Coopers Vintage Ale Launch Lunch

disclaimer: I attended the lunch as a guest of Coopers Brewery.

date of lunch: Friday 5 July 2013


You may recall that last year I enjoyed the Coopers Vintage Ale launch lunch at the Earl of Aberdeen.

This year I was lucky enough to be invited again, and, as a teaser, a beautiful box of the soon to be released Vintage Ale arrived on my doorstep the week before. It’s a tough life when you not only get a free lunch but also some free beer!

I almost had to miss the lunch this year* but luckily the planets lined up and lunch time saw me at the Earl of Aberdeen, ready to taste the new Vintage Ale, as well as a couple of back vintages.

Proceedings started in the bar with Celebration Ales all round and canapés in the form of chorizos wrapped in filo, baked and presented as cigars. Sausages wrapped in filo pastry should definitely become a ‘thing’!

This year, there was more dining space opened up for the lunch, as well as a seating plan. This was great because it meant the Coopers staff were spread amongst the diners and (hopefully) gave everyone a chance to chat to someone from the brewery.


The menu, put together by the Earl’s chef with Masterchef runner up, Michael Weldon, really focussed on using beer in food. To accompany lunch, we were served the 2007, 2009 and current release Vintage Ales. Entré (easily dish of the day, for me) was scallops and prawns, served with linguine and a Coopers Pale Ale beurre blanc. This was great: the scallops were huge, the seafood was beautifully cooked and I loved the presentation. The sauce had a richness to it which I guess came from the beer but it wasn’t overwhelmingly beer-y in anyway. The pasta also deserves a mention: it was perfectly cooked and delicious.

This was followed by a 2007 Vintage Ale sorbet. I was very indifferent to this but I suspect part of the problem was the HUGE portion. I’d expect a palate cleanser to be two mouthfuls at most but this was almost dessert size in proportion and I found the vanilla notes (also present in the aged Vintage Ale) really over the top.


Main course was beef cheeks – cooked in the current release Vintage Ale, naturally. Last year’s epic steak was a really tough act to follow (and seriously, everyone I know who went last year remembers that steak!) but this was a tasty and hearty meal – quite essential on what was a freezing (by Adelaide standards!) day.


Lunch wrapped up with panettone, served with (you guessed it!) Vintage Ale custard.

The lunch is held annually (first Friday in July – if you want to mark it in your calendar!) and is a great way to taste some back vintages of the Vintage Ale, as well as have a big lunch! It’s a lighthearted way to learn more about both Coopers and beer.

The 2013 Vintage Ale is available now, until sold out, at about $76 a case. Selected pubs will also have it on draught.


* Regular readers may know that my household includes a toddler. He has recently made an unscheduled, but thankfully short and successful (if that’s the right word!), trip to hospital. Everyone is home, happy and healthy. Having seen first hand the smile it brings to a small person in hospital, I’d encourage you to consider donating a bear to your local hospital. If the feel good factor isn’t enough, your donation will help raise funds for cancer research AND be a tax deduction.

Coopers Celebrates Bathurst

UPDATE:  Coopers has just extended its partner agreement with the V8 Supercars to the end of the 2015 season.

In the run up to this year’s Bathurst 1000 (4-7 October) Coopers has released a special Bathurst pack.

In the same year that Coopers celebrates its 150th birthday, Bathurst is marking its own milestone: its 50th anniversary.

The Bathurst Pack contains 20 cans of specially labelled Coopers Mild Ale and is only available in the run up to the Bathurst weekend.

Coopers is a major sponsor and the exclusive beer partner of the V8 Supercars.

Coopers Celebration Ale

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 …