Prancing Pony founders Corinna and Frank have always been quick to recognise those who've helped them along the way, from business partners to staff, from performers at their events to the folks that help them in their attempts at speed records on Lake Gairdner. So it seems fitting that as they mark their first decade in beer with Ten Year Beer they do so with photos from down the years plastered across the cans.
As for the liquid chosen to mark this significant milestone, they plucked one from the vault – an imperial pilsner from 2016 called Sledgehammer – which in 2022 comes tagged as a cold IPA. It possesses the lean, dry structure of such beers, but with a richer, slightly stewed malt character than many examples in which such things are almost entirely stripped away. And while many cold IPAs have favoured NZ hops or varieties that create white wine like aromas, here they stay true to their German roots and plump for noble hops. They come across herbal, spicy and with a little orange rind in the midst – taken together, aromatically it reminds me a little of spiced festive oranges, but with the bitterness of a seriously dark marmalade.
Looking back to where it all began, the founders shared a few reminiscences. Among them this:
"Open a brewery," said Corinna in 2011, to which Frank replied: "You’re nuts, it’s three times the work and less than half the pay." But one of Frank’s mottos is: "If you wanna do something, do it, don’t talk about it", so eventually, Frank relented, regardless of any risks (he must be a little crazy as evident by him sporting that improbable mo) and it all became exciting and convincing enough for a couple of friends to join in and together they opened the Prancing Pony Brewery for real in 2012.
You often hear people talk about risk and reward, and without such risks they wouldn't have enjoyed the rewards – or Gemütlichkeit – that a decade in this wild ride of an industry have brought. So, "Cheers!" – or "Prost!" – and here's to the next decade!
- Imperial Pilsner / Cold IPA
- 55 IBU