27 Jan 2020
We are excited in this post to share with you the latest developments in our Classic Collection range of artisan ales. As you may know, we have been making our Classic range of ales since our inception back in 2010, with our Saison being the first born and the one that has steered the direction of our brewery ever since. We have spent the last decade making these beers with the focus being on our house yeast and its nuances under different environmental conditions. We have extended this to open fermentation, spontaneous fermentation, barrel-ageing, barrel fermenting & other similar techniques to draw out the uniqueness of our site and the nature of our site-specific microflora.
We are happy to report that the trials we have done over the last 10 years in exploring this further (this is how long it takes to understand the effect of barrel-ageing in ales in our opinion) has resulted in our classic range now having the inclusion of open fermentation, barrel-ageing & maturation as standard. The inclusion of these new techniques has added a depth of character that truly reflects the personality of our site in our classic range and also has allowed us to work with the seasons to influence the creation of our bottled classics in a very authentic way that points to the historical origins of these idiosyncratic styles.
Supporting a new look and with the inclusion of these time-honoured techniques, we encourage you to revisit our classic range that includes Saison, Farmhouse Red, Praline, Paradoxe, Wild Saison & Farmhouse Noir.
Yours in beer
Costa – (Founder & Chief)
Praline is an ale that has never quite fit with the rest of our artisan ales. Some would say it is the ‘blacksheep’ of our family of Wild & Farmhouse Ales. It’s not wild, it’s not farmhouse, it’s in a league of it’s own. The Praline for those that do not know about it, is a chocolate, vanilla & hazelnut Stout fermented cleanly. This beer edged out 130+ other beers back in 2014 to win the GABS (Great Australian Beer Spectapular – yes you read right) event and has won accolades every year since.
After making Praline as a classic chocolate stout in a textbook way for many years, we started to wonder how it would taste with a more natural fermentation profile and started experimenting (as we are inspired to do here at LS) with fermenting our Praline in an open tank – like we do the rest of our Wild & Farmhouse Ales. This was somewhat risky considering we had a proven formula and proven recipe however we like to push the boundaries of things in the spirit of discovery and evolution.
The current batch of Praline in bottle has been open fermented in our famed open tank and the results we feel are spectacular. The open fermentation has allowed our native airborne bacteria to partake in the party and has delivered a welcomed acidity to the classic Praline recipe. We feel this has added an additional dimension to the rich and chocolatey Praline that gives it a welcomed element of drinkability and refreshment!
This is not for everyone, however we truly believe this new way of fermenting our Praline transforms it and evolves it into a sour-ish version of the Praline and takes it in a direction that better suits the way that we make our artisan ales here at LS, working with nature and aiming to control it less… the sourness being a familiar and expected component of our ales in general.
We hope you enjoy the evolution of Praline as much as we do and we look forward to sharing more with you over time.
Yours In Beer
Costa – Chief Artisan
As our first blog entry, we wish to welcome you to our world, a world where creativity, inspiration & integrity is echoed through our walls and a world where supporting one another in the spirit of creation is our natural compass. Through this blog, we will provide a glimpse of who we are as people, the way we roll and why we do the things we do.
Firstly we wish to welcome you to the pillars of our team.
Costa found his way into creating Artisan Ales from the wine world. After studying Winemaking & Viticulture in South Australia and numerous vintages for one of Australia’s most respected pinot producers in the Gippsland region, he gravitated to the wonderful world of Farmhouse & Wild Ales. His vision and drive in the creation of La Sirene back in 2010 and earlier has been a journey not carved out by business plans, spreadsheets or ‘market drivers’ but a more humble approach to just believing in yourself to become a modern-day craftsman. He is our chief who steers the La Sirene ship on her voyage and doubles as maintenance engineer, chief brewer, debt collector, delivery driver, hand bottler & occasionally La Sirene tour guide.
Costa’s partner & oracle for all here at La Sirene. Eva has a background in business and finance across diverse industries such as television, advertising and fashion. Eva works closely with Costa to drive the La Sirene ship (ships best mate perhaps) and ensures our culture is authentic, vibrant & progressive.
Will Mac is our point man out in the trade and has spent years understanding and showcasing the flavour profiles of our character-filled ales. He is a certified beer sommelier, is an avid cook, has a witty sense of humour and loves all things food & beverage.
Liam, an Alphington native works the brewery floor along with Francis, Jimmy, Sam & Lewis (last 3 all genuine Alphingtoners & Costa (Genuine Adelaidean). He combines a cheeky quintessential Australian humour with his love of art-house films and art in general. He is responsible for driving our production on a day to day basis and doubles as a film critic on most days.
Francis comes to us from DuDu Ciel in Quebec Canada and with him comes some great stories about brewing in Canada. a proud Quebecer and brewer, Francis delivers his dry sense of humour with a strong technical ability and is our most recent addition to the team.
Jed is currently completing his honours thesis in Industrial Design and is our resident cool kat/word on the street guy! he is responsible for ensuring all of our beers are delivered to our customers in prime condition.
Jon is our fellow logistics guy who ensures we are able to get our beer super-fresh to all our peeps when needed. He has the most witty & dry sense of humour, is in 2 bands, is an avid animal lover and loves films (him & Liam could speak for hours about film)
2018 Good Beer Week is just around the corner and this year like every year we are so excited to be presenting and participating in 3 wonderfully diverse and curated events. So grab your friends and your tickets and join us at one of these memorable to be events below.
Party at Paradise Alley with La Sirène and a Seafood Cevechiria… Join us for a seasonal seafood canape feast lovingly prepared by Renee from Little Latin Lucy matched with some very special & limited La Sirène beers pouring both on tap & from the bottle and complete with an oyster bar. Book your tickets to this event here
Delicious and as diverse as Farmhouse Ales we love our vegetables at La Sirène so when we spoke to the creative folk at Henry Sugar about a degustation for this year’s Good Beer Week we were very excited about pairing our ales with their delicious vegetarian creations! A 6 course vegetarian safari including some fermented veggies and incorporating some of our ingredients and house yeast… this is going to be a tantalising event. More deets here
That’s right, you are seeing double! This event was so exciting last year, we had to do it again, but this time we are extending the food and La Sirène degustation with a canapes and La Sirène limited ales session at Rupert on Rupert’s newly opened bar section to start the evening, before we are led into the restaurant to dine on a 3 course degustation. Dramatic and daring, incorporating locally foraged and made produce, we present a wild evening of ales and gourmet sensations.
— Costa Nikias, Founder Owner La Sirene Brewing
The Age Newspaper – Good Food March 20th 2018 by Will Hawkes
Our CITRAY SOUR is a Farmhouse Style Sour Ale made with real oranges, soured naturally and of course made with our La Sirène signature house yeast.
Join us at the participating venues below to get your hands on the CITRAY SOUR cans, with free tastings also available:
Friday 16th March
@audacious_monk_cellars – from 4pm – 128-130 Regent Street, PRESTON
@blackheartswine – 5:30 to 7:30pm – 123 Smith St FITZROY
@blackheartswine – 5:30 to 7:30pm – 131 Lygon St EAST BRUNSWICK
@bottlehouse – 5 – 7pm – 3c/199 Toorak Rd, South Yarra
@carwyncellars – 5 – 7pm – 877 High St, THORNBURY
@grapeandgrain – 5 – 7pm – 14/16 Station Street, MOORABIN
@harvest_wine – 5 – 7pm – 207 High Street, NORTHCOTE
@mccoppinsabbotsford – 5 – 7pm – 501-509 Victoria Street, ABBOTSFORD
@mrwestbar – 6 – 8pm – 106 Nicholson St, FOOTSCRAY
@pennyyoung_liquor – 5 – 7pm – 22 Young St, MOONEE PONDS
We are incredibly proud to announce the release of our flagship wild cherry ale, the Bière de Cerise blended from various farmhouse ales that have matured in French Oak barriques. These wild ales sat on luscious whole European cherries for 18-36 months naturally allowing the wild flora found in our brewery to slowly ferment and /or sour the remaining sugars left in this wild ale.
“A Wild Ale that was a long time coming for us here at La Sirène. After we selected the best 9 x barrels to blend with a fresh wild ale, this ‘Bière de Coupage’ was allowed to further develop through a tertiary fermentation in the bottle for 13 months with its own microflora which has very much rounded out the tangy sourness and provided an avenue for the wild flora to take control & dare I say shine. This bottle will age gracefully over time and develop a more complex flora-driven palate as the cherries slowly drop away. Cellaring potential store at 15c – 17c for 9 – 18 months”. Chief Artisan – Costa Nikias
Funk scale: 4/6
Sour Scale: 5/6
Fruity Scale: 5/6
REMIÈRE MOSAIC: Our 1st 2018 Avant Garde Collection release & we are celebrating with a pre-release launch @audacious_monk_cellars this Friday 23RD FEB from 4pm join Will our brewery ambassador & the ace ♠️ team at Audacious to get your hands on this before wider release in stores from the 28th. (click here for stockists)
Première Mosaic showcases lovely fresh Mosaic hop characters with our trademark wild yeast. Expect tropical and apricot notes enveloped in creamy lactic acid sourness. A modern amalgamation of local indigenous souring with an abundance of hops.
