A Belgian, a German, a Dutchman and a Kiwi walk into a bar and order a new Tasmanian beer they've all collaborated on.
Rather than the beginning of a joke, this is the story behind Platypus 200, the latest release from (New Zealand-born) Willie Simpson’s Seven Sheds brewery. To celebrate the Railton microbrewery’s 200th batch of ale, Willie called on fellow Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail producers to supply some exotic ingredients.
Like the egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal, Platypus 200 is a quirky, one-off beast. This rich, dark brown ale has been infused with a trio of exotic ingredients sourced from the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail – cocoa nibs supplied by Anvers Confectionery (founded by Belgium-born Igor van Gerwen), toasted quinoa grown by dutch couple Lauran and Henriette Damen of Kindred Organics and ginseng grown by German-born Ziggy Pyka from 41 Degrees South salmon & ginseng farm. Their subtle flavours were chosen to enhance this toasty ale style, while the ginseng – some say – can put a wiggle in your tail …
Platypus 200 represents the first major collaboration from the newly-formed Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail and is a great beer for sipping on slowly; or enjoying with dried muscatels and nuts, apple pie or strudel, hard cheese or dark chocolate, salmon or venison.
Just 500 bottles (750ml) of Platypus 200 have been produced, each individually-numbered and available exclusively from Seven Sheds’ cellar-door at 22 Crockers Street, Railton from January 22. Price: $18 per 750ml bottle.
Here's a list of festivals, events and markets we've confirmed over the next few months:
- First Saturday of the month March to July - Harvest Market Launceston
- 8 March 2014 - Steam Fest, Sheffield
- 9 March 2014 - Taste the Harvest, Devonport
- 16 March 2014 - Mt Gnomon Farm Open Day, Ironcliffe Rd, Penguin
- 30 March 2014 - Seven Sheds Hop Pickin'
- 26 April 2014 - Taste of the North West, Sheffield
Following the success of last year’s Bass Strait IPA, Seven Sheds Brewery has unveiled a second ferry-aged beer project, in conjunction with the Spirit of Tasmania.
During our annual hop harvest in March 2013 we brewed a single batch of roasty, robust porter, leavened with organic oats from nearby Elgaar Farm and a generous late gift of Fuggle hop flowers, estate-grown and hand-picked at Seven Sheds Brewery in Railton. The backbone of this complex, dusky brew is Tassie-grown barley, malted nearby at Quoiba; roasted barley, crystal and dark malts provide toasted, tarry characters, while the naked, rolled oats add a silky touch.
A small parcel of Seven Sheds Fuggled Porter filled a brace of 120-litre French oak wooden casks, re-fashioned by Hobart cooper Adam Bones from a single barrel which had previously held pinot noir from Frogmore Creek Winery in southern Tasmania.
Stowed aboard Spirit of Tasmania II on Saturday April 20, this special consignment will travel across Bass Strait between Devonport and Melbourne some 50 times over a two-month period, roughly equivalent to the journey from England to Australia (the same route several hogsheads of porter travelled out to the colony aboard the Second Fleet).
Seven Sheds Ferry-aged Porter is due for release in August 2013; some 420 individually-numbered bottles will be available exclusively through our cellar-door. Contact: Willie Simpson, co-owner/head brewer Seven Sheds Brewery, 22 Crockers St, Railton (0427879226).
Seven Sheds Fuggled Porter is available on tap at the New Sydney Hotel, Hobart from 12 noon Tuesday 23 April.
Established by Willie Simpson and Catherine Stark in 2008, Seven Sheds has evolved from offering a single beer – Kentish Ale - to having five brews available all-year-round, plus regular seasonals and a range of single-batch “brewers reserve” beers that provide examples of diverse beer styles from around the world.
Seven Sheds beers are handcrafted in an alehouse designed around traditional brewing methods. Flagship Kentish Ale typifies the robust, flavoursome beers that form the backbone of the Seven Sheds range. A great match for bratwurst sausages or a rabbit pie, Kentish Ale is the most popular Seven Sheds brew and can be enjoyed at select tap locations including Cradle Mountain Chateau and the Mole Creek Hotel (where it’s sold as Tassie Tiger Ale) as well as Hobart’s Lark Distillery Cafe.
