Beer in a can. Who'd have thought?

By / 27th of February, 2015

A NEW brewery is opening in Adelaide this weekend, but thirsty punters won’t find the crafty suds in a bottle because it’s all about the can for the pair at Pirate Life beer.  

The Lead South Australia caught up with owners Red and Jack for a feature in Beer & Brewer, a specialty magazine on all things beer.

The pair, who upped stumps from West Australia last year, first met while learning their craft beer trade at BrewDog in Scotland. On returning to Australia, Red found himself as the chief brewer at the Cheeky Monkey in Margaret River and Jack working at Little Creatures. It didn’t take too long to decide they should join forces and go it alone.

Knowing that the West Australian brew scene is quite crowded, they looked east and only had to cross the Nullarbor to find their perfect HQ.

“Adelaide is a great little city,” says Red. “And it’s in the middle of the country so we can dispatch our beer in any direction. We are geared toward national distribution.”

This ease of dispatch is also behind their decision to put their suds into cans.

“Cans are lighter to transport,” says Red of the 8.5kg weight of a carton of cans compared to 13.5kg for bottles. “That adds up quickly.”

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“But first and foremost, cans are best for the beer because they limit light and oxygen exposure,” says Red. “And in any case, you should be pouring any beer into a glass.”

The duo have a nifty infographic explaining their love of the can – and there isn’t a bearded hipster in sight – which features everything from improved internal coatings that eliminate the metallic taste to the fact cans are easier to recycle and chill faster.

Pirate Life is brewing out of a 1000-metre-square warehouse in Thebarton, on the edge of the Adelaide CBD, with three 25hL Brewhouse vessels, a combined Mash/Lauter Tun, and separate Kettle and Whirlpool.

“On the cold side of things,” says Red, “We're starting off with two 25hL CCVs, four 50hL CCVs and one 50hL BBT with room to expand and add another 100hLBBT and eight 100hL CCVs.”

They launch on 1 March with around 17,000 litres of packaged beer across three brands: 3.5% session IPA, 5.4% Pale and 8.8% IIPA.

So far they have approached more than 30 pubs to stock their product and Red is confident that the tinnie “is making a comeback”.

Pirate Life: