Disclaimer: Coopers sent me some of the new ale to sample. It’s a hard life …
As you may know, this year marks Coopers Brewery’s 150th anniversary. At this point in its history, Coopers is also the largest Australian owned brewery which is more than reason to celebrate.
And, naturally, the way a brewery celebrates is by releasing a Celebration Ale.
I was lucky enough to try some of the Celebration Ale thanks to Coopers, so rather than you bring you their tasting notes, I can bring you my own.
The beer is a dark amber in colour – almost reddish – so it looks quite different to Coopers’ other beers. As with many of Coopers’ beers, some yeast remains in the bottle so it can have a slightly cloudy appearance to it. So far – so good.
The nose is citrussy and hoppy, with a hint of spice to it. The beer actually makes use of three different hops: Pride of Ringwood, Nelson Sauvin and Centennial (that info is there for the beer geeks). Hops act as a preservative but also impart a distinct bitterness (as well as other flavours) to the finished product.
On the palate, this beer is more bitter than many other beers on the Australian market but that is definitely a good thing. The same citrus and spice found on the nose also appear in the mouth and the beer is not madly fizzy (don’t worry though – it’s not at all flat!). The slightly reduced fizz I think makes the beer eminently drinkable and the bitterness from the hops means it would pair really well with a range of foods. Coopers suggests chicken, seafood, tangy cheese and fruit based desserts – of these, I can definitely see the beer working best with sharp cheeses.
The beer is being released in 355mL bottles only (yep – that’s a bit of an odd one!) and is expected to retail for around $55 a carton. This is a beer I definitely recommend checking out – and if we all buy enough of it perhaps Coopers will keep on making it past the 150th celebrations …