View SUMMER SEASONAL SAISONETTE on Instragram
A “little” Saison, our Saisonette (ABV 3.8%) is light, with soft citrus characters, is super refreshing & has the perfect amount of bubbles
View SUMMER SEASONAL FLEUR FOLIE on Instragram
Our FLEUR FOLIE is back! This blossoming 🌼 madness is a Honey 🍯 Saison. Blended with raw honey on a soft malt backbone this Saison finishes dry & slightly tart. Perfect delightful farmhouse refreshment
We are excited to announce that our Cuvée de Bois is now available in 375ml bottles (12 bottles per Case) as an exclusive limited run.
Cuvée De Bois started life out as our Cuvée which began as an open fermented Farmhouse Ale made in our house style, that was co-fermented with Victorian “free run” Chardonnay and left to naturally sour for an extended period. Cuvée evolved to become Cuvée De Bois when we felt the finished beer needed some oude (old) Saison and French oak characters to mellow out the vibrancy of the chardonnay free run and give this ale some length. So to the young fermented beer, we blended 2 x selected barriques of 2013 & 2014 Saison that had been barrel fermented and aged on chardonnay lees a modern day ‘Bière De Coupage’ technique where young and old beer is blended. Cuvée De Bois was laid on it’s side to mature and naturally carbonate using indigenous flora for the last 8 months.
We refer to the Solera Method as we did not completely empty the barrels of oude Saison. we blended 30% 2013 Saison in French oak barrique & 45% of 2014 Saison in French Oak barrique to taste, with the barrels being topped up to see another day…
“A distinctly sour yet layered wine hybrid ale, the Cuvée de Bois’ reminds me how expressive Australian Chardonnay can be when allowed to shine. The naturally building acidity cuts through the green pineapple & papaya skin which is the star of the show in this hybrid ale coupled with the unripe chardonnay top notes. The Oude Saison contribution very much tempers the fruit vibrancy with a kiss of french oak toastiness to round the matter out. For me this hybrid ale resembles the melding of what I love and adore in drinking, delicate & unique farmhouse ales and classic old world chardonnay. Sante!”
– Costa Nikias, Founder & Chief Artisan La Sirène Brewing.
We are very excited to share that our Jester King Brewery Collab was released at their brewery this weekend. Costa travelled there in April this year and worked together with the esteemed JK crew to create Song of Binding. We are not sure how much of this will make it to Australia & we will certainly keep you posted. We would like to thank everyone at JK for their hospitality, Costa had a blast getting to know & work with you all – happy to see this released.
Images Courtesy of Jester King
Honey and Sunshine in a bottle, after a winter of hibernation an old favourite Fleur Folie our Honey Saison (Saison de Miel) is back just in time for those hot summer saison sessions.
SEVENS SIRENS is a beer created in collaboration with Melbourne coffee connoisseurs Seven Seeds Specialty Coffee. A collaboration of spirit, quality and passion for all things coffee and Farmhouse Ales, together we created a unique Farmhouse Red ale infused with unique single origin coffee from the La Paz Honduras mountains to produce awakening results! Single Batch Release only.
We are excited to be involved with WA BEER WEEK (17th to 26th November) this year, and we are even more excited to be a part of three especially curated events with some of Perth’s finest. Costa will be attending and hosting all three events to share his passion and knowledge of all things Saison, Farmhouse & La Sirène!
Costa and Cheese @ Ductch Trading Co – Tuesday 21st November
Grape vs Grain with La Sirène brewery @ Petition Kitchen – Wednesday 22nd November
La Siréne’s Saisons @ Baby Mammoth – Thursday 23rd November
Our Farmhouse Style URBAN PALE just got named BEST BEER of 2017 by The Australian in Peter Lalor’s TOP 20 Beers for 2017 (in The Weekend Australian Magazine – James Halliday’s Top 100 Wines – The Wine Issue). Honoured to be recognized, given our obscure fascination & obsession with Saison and Farmhouse Styles, and to be recognized amongst all the other great beers that made the list too.
We welcome Praline into 375ml bottles, so you can stash another favourite on the bookshelf!
In the tradition of French brewers of old, we took whatever malts & hops we had left at the beginning of spring and created a special spring beer. Costa explains further below. Introducing La Sirène Bière de Printemps now available (draught only)
We are excited to announce that our Forêt Sauvage is now available in 375ml bottles as a super limited run.
Forêt Sauvage literally translating to ‘wild forest’ is our 100% spontaneously fermented Belgian style Tripel Ale that lay to rest in premium French oak for almost 18 months with whole King Valley cherries.
This represents everything that we hold sacred in the world of brewing; allowing our resident indigenous wild yeast & bacteria from within the brewery’s walls & surroundings to naturally innoculate and impart its own personality in this ale. The addition of whole King Valley cherries allowed us to showscase what vibrant fresh fruit can do when combined delicately with a beer made in our house style.
