By Amy Looker
Coopers have announced the release of their 2009 Extra Strong Vintage Ale in both a special 12-bottle pack as well as the traditional 24-bottle slab, following the installation of new packaging technology at the brewery.
The ninth release in the Vintage Ales series, the 2009 Extra Strong Vintage Ale has retained its alcohol content of 7.5% ABV, making it the strongest beer in the Coopers portfolio and one of the strongest beers brewed on a global scale.
Cooper’s marketing director and chairman Glenn Cooper said he anticipated strong early demand for this year’s brew, with keen interest coming through both locally and from New Zealand and America.
“We have released it slightly earlier than normal so that people looking for a hearty winter beer can enjoy the new Vintage Ale with a meal or by itself as a winter warmer,” said Cooper. “We expect the new packaging will broaden the appeal of this unique product.”
Cooper said that the limited production run meant that, as in previous years, retailers would be allocated stock on a first come, first serve basis. He also said that a growing trend among consumers to experience the Vintage Ale at vertical tastings had demonstrated how well the ale ages over time.
“We have been told that there is an increasing number of people collecting the Vintage Ale and enjoying vertical tastings nights to see how the products changes over the years.”
According to Cooper’s managing director and chief brewer Dr Tim Cooper, the Vintage Ale has great potential to develop over a number of years if stored correctly.
“In recent weeks, we have re-tasted some of our earliest Vintage Ales and have been surprised at how well they have lasted and how they have developed,” he said. “They are still very drinkable, although they taste completely different to when they were first made, with the bitterness generally replaced with caramel and toffee notes.”