The South Australian brewer has teamed up with the grape region’s Tomfoolery Wines for the series, which will include a black ale aged in tempranillo barrels, a saison in grenache and a stout in shiraz barrels.
Pirate Life chief executive Mick Cameron said the bottle-aged project was a sizeable shift from the brewery’s flagship West Coast Pale Ale and IPAs packaged in cans.
“This is not a hop driven product, it’s more about flavour and it works well in bottles,” he said.
“You get mouthfuls of the beautiful ripe plums as well as a little bit of the hops and a little bit of the beer so it’s a very interesting beer to drink because there’s so much going on.”
The small-batch beers in 500ml bottles will first be launched with the release of the black ale. The saison is expected to be available from October while the stout will get its release next March.
“The boys did a lot of barrel-aged work at Brew Dog with whisky barrels so it’s something we’ve been playing around with because you never know what the result is going to be,” Cameron said.
“After a beer’s been ageing in a barrel you’re not sure what elements it’s going to pick up from the barrel and you don’t know how the beer’s going to react after sitting for four or five months.”
Founded by brewers Red Proudfoot and Jack Cameron, Mick’s son, who worked together at Brew Dog in Scotland, Pirate Life was launched in Adelaide in March with about 17,000 litres of packaged beer.
It has quickly grown from 3 staff to more than 20 and aims to produce 1.2 million litres in 2016/17.
It will also this month begin managing its own distribution across Australia.