6 May 2013
Tasmania's Seven Sheds brewer, Willie Simpson, is once again attempting to create beer history by installing two wooden casks, once filled with Pinot Nior wine, with dark ale on board Spirit of Tasmania for two-months of travel on Bass Strait.
Willie's latest limited edition bottle attempt follows on from his successful experiment in August last year when he installed two wooden casks of ale on board Spirit of Tasmania.
The casks completed 23 trips between Melbourne and Devonport, replicating the 10,000km voyage from India via the Suez Canal, and produced 400 unique, limited-edition bottles of Bass Strait India Pale Ale.
His latest venture will also produce 400 limited editions of dark ale, but this time there's a twist.
"The 120 litre casks are from Frogmore Creek wines," Mr Simpson said.
"This time we will combine the flavours of crafty beer being put into the barrel with fine wine that was once in the barrel.
"I chose a dark ale because I'll be able to get some dark cherry flavours mixed into it from the old Pinot Noir barrels. The end result will be a dark aged ferry porter beer."
Like the first experiment, this beer will travel across Bass Strait on board Spirit of Tasmania II around 50 times, which is roughly equivalent to the journey from England to Australia, the same distance several casks of porter (a dark style of beer) travelled out to the colony aboard the second fleet. The first record of beer to arrive in the colony was several hogsheads of English porter which arrived aboard the Second Fleet in 1792.
Spirit of Tasmania II Manager Hotel Services Gerry Gaffney said he had been involved in the latest Seven Sheds brewing from day one.
"I'm from Railton which is where the Seven Sheds brewery is located so I went along and picked some of the hops that ended up in beer that will be installed on board the ship," he said.
"This is another great Tassie initiative and we are proud to be a part of it once again."
The limited edition Ferry Aged Porter will be available to purchase from Seven Sheds Brewery in August and will be priced at $18 each for a 500ml bottle.
Mr Simpson will also be hosting a complimentary Seven Sheds beer tasting experience on board the ships in June. Seven Sheds Brewery are among a select group of more than 25 Tasmanian food and beverage producers from around the state that will be providing Spirit of Tasmania's passengers with free tasting experience as part of the Flavours of Tassie showcase on board.
Contact: Soniya Fernandez