‘It’s going to be a killer’ – when talking about the first beer of our new limited-release Counter Culture range over the last few weeks, this is one of the very few hints we gave our drinkers. That, alongside a series of colour cues – creamy pinks, scarlet reds – and enigmatic royal symbols on our socials.
Finally, the time has arrived to reveal Counter Culture’s first beer – our Killer Kween.
A contemporary take on a traditional Berliner Weisse, Killer Kween is anything but subtle. Unapologetically strong and bursting with raspberry aromas and flavours from a secondary lactobacillus fermentation and maturation, this Imperial version balances assertive acidity with a refreshing finish.
Big, bold and raspberry-rich, Killer Kween isn’t like other beers we’ve brewed before. Pouring a deep pink-rouge hue, the beer’s brightly coloured, hazy body – both thanks to the 1.2 tonnes of raspberries added – is matched with a fluffy white head that settles over time.
Straight away, fresh raspberry and tart fruit aromas hit the nose, followed by strong bursts of raspberry flavours braced with assertive acidity. Alongside the beer’s Australian wheat and pale malts are Tettnang hops and Belgian saison yeast, a strain that brings a lightly spicy, complex aromas and mild fruitiness. Couple that with a light, effervescent spritz (medium carbonation) and a boozy 7.6% ABV, and it leads to a super balanced, refreshing finish.
The word ‘imperial’ has a regal air to it. That, along with the release of the film Bohemian Rhapsody coinciding with the conception of this release, was the inspiration behind the name. Whilst Freddie Mercury was on the mind, it was the idea of creating a strong female character that, for us, brought the beer style to life. Killer Kween is a modern-day matriarchal majesty, with street edge and cultural cues.
For those who haven’t seen yet, the Counter Culture range will release a new brew every eight weeks or so, after which they’ll disappear. The range will also feature recipes we’ve never tried before, as well as popular Pilot Batch beers from the past, collaboration brews and beers inspired by the broader brewing community.
Our Head Brewer Caolan Vaughan said the range is about playing with new flavours while staying true to balance and approachability.
“This is for beer aficionados who are wanting to try something different,” Caolan said. “A large portion of beer-drinkers have their ‘go-to’ beers, but more and more want to mix it up with weirder limited-release brews, that have creative designs from independent brewers around the country. We’re really looking forward to playing more in this space not only for our drinkers but also for our brewers to have a little fun too.”
For our drinkers in Melbourne, you can taste Killer Kween as early as this Friday (15 March) at the Good Beer Week Showcase Gala, which be taking over the Atrium at Federation Square across Friday night and all day Saturday. Here, thirty breweries from Australia will showcase their beer to coincide the launch of the Good Beer Week 2019 program (10-19 May). Alongside some of Pilot Batch brews, we’ll have Killer Kween front and centre for attendees to try.
At The Long Launch, beer-lovers will enjoy tasting Killer Kween plus several other exclusive Pilot Batch beers, over an extended, share plate-style lunch from 2.00pm to 6.00pm (ticketed). Additionally, Caolan will be at the launch talking through the beers on offer. After 6.00pm, The Long Launch is open to everyone, with live music, a DJ and Killer Kween pouring into the night. Buy your tickets here.
Like all the limited-release beers in the Counter Culture range, Killer Kween will be sold in packs of two 500ml cans online ($16.50 + shipping), as well in good bottle shops and tapped in good venues and our brewery in Byron Bay (albeit in limited volumes). The beer will be available from Monday 18 March with the Beer Finder stockist listing going live on the Counter Culture page that day. After eight weeks, Killer Kween will make way for a different Counter Culture beer and disappear. It’d be a real killer to miss out, so sign up to the newsletter and keep an eye out. And while you’re there, follow the range at @counterculturebeer.
All hail Killer Kween.