How to Craft the Country’s Best Pilsner: A Bluestone Yeast and Kaiju! Beer Love Story

In Melbourne’s thriving craft beer community, Kaiju! Beer founders Callum and Nat Reeves have been busy carving a reputation for creating some of the country’s best hops-driven ales. Known for their audacious, flavour-packed brews, Kaiju!’s story started with a bang when their Aftermath Double IPA caused a statewide shortage of Simcoe hops. This spirited beginning set the tone for a brewery that’s not just about crafting beer, but creating legends.

Despite making an early splash with hop-forward ales, Nat’s first love has always been Pilsner. His inquisitive nature led him on a quest to Germany to uncover the secrets of the classic Pilsner. Although this might seem like a departure from the brewery’s big and bold hop-forward focus, it’s not as Kaiju has always been focussed first and foremost on quality and excellence. It’s these values and the need to source the best quality ingredients that led Kaiju! To the door (or more accurately) laboratory steps of Bluestone Yeast. Nat, Callum and the team from EXIT Brewery were the first brewers to ever stop by our lab. They loved what they saw and became some of our first foundational customers.

Owing to this long relationship, it was no surprise that upon returning from his three-month trip to Germany, Nat should turn up at our lab with his prized Pilsner yeast and request we help biobank and cultivate it for him.

His thirst to create the perfect lager for Australia was actually inspired by the crispness of an unfiltered Pilsner Urquell. On his quest to create the perfect lager Nat travelled through Germany under the mentorship of Eric Toft at Schönramer Pils. During this time, Nat discovered that the secret to an exceptional lager lay in the yeast.

Since his trip, Kaiju! has introduced two new characters to its lineup: Cerveza Crisp Lager and Koldsplif, Draught, which just won a trophy for Australia’s Best Pilsner. These brews are a pivot from Kaiju’s typical hop-forward IPAs, to a lighter, crisp lager style, perfectly suited to the Australian climate and laid-back lifestyle.

Cerveza Crisp Lager is crafted with pale and maize malts and the sparing use of Magnum hops, creating a beer that’s light on hops but full on flavour. It’s designed to be the go-to beer for any occasion, embodying the essence of simplicity and drinkability.

The creation of these new lagers underscores the importance of collaboration in the craft beer industry. Kaiju! was able to deliver two unique new offerings, thanks to the help of brewers and yeast providers both at home and abroad. It’s testament to the goodwill among beer lovers where flavour, experimentation and passion takes priority over profit.

Winter is here!

Colder weather definitely sends out in search of darker beers. This weekend, we went for one last time to enjoy the wonderful selection of beers crafted by Mitch and his team up at Newstead!

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