Other regular brews include Willie Warmer, a spiced dark ale; the Belgian-style Elephants Trunk which at 7% is one to enjoy while strapped to your favourite armchair; and the raspberry wheat beer Razzamatazz, which is a great thirst quencher on a hot day. Winter seasonal Stark Raven is a full-bodied oatmeal stout and Paradise Pale, now a part of the permanent lineup, is a refreshing brew designed to wash down seafood, salads and other summer fare. The Seven Sheds Brewers Reserve range includes brews such as Royal Willie (11.6%) which is only available in 500ml bottles.
Seven Sheds beers are available by the glass at Tasmanian events throughout the year including Latrobe’s Henley on Mersey and Chocolate Winterfest, Launceston’s Festivale, Devonport’s Taste the Harvest, Sheffield’s Taste of the North West, Wynyard’s Bloomin’ Tulips, Deloraine’s Tasmanian Craft Fair, and Hobart’s Taste Festival, as well as the Tasmanian Association of Micro-Breweries showcase events (locations vary) and the Seven Sheds Hop Harvest (March) and Oktoberfest on-site in Railton.
Seven Sheds beer is also available at the following outlets:
- Launceston – on tap at Alchemy, by the bottle at Crown Cellars, Davies Grand Central, Dickens Cider House
- Weldborough - Weldborough Hotel (check out http://www.hotel.weldborough.com.au/microbru-experience)
- Elizabeth Town - Ashgrove Cheese, Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Café
- Mole Creek - Mole Creek Hotel (on tap), Marakoopa Cafe
- Sheffield - Yvettes
- Latrobe – Anvers Café and Shop
- Devonport - Laneway Deli, Drift, Devonport Visitor Information Centre
- Ulverstone - Lancaster House
- Burnie - Club Hotel bottle shop, Makers Workshop
- Stanley - Stanley Hotel (on tap), Old Cable Station restaurant, Stanley Seaview Inn
- Cradle Mountain - on tap at Cradle Mountain Chateau, by the bottle at Discovery Holiday Parks and Cradle Mountain Chateau
- Queenstown - Empire Hotel
- Hobart – on tap at New Sydney Hotel, Lark Waterfront Distillery Café, The Quarry, The Winston, Westend Pumphouse, Irish Murphys, Preachers; by the bottle at Garagistes, a common ground, Cool Wine, Sidecar, Blue Eye, Eumarrah, Remi de Provence, Wursthaus, Jack Greene, The Abbey
- Cygnet – Red Velvet Lounge
Railton is a great place to stop and stretch your legs with level, easy walking. Visitors can check out the gift shops and topiary, grab a rabbit pie and wash it down with a Kentish Ale or take a stroll along the Tasmanian Trail to contemplate the edicts in Sykes Sanctuary reserve. While touring in this area, visitors can gather up other tasty treats ranging from chocolate to smallgoods, smoked salmon to ginseng, raspberries, apples, honeys, cherries, cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables, rabbit pies and venison, pinot noir and apple brandy, whisky, jams and relish. Check out www.cradletocoasttastingtrail.com.au for more information about food; and www.sheffieldcradleinfo.com.au for local visitor information and accommodation options.
Since opening in 2008 Seven Sheds has had an ever growing number of label and memorabilia collectors asking for Seven Sheds items.
We appreciate that some collectors have come to our cellar door and purchased beer or other items when making their request. More often than not, however, these requests have come with an expectation that we will distribute collectible items free of charge to locations all over the world.
Once one collector has hold of a new label, coaster, barblade or other item, others quickly want to have it too.
Some breweries have big marketing budgets and don’t mind allocating staff time, stock and distribution costs to send out each new label, coaster, or bottle opener they produce to collectors or clubs.
Seven Sheds is a very small enterprise and doesn’t have the resources to accommodate these requests. As these demands are increasing over time we have decided that we will not distribute collectibles such as beer labels and coasters. Other items such as t-shirts, hats and bottle openers are sometimes available for sale at the Seven Sheds cellar door and via www.sevensheds.com.
We respectfully ask that memorabilia collectors refrain from approaching Seven Sheds staff, contractors, graphic designers and associated businesses and individuals in pursuit of labels, coasters and other memorabilia.