Nancy Blair, St Austell
Added: Tuesday, May 1st 2018
|Style||Pale Ale||ABV 5.3%|
St Austell Nancy Blair
The new beer from St Austell is a collaborative brew between the Cornish brewery and the legendary Cooper’s of Adelaide in Australia. It was the result of a chance meeting between Roger Ryman, St Austell’s head brewer, and Nick Sterenburg, operations director at Cooper’s, who was on holiday in Cornwall.
They realised that both companies had a lot in common. In 1851, Walter Hicks opened his brewery in St Austell and one year later Thomas Cooper from Yorkshire set sail from Plymouth for South Australia. In 1862 he started to brew beer and quickly found success. His brewery is still family-owned and has weathered many storms before becoming an Australian icon. It’s best known for its Sparkling Ale, which is cloudy rather than sparkling and is unfiltered and unpasteurised on draught and in bottle.
When the likes of Foster’s and XXXX were in their pomp, Cooper’s beer was laughed to scorn. But it’s now one of the best-selling beers in Australia, is widely exported, and has helped inspire the growth of independent breweries Down Under.
Roger Ryman has used a sample of Cooper’s top fermenting yeast to fashion a beer that is named after Nancy Blair, a character in South Australia sea shanty. The beer is 4.8 per cent on draught and 5.3 per cent in bottle. It’s brewed with Maris Otter pale malt, dark Munich malt, wheat and torrefied wheat. The hops are from Tasmania: Magnum is the main hop in the copper boil and it’s dry hopped with the addition of Galaxy and Melba. There an extra addition of Galaxy in the bottled version.
The beer is pale gold in colour and has lychees and tangerines on the nose with spicy hops and lightly toasted grain. There’s tart and tangy fruit on the palate with peppery hops and honeyed malt. The long, bitter and hoppy finish has spicy hops, citrus fruit and toasted malt but hops finally dominate.
Don’t miss this beer: it’s a beaut, as they say Down Under.