A day after New Zealand’s largest brewery, DB Breweries, demonstrated it holds itself apart from the international community of brewers by defending its trademark of a beer style owned by all beer drinkers, three of New Zealand’s smaller brewers have shown the real fellowship of brewers.
Blenheim-based 8 Wired and Renaissance Brewing companies have teamed up with Wellington’s Yeastie Boys to conjure up ‘Rescue Red Ale’ – a hoppy funky amber ale – dedicated to all of the volunteers who helped out after the devastating Christchurch earthquake and Queensland floods earlier this year.
This three-way collaboration between New Zealand’s hottest beer makers has landed on our shores and aims to boost Christchurch’s ravaged craft brewing community through the New Zealand Brewer’s Guild Earthquake Fund and those affected by the devastating QLD floods via the Premiers Flood Relief Fund. The resulting beer was released in the same week as brewing giant Lion Nathan announced they would not rebuild their Christchurch brewing facilities.
The collaboration idea was first discussed by the three breweries after September’s 7.1 magnitude Christchurch earthquake, and then rediscussed after the January Queensland floods, but it was the devastating aftershock of February 22 that finally pushed the idea into reality.
The collaboration aspect emphasizes the brotherhood that exists between NZ craft brewers. The input and generosity around Rescue Red Ale stretched well beyond the three breweries who got together to produce the beer: Malt was donated by Gladfield Malt and Cryer Malt, New Zealand’s two main craft beer malt suppliers, with all of the hops courtesy of NZ Hops Ltd. Documentary photographer Jed Soane, of www.thebeerproject.com, captured the brew on film. There is even a little bit of earthquake ravaged Christchurch itself in the mix, with a special tap badge designed by Deflux – a beer-loving design company whose inner city office was hit particularly hard by the February earthquake. All three breweries sell beer across the Tasman via Innspire in Brisbane, so a pallet of one–way “Eco Kegs” was donated by Ampi Plastics of Australia.
Stu from the Yeastie Boys said the beer was a real collaboration.
“Soren and I discussed the recipe briefly via email – ending up with the concept of a hoppy yet sessionable red ale, with a French Saison yeast that both Soren and myself had been playing with in trials (read: homebreweries). Over a beer or two on Thursday night, and possibly a whisky, we huddled around Soren’s tiny laptop to finalise our ideas in Promash. Two pale malts (mostly Gladfield, with a little Malteurop) and a cacophony of specialties in the form of CaraBelge, CaraMunich II, CaraAroma and Carafa Special III would make up the grist. Hopped mildly (for hop monster Soren!) with Styrian and Pacifica in the boil and a big load of Styrian flowers in the hopback,” Stu said.
The Breweries put out a request for input into the naming of the brew and some of the suggested names via Facebook and Twitter from the day include: Saison D’etre, Saismic Activity, Sais’mograph, Sais’ of Relief, Buvez Beaucoup Saison Rouge, St Agatha, The French Collaborator, Menage a Trois, Red Rescue Ale, Liquid Fraction, Bag of Suck, Une Saison Rouge Croises, Recovery Red, Earthquake, Blood Red Heroes, Rogue Croix, Rouge Hop, Saissy Red, De Secours Rouge Saison, Plan Quake, Formidable Marinade… and the odd incredibly long, unpronounceable French name.
Venues who have purchased kegs so far so have generously donated to the Queensland Premiers Appeal:
Archive Beer Boutique – Brisbane
Warners at the Bay (Growler fills) – Newcastle
The Wheatsheaf – Adelaide
The Earl of Leichester – Adelaide
The Norfolk Hotel – Fremantle
The Local Taphouse – Sydney
The Local Taphouse – Melbourne
The Local Taphouse – The Local Bottleshop and Provisions (Growler fill) – Melbourne
Keg Size : 30lt One Way “Eco Keg”
Aus Kegs Available : 16
Innspire Cost : $180.00 (including excise and shipping)
Wholesale Price : $350.00 (+GST and shipping)
Total Donation : $170.00 per keg
$2720.00 to Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Fund