A tall order on this Long Black Lager
Burleigh Brewing Co. Black Giraffe Black Coffee Lager
I’ve known Daisy for a while, so I knew the expression on her face as she turned around meant something was up. “What’s wrong?”, I asked?
“It’s run out”, she said.
“What? Daisy, tell me slowly – what’s run out?”
“The keg. Its finished…”
I don’t think I have ever been more gutted but grateful in the exact same moment. Not to mention a hint or irony that made me smile. And to understand, I’m going to have to explain a bit of back story.
I was first introduced to Burleigh Brewing Co. by my mate Chris who got me to drag my backside down for one of their open nights. This was back when the operation was down the road from where it is now, and these evenings were happening, I think, monthly.
It was pretty basic and more about their brewing operations than drinking the wares. But the nights were fun, the food trucks always good and, most importantly, the beer great.
Then Burleigh Brewing moved location – just down the road from their old place in Ern Harley Drive in an industrial estate in the back of Burleigh Heads. I hadn’t been to the brewery since its move, and the Chris said it was time I got down and took a look.
So in May 2016, I did. The new digs were (and still are) a fantastic venue which I drop in to regularly. But that night will be most memorable for the amazing dark beer on tap that combined two of my beverage loves:
Dark Lager and Coffee. Black Giraffe!
Released originally under their “A Bit On The Side Dept.”, Black Giraffe was a partnership between Burleigh Brewing Co. and Gold Coast based coffee franchise, Zaraffa’s Coffee (which is an Arabic word for, you guessed it, giraffe). B.B.Co commissioned Zaraffa’s to source and roast hand-picked Arabica coffee beans especially for the brew.
On that visit, I fell in love with it! So much so that on the way out the door, I stopped at the bar to get two bottles to take home. Unfortunately, they only had one left, and so I left with the last one…
Fast forward to July 2017 and during the week leading up to our visit, my mate Tom got wind that Burleigh Brewing had whipped up a new batch of Black Giraffe which they had pouring from their taps. A Facebook messenger conversation with B.B.Co to confirm the rumours and we locked in a date that weekend. I was looking forward to getting reacquainted with this amazing drop and this time get some notes to post a review here at Darkside of Beer.
My only concern was that the keg would run out before we got there. No worries – a glass was poured and I relished making friends with this wonderful dark beer again. Once again, it did not disappoint!
This Black Coffee Lager (as B.B.Co call it) has the distinctive aroma of coffee, as one would expect, along with hints of chocolate, toffee and the gentle note of yeast.
That first sip for me comes across caramelly and slightly bitter – but that said, my palate tends to pick up the bitter notes first and takes another sip or so to settle down. However, it also holds a delightful mix of those toffee and coffee flavours I smelled with the coffee gently lingering on.
As I suspected (I obviously know my palate well), by that second sip the taste buds had settled down, and the gentle coffee notes washed over the tongue and lingered on just beautifully. Nothing left to do now but get a second glass.
And that’s when the keg went dry. I was grateful to have had that one glass before it finished; gutted that there wouldn’t be a second (that day at least); and remembering it was me who finished off the bottle stock last time I was there gave me that ironic smile.
So if you were hoping to get down to Burleigh Brewing Co and sink a Black Giraffe, I’m afraid you are going to have to keep your eye on their social media feeds or keep watch here at Darkside of Beer to catch news. B.B.Co does have some of this batch in reserve and will tap it when the time is right.
But don’t let that stop you from making a visit to Burleigh Brewing Co. They have plenty of beer styles to choose from in their regular line up, a great vibe at their venue, and other special events as well (check their website for news of their upcoming brewery tours).
In the meantime though, B.B.Co tells me that before the winter season is out, a few more small batch dark beers may just very well be rearing their heads. And my source tells me one of them may very well be that special Macadamia Nut Porter they released a small batch of a month or so back. Watch this space!
The Darkside Brew: Burleigh Brewing Co. Black Giraffe Black Coffee Lager (5.0%)
Brewery: Burleigh Brewing Co., 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Australia, 4220. Web: burleighbrewing.com.au
Darkside Rating: As both a coffee and dark beer lover, I love this drop. On the original bottle, they suggest this would go well with breakfast. I’ve not done so, but I imagine it would be amazing replacing a long black or iced espresso paired with bacon and eggs at a Sunday brunch.
The brewery opens Wednesday and Thursday 3pm-6pm; Friday 3pm-8:30pm; and Sunday 12pm-6pm. They have all their regular line up on tap, with guest appearances from time to time from limited edition brews like Black Giraffe. And of course, you can always take home a carton or fill up a growler of your favourite drop. Mark sure you tell them Mark from DarksideOf.Beer sent you. :)