Daily Drop No. 26 – Pirate Life IPA


Today on the Daily Drop, I’m tasting Pirate Life IPA. This is a hop-forward IPA that kicks hard at 6.8%. Pirate Life is based in Adelaide and only hit the scene in 2014. Alright ya scurvy lubbers, let’s shake a leg!


A very light copper-gold colour with foamy soft suds and massive head retention. That’s likely from a good amount of wheat in the grain bill. There’s really nice lacing on the glass, again that’s probably from the wheat and possibly oats.


There are prominent pine and citrus notes, and a bit resinous. There are hints of blackberry and caramel, as well. The body is sweet and malty and has the character of a rich loaf of bread.

Mouth feel

Very mild carbonation on the draw, with a sharp hop attack. A very malty and creamy body, finishing sweet with a resinous aftertaste.


The initial draw is very sweet and citrusy, but with a resinous hop overhead. It plays into a rich and deliciously sweet malt body, but not overly sweet. This sweetness is also countered by a very sharp resinous hop character on the back, and in the lingering aftertaste. There is a slight smoky flavour in the mix, also.

Overall – Pirate Life IPA

Ye be shiverin’ me timbers if ye be sayin’ this here IPA is not a small fortune in a can. I love the aroma. It’s got great character with the pine, citrus, berries, caramel and rich malty goodness. I could probably sit sniffing the glass all day, but beer is primarily made to be consumed. If there’s one complaint, I would have to say that it is too sweet to session. I don’t see myself hitting more than two serves of a beer this sweet. It’s definitely a high quality beer, and the flavour profile is fantastic. I definitely recommend having a go.

Brewing thoughts

It’s not exactly fair because they put a simplified grain bill, hop schedule and brewing method on the can. I was originally thinking that it had a barley base with some wheat and oats. But the can says otherwise, as the copper colour and head come from pale malt and Munich, which also delivers that rich bread aroma and malty flavour. The sweetness comes from a good dose of crystal malt. Just when you think you’ve got a recipe pinned and in the bag…surprise! It goes to show how complex beer recipes can be.

Today’s Daily Drop is brought to you by spicy hot wings.

What’s your favourite IPA? Have you smashed a Pirate Life IPA? Have you been to their brewery in Adelaide? Maybe you’ve made a wickedly good IPA and lived to tell the tale. We want to hear about it in the comments below! Don’t be shy.

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