Pirate LIfe Brewery, coriander, pirate, hops, strong, Beer Updates, pale ale, Port Adelaide


By Matty O'Callaghan 12 May 2020

For the last two years, Strong Pale Ale has been notably absent from Pirate Life's portfolio. It’s disappearance can be likened to that of Marble Chocolate’s: An iconic recipe torn from the shelves, leaving the public confused and riddled with despair. With that analogy in mind, it gives us great pleasure to re-introduce this seminal assassin - albeit under a slightly different guise...

The Strong Pale is a liberally hopped, American style ale made with premium malted barley, coriander seed and Native Finger Lime. It was first brewed as a collaboration between Pirate Life and the San Diego based craft brewery, Ballast Point back in 2017. Dubbed ‘the Trans-Pacific Partnership’, it quickly became a favourite amongst PL die-hards, with its unique blend of flavours and generous ABV.

While the beer itself hasn’t changed, the label features a fresh new design. It is bold, blue and conveniently pictured above. The original can art completed by Steen Jones remains immortalised in t-shirt form, and is available both online or via our merch store here in the Port.

We'll likely release this one seasonally - so grab a taste while you can. In the mean time, here's a quick run down on the recipe.

H20 is often overlooked as an impacting factor in beer. In the case of Strong Ale, the water profile was designed by Ballast Point Brewer Cody and plays a significant role in the overall sensory experience. It’s also the reason this beer tastes a little less like a classic PL, and a little more like a Sculpin hybrid.

A simple grain bill of Pale and Vienna Malt supplies a golden colour, a persistent white head and a hint of residual sweetness. The slight cloudiness is due to a lighter filter pass, which enhances mouthfeel and helps to retain complexities procured throughout the brewing process.  

On a hop front, we’ve championed a range of distinctive varietals from either side of the Pacific. Mosaic and it’s parental strain Simcoe combine well, dishing out lashings of tropical fruit, while Kohatu lends subtle aromas of crushed pine.

Amarillo, Cascade and Pacifica provide citrus characters and highlight the beer’s fine mid-palate bitterness. This leads to a lengthy finish, where kettle additions of coriander seed and Native Finger Lime compliment a host of herbal undertones.

It's safe to say, when you see the words 'Pirate Life' and 'strong' in the same sentence, certain assumptions can be made. Yes, this Pale is hoppy and yes, it's 6% - but that's not all it has to offer. Like all of our beers, it is remarkably well balanced and brimming with nuance too; so do yourself a favour, and nab a slab today!

Hit up our website for deliveries or stop by the brewery, any day between 12pm - 7pm.

Stay strong,

PLB Crew ox