Talk of combining 100kg of boysenberry and a bag full of cacao husks might conjure longings for a sweet breakfast muffin with a coffee alongside – but instead, Western Australia’s female brewers and beer industry professionals have loaded these ingredients into vats; the makings of their upcoming project brew, the Boysenberry Choc Bomb.
As members of global not-for-profit Pink Boots Society, which was created to assist, inspire and encourage women beer professionals through education, the group of more than 25 women from 11 breweries across the state were tasked with creating a collaboration brew within the theme ‘dark beer for your region’, in celebration of International Women’s Day.
“We thought a brown ale would suit Perth’s lovely autumn weather and it turns out the ol’ choc bomb is a uniquely West Aussie thing – the rest of the country call them ‘choc tops,” says Pia Poynton, one of the State Coordinators for WA’s Pink Boots chapter and Business Development Manager at Nowhereman Brewing, hosts of the brew day.
The recipe – which has already been tested using Little Creatures’ pilot kit that allows brewers to make a single keg of beer at a time – uses cacao husks, kindly donated by brew day partner Bahen & Co Chocolate Maker of Margaret River, 100kg of frozen boysenberries and lactose. Poynton says the result is a brew with layered chocolate character that’s also rich and dry, with a subtle and balanced fruitiness and some series body from the lactose, which also imparts a soft and silky mouthfeel.
“Appropriate for a beer inspired by ice-cream,” Poynton says.
Specialty malts were provided for the brew day by Gladfield Malt, with other malt, yeast and hops provided by Bintani Australia. The kegs also came generously provided by Kegstar.
The collaboration is an annual event, with Pink Boots chapters all over the world participating. Brewing groups sell kegs of their creation to local bars and pubs, with all proceeds from these sales going back into Pink Boots to perpetuate the development of women in the beer industry.
In WA, Poynton is joined in her coordination duties by Margaret McCarron of Colonial Brewing Co. and Margarita Wallace of Eagle Bay Brewing Co.. The trio’s connection to Pink Boots is long-standing.
“Beyond providing networking and a supportive group to bounce ideas and just chat with, Pink Boots has provided many of us with sponsorships to attend national conferences and encouraged us to learn and develop our skills,” Poynton says.
“It’s been amazing to watch the growing number of women in the beer industry in Australia continue to rise,” she continues. “Our industry is male-dominated, but to see the numbers of women in beer grow every year […], bringing incredibly valuable skills, talent and passion, is uplifting.”
The beer will continue to brew until April before launching at Nowhereman Brewing. It will then be available on tap at Holy Smokes in Fremantle, Whitfords Brewing Co., Northbridge Brewing Co., Little Creatures Brewing, Cheeky Monkey Brewery (Margaret River), Darleen’s (Busselton) and Eagle Bay Brewing (Dunsborough), among others to be announced. Stay up to date with the list of stockists on Nowhereman Brewing Company’s Facebook Page.