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July 11, 2018
Habits

Little Bang releases State Theatre collab Dark Arts

Drawing on the heavy themes of the upcoming State Theatre production, Creditors, Little Bang Brewing Company have collaborated with State Theatre Company for the release of Dark Arts, a theatre appropriate chocolate stout.

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  • Story: Johnny von Einem

Upcoming State Theatre Company production, Creditors, is “a really unsettling and funny and tense piece of work,” marketing content coordinator, Anthony Nocera says.

Remarks

Dark Arts is available for a limited time at Little Bang’s brewery in Stepney.

Head here for tickets to Creditors, running from 20 July to 5 August.

The play, written by Swedish playwright August Strindberg in 1881, deals with notions of ownership and indebtedness in human relationships, and the consequences of such a debt being called due.

It’s heavy source material, presenting State Theatre’s marketing arm with a challenge in creating content around the production to engage theatregoers, while also leaving plenty of mental energy to approach the show itself.

Over a beer, the team pondered how best to convey the dark tragicomedy, and in their pint glasses, found inspiration.

“As they talked about the show and broke down some of its elements, they realised they were rich, complex and stormy… which were descriptors of the beer we were drinking,” Anthony says.

They approached Little Bang Brewing Company, and together designed a custom beer to accompany the show – Dark Arts, a similarly rich chocolate stout.

Little Bang’s take on the Dark Arts label.

“We based it off our coffee stout, and then we sort of augmented it and ended up doing something really new and interesting for us, which was making a cocoa nib tincture, which we’ve never done before,” Little Bang’s Ryan Davidson says.

“There’s a few dessert-y beers out there these days that have a lot of sugar in them… but we really wanted to capture that kind of nice dark chocolate flavour, like when you get a nice block of 70 or 80 per cent cocoa dark, and it’s got a bitterness and a bite to it, and all of that richness without really weighing you down.”

This connection to theatre makes sense for a brewery, Ryan says.

“I think we’re at a stage now where I think beer is actually getting enough respect in the wider community that, like theatre, you can realise that there is an artistry to it and there is such a thing as good beer, just like there’s such a thing as good theatre.

“I’d love to work with them again. Let’s do something for the summer season”

Creditors runs from Friday, 20 July until Sunday, 5 August, but there’s no guarantee Dark Arts will last that long, as much of the batch has already been sold. For those lucky enough to score a glass at the brewery, perhaps prior to or after heading to a State Theatre show, there’s no better accompaniment, says Anthony.

“For me, the best part of going to see a show or any theatre is going out for a beer and chatting with friends about what we just saw and really unpacking it and having a few laughs,” he says.

“There are very few things, even exceptionally good things – like theatre, that can’t be improved with beer.”

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