Corn, coconut and coriander some of creative ingredients to feature in brews at craft beer festival
Corn, cranberries, Columbian coffee beans, coriander, coconut, chocolate and cherries are some of the ingredients featuring in new release brews which will be showcased at Australia’s largest craft beer event of its kind – the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular this year.
The three-day event, held at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne in May (24 – 26), will feature up to 100 new release brews from brewers across Australasia – and around the world.
While only in its second year, some 12,000 people are expected at the event, which includes live entertainment, gourmet food stands, educational sessions and a beer market with beer and industry related exhibitors selling brews.
Organisers Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone, of the award-winning venues, the Local Taphouse, say breweries put a lot of time and effort into creating their concepts.
In the case of a collaborative brew by NSW based Thirsty Crow and William Bull breweries – Thirsty Crow Head Brewer Craig Wealands says they grated the zest of 30kg of oranges at the brewery for their Oak Aged American Stout with orange zest and espresso.
Coffee is a popular ingredient this year with Victorian based Mornington Peninsula Brewery creating a brew including coffee from local coffee roasters Common Folk, while Tasmanian brewer Van Dieman Brewing is creating a Belgian Dubbel infused with cold pressed Columbian coffee beans aptly named ‘Dubbel Shot’.
Chocolate is also not surprisingly featured in some of the brews, but in ways you may not expect, with The Australian Brewery from Sydney creating a German breakfast beer combining golden naked oats and chocolate, while Bacchus Brewing in Queensland has created a white chocolate and raspberry Pilsner creating what brewer Ross Kenrick says is “a nice refreshing and slightly tart finish” to the beer.
Steve Jeffares says GABS provides a platform where brewers can all brew something new or be very creative and do something completely different to what they would normally create on a day-to-day basis.
“Last year we had watermelon and even rose petal infused beers, and they sometimes end up becoming a permanent fixture. For Kiwi brewery, Yeastie Boys, their Earl Grey tea infused India Pale Ale ended up taking out the People’s Choice Award, and proved so popular they started exporting it to Australia.”
Yeastie Boys are also back again this year with a brew incorporating New Zealand beetroot called Golden Age of Bloodshed.
Some of the country’s most renowned female brewers have come up with innovative brews too including Sam Fuss from Old Salt Brewing in Victoria who has made a Tropical Orange coconut porter called ‘Like a Sunrise’; while a trip to the US inspired the Two Birds Brewing duo Danielle Allen and Jayne Lewis, also from Victoria, to create a brew called ‘Taco’ incorporating hoppy wheat beer with corn, coriander leaf and lime.
Peaches, oranges and hibiscus flowers are some of the other ingredients featured this year – and with as many as 150 brews in total to try, there’s no shortage of choice.