AIBA Press Release:

Award-winning brewers Brendan Varis (Feral Brewing) and Richard Watkins (Wig and Pen Brewery and Tavern) have teamed up to produce a limited edition collaborative beer, called Pig Pen, for the 2013 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA).

Brewed at Wig and Pen Brewery and Tavern in Canberra, Pig Pen will debut at next month’s AIBA Presentation Dinner. The collaborative brew is an innovative ‘free range ale’ and contains ingredients sourced from around the globe, including malt from the UK, wild and conventional yeast from Belgium and the US, and Australian hops.

Winner of the 2012 AIBA Champion Small Australian Brewery, Richard Watkins of Wig and Pen Brewery and Tavern said, “We sought inspiration for Pig Pen from the AIBA’s international flavour, sourcing ingredients from around the world to develop a ‘free range ale’”.

“Brendan and I used malt, hops and wild and conventional yeast, as well as doses of Canberra and WA micro flora and Australia’s finest water to produce the foundation of the brew,” said Watkins.

Awarded Champion Large Australian Brewery, Best International Pale Ale and Best Scotch and Barley Wine at the 2012 AIBA, Brendan Varis of Feral Brewing said he was thrilled to be invited back to brew AIBA’s second collaborative beer.

“It is a privilege to brew with my longtime friend Richard Watkins at the Wig and Pen. It’s days like these that make you realise what a great industry brewing is to be in,” said Varis.

After debuting at the AIBA Presentation Dinner on Thursday, 23 May, Pig Pen will go on tap as one of the speciality beers at the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS). These will be the only opportunities to try this limited edition brew.

Sponsors of the AIBA’s collaborative beer are Feral Brewing, Wig and Pen Brewery and Tavern, Cryer Malt, Hop Products Australia, Bintani and Brewtique.

Beer enthusiasts will have an opportunity to meet Richard and Brendan in Melbourne this week at the AIBA ‘Meet the Judges’ event held in partnership with Good Beer Week. The event will be held in two locations, The Royston Hotel, Richmond and The Ale House Project, Brunswick East on Wednesday, 10 April from 8:00pm. Entry is free with beers available at bar prices.

Now in its 21st year, the AIBA is the pre-eminent showcase for premium beer and brewing excellence in the Asia Pacific region and is presented by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) in conjunction with the University of Ballarat. Tickets to the AIBA Presentation Dinner can be purchased at http://www.rasv.com.au/Events/AIBA_Home