During its first year of business, the worst problem Pirate Life Brewing encountered was not being able to brew enough beer. Year two promises to be pure insanity.
The brewery celebrates its first anniversary on March 6 with a public party at The Gilbert Street Hotel. Russell Street will be closed off to host live music, pigs on spits and all eight Pirate Life brews on tap. Word has it there’s a free beer on arrival for early birds.
The team has plenty to celebrate.
“Since Australia Day 2016 we’ve had over 160 new accounts interested,” says Jack Cameron, the laidback co-owner, along with Jared Proudfoot. It came after their IIPA, Pale Ale and Throwback IPA bagged third, fourth and 11th spots in the Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beer Countdown.
It’s a triumph for the two West Australians, who met during an apprenticeship at Scottish beer company BrewDog. After returning to Australia they honed their craft in WA before setting up the brewery in Adelaide, with the help of Cameron’s dad Michael.
“Adelaide is a pretty exciting city to us,” Cameron says. He reckons Melbourne, Perth and Sydney have saturated craft beer markets. “People say, ‘Why on earth have you set up business in Adelaide?’ but if it were anywhere else our launch wouldn’t have been as big or successful.”
Cameron and Proudfoot have been overwhelmed by Pirate Life’s national success, but they’re not resting on their peg legs. “We’ve got a couple new beers on the way,” Cameron says. “A 6.8 per cent IPA will be the fourth core range beer. Golden Era Golden Ale will be released in cans mid-March and we’ve got a collaboration with Hopco – our hop supplier – showcasing New Zealand hops.”
A new showroom at the city-fringe brewery offers tastings, tours, beer and merchandise. “Another four tanks arrive in April,” Cameron adds. “Our second upgrade.”
Anticipating another massive year ahead, the brewery recently increased its capacity by 140 per cent. With Cameron in talks with distributors in the UK, expansion looks likely.
Pirate Life Brewing: First Birthday
The Gilbert Street Hotel, 88 Gilbert Street, Adelaide
March 6, 2016, 12pm–late