Name: Pirate Life Brewing IPA

Style: IPA

Country: Australia

ABV: 6.8%

Beer Description: Pirate Life Brewing are out of Adelaide in South Australia. This little craft brewery has made waves with their session IPA as well as a big Double IPA, but, until relatively recently, didn’t have anything in between. Finally, they’ve released a normal IPA. This IPA has come after much anticipation. Pirate Life’s other beers blew almost everyone’s minds, so many were waiting for this one.

As a single IPA, this one comes in a little on the strong side at 6.8%, only 2% less than their double. But it’s still a pretty big beer.

The beer pours relatively lightly with some orange to it and a moderate head. Some IPAs like to come out a little darker than this, and, simply looking at the can before it comes out, it’s a bit surprising that this beer doesn’t look darker and heavier. This is based mostly on the alcohol content. We were just expecting something bigger and maltier. So the drinker is left curious. Where is this beer going to go?

Well, the first impression of Pirate Life’s IPA is it’s very American. Pirate Life have put in American standards Simcoe and Centennial as well as Riwaka from New Zealand. There’s lots of pine in the aroma, along with a little bit of wood and spice. As anticipated from the look of this beer, there’s not a huge amount of malt in the aroma. It’s very hop driven.

This is an IPA made for IPA fans. Even before drinking it, the drinker can tell that this beer will be packed with hoppy goodness. You just know it’s going to be plenty bitter with hopefully some fruity characteristics and, if we’re lucky, some resin.

And that’s what we got as the beer went down. As expected, it’s not really a malt driven beer. If anything, it’s on the thin side for an IPA. The body, however, really suits the beer. It seems to be what Pirate Life are going for, and it works. Packing in nearly 7% ABV without making this beer too heavy would have been difficult, but it makes this beer go down quite easily. Watch out though, as the lighter body can make this beer quite dangerous. Usually higher alcohol beers are accompanied by a higher body. This slows down the drinking and also prevents people from drinking too many. Low body plus high alcohol can really be a problem!

However, Pirate Life’s IPA has a big bitter kick to it which slows it down a bit. This doesn’t help prevent you from having a few, but at least it will be a slow few.

With all of that, there’s some lovely floral feelings to this IPA. This, along with some of the malt, sweetens the beer up a little bit. All in all though, it’s really a bitterness driven beer. Hold this beer in your mouth for a bit and you can really fell the florals coming off of it. It’s a beer well worth savouring for a bit rather than just pouring down your throat.

Pirate Life have made some good choices in this beer. They made some early decisions on where they wanted this beer to go and they just went with it. Rather than trying to tick all the boxes and put all sorts of flavours into this IPA, Pirate Life have decided to make a hop lovers IPA. And that’s what we’ve come to expect from the guys at Pirate Life: good, intentional beers. They really know what they’re doing.

So, there’s another great one from Pirate Life. They’ve created a very strong core range early in their career, so it’s exciting to see what they come up with next. These guys love making different kinds of IPAs, but their other beers are also good. It will be interesting to see if they decide to bring out a non-IPA as part of their core. Or will they just treat us to a small batch of something really special?

Let’s see what happens.

If you want to know why the beer is called IPA, check it out!

Go to more IPA reviews.

Go to more reviews of Pirate Life beer.