Expect up front acidity courtesy of our indigenous souring bacteria along with a dry aperitif style bitter orange mid-palate that is rounded out with toasted coconut characters from the French oak. This ale displays herbaceous red berry edges that very much provides a depth of flavour somewhat madeira-like, with a silky texture that finishes dry and refreshingly delicate.
Available in all good quality independent liquor outlets by the end of this week!
We are absolutely thrilled to see our collaboration with the stylin’ masters of foraging Fonta Flora Brewery available at their Brewery in Morganton North Carolina. A meeting of the minds very much drove this collaboration called ‘’A Rustic Migration’’ with the inspiration being to showcase Fonta’s unique wild yeast along with locally grown malts to create an Apalachian style rustic wild ale. We had a great time at the Fonta Flora Brewery and it was a real buzz to see how Todd & the crew operate this left of centre brewery; was right up our alley. Expect this bottle conditioned mixed ferment Saison to be a hazy straw colour with a wonderfully-driven midplate dry and finish with a noble hop aromatic through the dry hopping. Thanks for your wonderful hospitality Todd & the team at Fonta Flora Brewery and we look forward to hosting you down here at our left of centre brewery in Melbourne! We will be trying to get some of these beauties down here in Oz so stay tuned..
Join us for the excellent phenomenon that is GOODBEERWEEK 2017 at one or more of our 5 specially curated La Sirène #GBW17 revelries.
OFFICIAL HUB @SUNMOTHCANTEEN – #MELBOURNELOVESLASIRENE – We are so excited to have a home at Sun Moth Canteen for #GBW17 for the whole of @goodbeerweek with an OPENING NIGHT PARTY extravaganza on Saturday night, May 13th 2017
OPENING NIGHT PARTY May 13th 2017: Join our FOUNDER and CHIEF ARTISAN BREWER Costa Nikias and Will Macdonald our Brand Ambassador as we tap our first 6 beers on offer at Sun Moth for the week (some never released before). Evening includes a free pot on arrival, delicious nibblies from the SUN MOTH KITCHEN, specially priced La Sirène Beers and music from local electronic DJ artists. Snap up your tickets, click here:
OR “SPONTANEOUS” DROP INS ALLOWED! If you can’t make the PARTY above (you will kick yourself but) RELAX! We will have our beers on for the whole of GOODBEERWEEK at Sun Moth, with more than 6 beers rotating on their taps throughout the week (some special GBW releases like we said) Costa and team will be floating in and out the whole week, so the perfect “spontaneous” place to drop in throughout the days and evenings during #goodbeerweek to get your La Sirène fix.
It’s DINNER TIME on Monday 15th May 2017 as we present: WILD ON WILD at RUPERT ON RUPERT – This communal feast will look to the raw and wild elements of fire, smoke, salt and the sea. Join our Chief Brewer & Founder Costa & our Brand Ambassador Will Macdonald, as they take you through 5 of our specially selected beers, matched exquisitely with 5 culinary Rupert on Rupert courses. Designed to delight! Get your tickets here
UPTOWN FUNK Feat L’Artisan Cheese and MIXED by BOILERMAKER HOUSE: Be some of the select crew that make it to UPTOWN FUNK, and join us as we delve into the secrets of our funk-tastic yeast and bacteria strains of a specially selected range of our beers, paired to malt whisky and La Sirène farmhouse ale washed cheeses, lovingly prepared by L’Artisan Cheese. Only for those that can stand the FUNK…get on down and secure your spot here
We lose our religion with the BEER DIVA & WILD SOUR FRUIT as they present a heavenly match of BEER CHEESE and OPERA @ ST PAUL’s CATHEDRAL – Wednesday 17th May
Witness live opera performance led by the internationally renowned Liane Keegan, Carlos E. Bárcenas Ramírez, Shauntai Batzke and celebrated concert pianist Stefan Cassomenos fused with an exclusive selection of exceptional wild & sour ales courtesy of us at La Sirène & 3 Ravens along with one-off handcrafted cheeses from Stone & Crow Cheese Co, all set beneath the stained glass windows of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne. To experience heaven on earth get your tickets here
LAST BUT NOT LEAST! See you all at @GABSFESTIVAL 2017
19th – 21st May 2017 – WE ARE BACK with a @gabsfestival stand in 2017, keen to serve & chat to you all & to pour our 2017 entry Espresso Sour (a dark Farmhouse Espresso Sour Ale) (plus a few others). Our presence at GABS is always one of sincere opportunity to say thanks for all your support over the years and thanks for choosing us in your Melbourne’s TOP TEN People’s Choice at GABSFESTIVAL for the last 3 consecutive years! (2014 – #1 Praline, 2015 – #10 Bebe Rouge, 2016 – #5 BIERE HENRI) Get your tickets to GABS here