East Gippsland is set to receive a unique beer/art collaboration in the form of a mini art exhibition/beer launch night on Friday 27th July with Red Bluff Brewers teaming up with 4 local East Gippsland artists in a beer project named Beer4Art18. The project sees 4 new limited release beer styles with 4 artists providing artwork for each bottle design. The beers are in addition to Red Bluff Brewers already 6 strong core range that they developed since they began brewing in November 2017.
Red Bluff Brewer, Damian Witham says “We always knew we’d need a core range. It’s what the local establishments have come to know and love, and we need to keep providing that. But being creative brewers, we also need to feed that part of our brewing drive, so we have come up with this project to not only share new beer recipes with locals who are discovering that beer can be more than just a swill on tap, but to also share some of the spotlight with our fantastic artist community. We have world-class artists living amongst us who have seen success here and abroad and this is just another way that their work can get into the hands of more people. It’s new and we want it to stay with a new batch of beers and artists every year.”
Silvertop – Kolsch
For the inaugural project there is a winter Kolsch titled Silvertop. It’s been paired to artist Dore Stockhausen, a German compatriot who has set up a studio in Nungurner. Dore’s painting technique involves layering paints and then pushing and scraping back to reveal what’s underneath. She then layers up paints again and combs, scraps and scratched until the desired effect is achieved. Dore spent time in the Colquhoun forests amongst the Silvertop Mountain Ash trees of Lakes Entrance to draw inspiration for her contribution to the project.
The Silvertop Kolsch is a light, sweet styled beer with a bright white head that can be described as a silver top if you squint. It was cold conditioned for over 2 months which resulted in a super clear beer.
1924 – First Oil Dry Stout
The dry stout in the pack is what a lot of Red Bluff fans have been asking for, for a long time. A dark beer. This one has a nice roasty taste with an all so subtle bitterness. A thick caramel head makes it reminiscent of it’s namesake, 1924 First Oil Stout. Australia’s very first oil discovery occurred in 1924, in a well just 530m from the Red Bluff Brewery. It’s a fitting name for their first stout and they hope to re-educate people with this little-known history lesson of Australian oil exploration.
Providing artwork for 1924’s label is Lakes Entrance local girl Nephelle Watts. Nephelle creates unique designs using water and oils on handmade marine plyboard. Swirling liquids caught in time, each piece is unique in colour and form, yet unmistakably Nephelle’s work.
Snowy – Vanilla Cream Ale
The third beer in the project is a Vanilla Cream Ale titled ‘Snowy’. It’s a departure for the Red Bluff Brewers as it’s their first brew using additional ingredients for flavour and aroma, other than traditional malts and hops. The obvious addition in this one being vanilla. Vanilla pods sourced from Papua New Guinea were soaked in 80 proof vodka for 14 days, before adding to not only to the boil phase of the brew, but also after fermentation in the dry-hop phase. Other more unusual ingredients were added to give the beer a milky opaque finish. This beer is sure to polarise and please.
Drawing inspiration from the Snowy River and it’s sandy beaches, artist Kye Jones has created her swirling, colourful abstract piece that follows the river as it winds through East Gippsland and into the ocean at Marlo. In her Mt Taylor studio, Kye has an unusual technique in which she loosely, almost blindly, puts paint to canvas very quickly, then searches for shapes within to finesse and highlight by using colour and tone, ultimately tying her creation to the given theme.
Dusky – Red Bluff IPA
The last beer in the range is a very popular style at the moment. A Red IPA. The boys at the brewery are calling this one ‘Dusky Red Bluff IPA’. It’s a great opportunity to bring to attention the local landmark that the brewery is named after. The only local rock bottom surf break is very popular with surfers as when the swell hits, Red Bluff can produce both left and right hand waves. The beach is also a great place for walking, scavenging and exploring.
Dusky Red Bluff IPA uses the hop variety ‘Galaxy’ to produce a powerful aroma and taste that hop-heads are going to love. Jesse Kidd, hailing from Lake Tyers Beach, is the illustrator that was chosen to create the Dusky label. He uses black fineline pens to combine crosshatching and pointillism to effect. Scanning and final colouring is done with software. His illustration style is very appealing and his rendition of the Red Bluff point break will please all those who know of this area.
Where and When
The Beer4Art project is being packaged in 500ml bottles and boxed up as a commemorative 4 pack that the team are hoping will become a keepsake for not only art lovers but beer enthusiasts as well. The project is being launched at the newly reopened Kalimna Hotel on Friday night – 27th July. Tasting paddles, made with help from the Lakes Entrance Men’s Shed, of all 4 beers will be available so people can sample and discuss the flavours before purchasing their packs. An exhibition of the 4 artists involved will run alongside the launch and be open for the entire weekend. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see some local art and taste some local beers. Those interested can head up to Kalimna for a look or contact Red Bluff Brewers for more information.
If you manage to get along to the launch, I would love to hear your thoughts on the beers in the comments below.