Pirate LIfe Brewery, winter, adelaide, stout, breakfast, hops, malt, Beer Updates


By Matty O'Callaghan 10 Jul 2020

Imperial Breakfast Stout and Black IPA are back by popular demand! Join us as we take a look behind the beers, and get the low down on 'Parti-Gyle' brewing.

Imperial Breakfast Stout and Black IPA were launched side by side last year at Adelaide's Beer and BBQ festival. Both went down a treat. In fact, some punters heralded the ‘Breaky’ as PL’s finest release – of all time.

It's possible they're right. Then again, it's possible claims made by those under the influence of an 11% beverage infused with caffeine are to be taken with a degree of scepticism. Either way, it’s a bloody good beer.

So is the Black IPA, and despite falling into seperate categories, these winter warriors have more in common than you might think - which brings us neatly to the crux of this post.

If the term 'Parti-Gyle' is foreign to you, don't worry, it won't be for long. Our resident beer guru Ed Smiles breaks it down like this:

"Parti-Gyle brewing is a centuries old technique used to create multiple beers from a single mash. In it's most simplistic form, the initial run-off or 'first-wort', is used to make a strong beer - in this case, the Imperial Breaky.

"The second runnings, which have comparatively less fermentable sugars, make a lighter beer - hence the Black IPA. You can even go for three. "

He goes on:

"It's a lot of fun. While both beers start with the same mash (and therefore the same grain bill), they can be treated 'very' differently from that point on. Be it boil times or whirlpool additions, different yeasts, dry hopping and filtration schedules. Anything. We could have, for example, made the Black IPA a dark sour, or even a lager."

Sound cool? The possibilities don't end there...

"By blending different ratios of the individual batches, brewers are able to hit target gravities with greater ease. It also allows them to monitor the amount of certain sugars, enzymes, tannins and astringent agents in a way that would be difficult using standard brewing techniques."

This particular method is championed by the UK Brewery, Fullers, who use it to make their famous ESB, London Pride and Chiswick Bitter. Each beer is a unique blend of two different batches of wort taken from a single mash. Pretty tidy that.

"We haven't gone down the road of blending batches yet, but there's an opportunity to get really creative. You can see why PL would be interested...techniques like this are tantalising to us crafties."

Indeed they are. So, now we have a broader understanding of the term 'Parti-Gyle', let's have a closer look at beers themselves.

Both were brewed with a combination of Pale Malt, Munich Malt, Maris Otter, Oats, Wheat, Carapils, Carabelge, Chocolate Malt, Chocolate Rye and Carafa III...which is a lot of grain, even for us.

The Breaky (made with the first runnings) utilises a host of specialty ingredients, including maple syrup, lactose, cocoa, coffee and vanilla. Big flavours, big booze, big grins. A handful of Perle, Fuggles and CTZ hops in the kettle and whirlpool lend fragrance, bitterness and a lick of spice.

In the pint, its raisin black, with a honeyed edge – like recirculated engine oil. The aroma shows coffee liqueur, and pancakes doused in maple syrup. It is viscous, decadent, and tremendously well balanced for it's size.

As for the Black IPA (crafted from the second runnings), we focussed closely on hops, ditched the adjuncts, and shot for a respectable 6% ABV. International varietals Taiheke, Nelson Sauvin, Simcoe and Centennial are responsible for the beer's compelling nose - though, as is typical with darks, there's an abundance of roast characters on offer too.

Visually, its cola, with a nut brown collar. Expect soft espresso and pine needle on the palate, an assertive bitterness, and a well rounded mouthfeel. Ideally, you'd polish off a tin or two, then dive headfirst into the stout. In fact, we strongly recommend it.

So there you have it. One mash, two beers, each with a unique story to tell. Head on down to the brewery for a taste, or simply order a case from the online store. We recommend mixing it up with our other epic Parti-Gyled brew, Loose Lips Sink Ships + Smooth Sailing IPA.


PLB Crew.