewery restaurant, free concerts and special events at leading craft beer venues across Australia.
At a glance: Murray's Dark Beer release program 2015
- Murray's 'Wild Thing' Imperial Stout in the bottle. Available from Saturday 6 June. 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.
- Murray's 'Wild Thing' Chocolate Imperial Stout in the bottle. Available from Saturday 6 June. Murray's iconic 'Wild Thing' Imperial Stout just got even 'wilder'– with the addition of bitter dark cocoa nibs and vanilla pods. A massive, intense, rich and complex drinking experience with luxurious mouthfeel. Aromas of strong dark chocolate, a hint of vanilla and intense bitter dark chocolate flavour. 10% abv.
- The' Night Demon' Strong Dark Belgian Ale in the bottle. Available from Saturday 6 June. A Belgian Quad with a toasty/bready flavour and a hint of malty sweet caramels and raisins, it has a smooth but noticeable amount alcohol balanced out with a moderately bitter, medium dry and slightly peppery finish. 10.8% abv
- Murray's 'Ronnie Dunkel' Dunkelweizen on draught. Available from Saturday 6 June. Ronny is a Bavarian Style Dark Wheat beer, also known as a Dunkelweizen. Ronny pours dark brown with a reddish tinge and a creamy-white head. Pronounced clove with hints of banana in the aroma from the yeast are balanced with caramel and chocolate flavours from the darker roasted malts. A sophisticated, complex and easy drinking dark beer for the winter months. 5.5% abv.
- Murray's Baltic Porter on draught. Available from mid-June, this collaboration beer was brewed at Murray's Brewery jointly with New Zealand craft brewer, Coromandel Brewing. An English style beer brewed for Baltics that's mild on roast character, but quite hoppy, using English-style East Kent Goldings hops. Approx 6% abv.
All beers will be available from Murray's Brewery in venue or online (www.murraysbrewingco.com.au), plus leading craft beer venues progressively across the month of June.
For further information:
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 nine 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.