Collaboration seems to be key for brewers creating new release brews for this year’s Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) in Melbourne in May.
The largest craft beer event of its kind, GABS is expected to attract more than 10,000 people to the Royal Exhibition Building this year – with brewers from across Australasia, and the world, creating one-off new release brews for the event.
There are expected to be up to 100 new release brews at the event – up from 60 last year.
This year a number of brewers are partnering to create unique brews – including renowned international brewers partnering with locals, while locals lend a hand to home-brewers, allowing them to create commercial brews for the first time – which are then showcased to thousands at GABS.
Victoria’s Moon Dog Brewing is partnering with Norwegian experimentalists Nogne Ø to create what Moon Dog founder Josh Uljans says will be a sour cherry wine fermented and moved into French oak barrels and then incorporated into a dark wheat ale – something neither have done before.
Nogne Ø founder and head brewer Kjetil Jikiun says the collaboration is one he is very much looking forward to.
“I love global interactions and this is one more step in bringing brewers together worldwide. Our brew will be quite innovative both with regards to ingredients and techniques.”
Josh says they will use a few hundred kilograms of cherries and the result will be a beer quite high in alcohol content – of around 9 – 10 percent.
“We are quite like minded in what we do and in our experimentation and interest and also in pushing boundaries, so this will be no exception.”
He says GABS provides the perfect platform to release something creative and experimental.
“Quite often brewers can be a bit constrained in terms of the beers they can produce and this is a wonderful opportunity to throw that aside and do what they want and experiment and push the boundaries of what people perceive beer to be.”
Kiwi brewers Yeastie Boys who last year took out the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for their tea infused ‘Gunnamatta’ India Pale Ale, are back this year with a collaborative brew.
They will be creating a Barleywine style Ale called ‘Papsø Under the Southern Cross’ using Southern Hemisphere ingredients.
The beer will be a commemorative brew also released in Denmark at the same time called ‘Papsø Under the Northern Cross’ – made using Northern Hemisphere ingredients.
Winners of the 2012 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) – Champion Large Australian Brewery and Champion Small Australian Brewery are also joining forces this year to produce a limited edition collaborative beer.
Feral Brewing’s Brendan Varis from WA and Richard Watkins of Wig and Pen Brewery and Tavern from ACT are creating a completely new style of beer which they are calling a ‘Free Range Ale’ called Pig Pen, which will be on tap as one of the speciality beers at GABS.
Meanwhile, a 15-year dream is about to come to fruition for Sydneysider and passionate home-brewer Michael Wallace, recently named Australian Amateur Brewing Champion, thanks to Young Henry’s head brewer Richard Adamson who will turn his brew into a commercial reality.
Wallace, who is an engineer by day, says his brew will be a black German ale – a style not commercially available here.
Adamson will also be creating his own brew for the event – a Kombucha beer – made from sweet tea and fermented with a SCOBY – symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.
Victoria’s home-brewing champion Dereck Hales is to see his signature brew – an American Pale Ale – turned into a commercial reality too, with the help of one of the smallest breweries in the world Red Duck Brewery in Ballarat.
Red Duck’s head brewer Scott Wilson-Browne, who is supporting Dereck in his quest, will also release a brew – Orange Mosaic – a single hopped Belgian Wit, with orange added three ways.
Scott says it’s likely Dereck’s brew will end up having a life of its own too.
“By releasing it at GABS it provides an unprecedented audience and this means that we will be able to keg the brew, and after GABS it will likely appear at specialist bars – giving it a much longer life span than if it wasn’t featured to thousands of craft beer enthusiasts.”
Some of the unique brews that will be available at Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular 2013 include:
Honey IPA made with Beechworth Honey and locally grown hops
By: Bridge Road Brewers – VIC
Called: Hop to it Honey
Oak Aged American Stout with orange zest and espresso
BY: Thirsty Crow & William Bull Brewery – NSW
Called: Charlie’s Pitbull
A robust Brown Ale as a base, with an extra hit of chocolate from Cacao nibs supplied by Margaret River based chocolate maker Bahen & Co with the use of a German wheat yeast to create the chocolate-banana lolly like flavour
By: The Monk Brewery & Kitchen and Eagle Bay Brewing Co – WA
Called: Cacao Cabana
Belgian Dubbel infused with cold pressed Columbian coffee beans
By: Van Dieman Brewing- TAS
Called: Dubbel Shot
Chocolate and Golden Naked Oat Breakfast Pilsner
By: The Australian Brewery – NSW
Called: Frühstück rur dem Kaiser (Breakfast for the Kaiser)
Trusty pale ale derived from additions of fresh Japanese daidai fruit and
accentuated by hopping with four citrus-
laden hop varieties.
By: Baird Brewing Company – Japan
Called: Daidai Pale Ale
A light and refreshing Summer Saison gently infused with Chinese Jasmine Green Tea, Lemongrass and Japanese Sorachi Ace Hops for a zesty and crisp citrus finish.
By: Wayward Brewing Company – NSW
Spicy Czech Pilsner infused with raspberries, chocolate & vanilla.
By: Bacchus Brewing Co – QLD
Called: Bacchus White Chocolate Raspberry Pils
An IPA made with peaches
By: Golden Bear Brewing – NZ
Called: I Peach A
German malt, US hops, New Zealand beetroot and a saison yeast.
BY: Yeastie Boys – NZ
Called: Golden Age of Bloodshed
GABS runs from 24 – 26 May at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton, Melbourne.
For more information and updates, visit the GABS website.