Monday, 21 September 2015 06:20

Sooty Porter launches in Hobart

Seven Sheds Sooty Porter Seven Sheds Sooty Porter Catherine Stark

Our latest limited release brew, Sooty Porter, will be launched at the Westend Pumphouse in Hobart on Friday 25 September 2015 with a matched snack prepared by Pumphouse chef Tom.  

Sooty Porter features pale malted barley smoked over shavings from port and bourbon barrels. The latter provide enticing smoke-laced notes with hints of vanilla, toasted marshmallow, maple syrup and, um ... soot.

The wood shavings were provided by Adam Bones, owner of the Tasmanian Cask Company, whose business re-models bourbon, port and muscat barrels, mainly for local whisky distillers. While cooper Adam manages to sell small quantities of the shavings - mainly to backyard food smokers - he has a veritable mountain of the stuff which was just crying out for a better use.

We developed the smoking process in-house earlier this year to produce our annual, mid-winter batch of Smokin’ Bagpipes. Previously, we would have to deliver the malt to our friends at Lark Distillery in Hobart where they would peat-smoke it for us on their purpose-built equipment. This year they happily provided a bucket of peat from their bog in the Tasmanian central highlands while we concocted a way to set it smouldering and blow the smoke up the rear-end of our mash tun, with the grain laid out on the screen floor.

Apart from the trial and error involved, our smoking technique is fairly time-consuming, with the grain having to be smoked in several batches, for up to 12 hours at a time. Still, we reckon the results were worth it, even if Willie ended up smelling like a kippered herring for days on end.

Sooty Porter was brewed with help from the Hobart gang from the New Sydney Hotel and associated venue West-end Pumphouse, two of our regular tap outlets in southern Tassie. This was the fourth such “buddy” brew we’ve done with them.

We were also assisted on the day by Sooty the brewery cat, who took great delight in repeatedly diving into the bag of wood shavings and, ultimately, lent her name to Seven Sheds latest creation.

Sooty Porter will be available on tap at the New Sydney Hotel and at the West-End Pumphouse from Friday 25 September and, in limited quantities, at the Tasmanian Microbrew Fest on Saturday 26 September; and in bottles through the Seven Sheds cellar door Inquiries via

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