It may have taken a little while for this style to really take off in Australia, but once the new wave of brewers began to add traditional wheat beer styles to their regular offerings, the public response was both positive and immediate. Where once Matilda Bay had the segment of the market to themselves with the classic Redback and Weihenstephan lay lonely on retail shelves, there are now more examples than you can shake a mash paddle at.
Moo Brew, originally nestled within the Ether building at Moorilla Estate/MONA but now in a purpose built production brewery nearby, has won plenty of fans and critical acclaim for their take on the hefeweizen. Hefe was a beer style that really opened my eyes and palate to what beer could be and an enduring memory involves the Moo Brew Hefeweizen.
On my first visit I met then-brewer Stuart Ritchie (now at Toobarac H&B) who showed me around, chatted frankly about his love for the style and then sent me on my way with a handful of ‘straight-from-the-line’ hefes. As we were leaving for Melbourne early the next day, those beer took pride of place at the lunch and dinner tables that day as well as the breakfast table the following morning. I cannot tell you how fresh and invigorating and soul-enriching those beers were.
But enough of my opinion.
“Moo Brew pays homage to the classic Bavarian wheat beer, by offering a textural, boutique Hefeweizen. True to style, Hefeweizen is naturally cloudy with a vibrant yellow colour and strong foam head. The flavour and aroma is based on yeast-derived banana and clove. The Hefeweizen should have a creamy, rich mousse, reminiscent of vintage Champagne. Flavour match with washed rind cheeses, or South American, South and East Indian cuisine. Challenge with dessert pairings.”
James Smith over at The Crafty Pint says;
“A full-bodied take on the style, Moo’s Hefe pours a deeply cloudy, glowing yellow with a foamy head and boasts plenty of banana and spicy clove aromas with a hint of vanilla. Big on taste, with a refreshing tartness underpinning the banana and zesty citrus flavours and a dry finish.”
Kirrily Waldhorn on Beer Style;
“There are days however when 13°C (we are in Australia after all!) demands a glint of light, a glimmer of hope…. “a little ray of sunshine on a cloudy day”. And if the sun isn’t going to warm us with its rays and the winter love fest feelings are waning, it’s time to reach for the cheery Moo Brew Hefeweizen (for the non-Germans amongst us: HEH-feh-vite-zehn). It’s sunshine in a glass and can only but make you feel good. The hefe (yeast in German) provides touches of ripe banana and hints of warming clove whilst the weizen (wheat in German) creates a silky mouthfeel and lasting foam in the beer. A refreshing little number that is perfectly suited to summer and is a welcome interruption to winter. A divine intervention, some might even say… well, I do anyway.”
Mason Hellcat’s blog waxes lyrical over the distinctive piccolo bottle and label artwork;
“This is yet another of Moo Brew’s brews served in a very cool bottle. Here’s what I’ve said a couple of times before on the subject of the bottle: ‘Amazing. Not only is this one of the coolest shaped beer bottles I have ever seen, the label just reeks of absolute class and sophistication with a genuinely fun spirit….Moo Brew have created a label and bottle design that not only looks cool, and holds beautifully, but is one that you’d be proud to hold.
On the Hefeweizen Moo Brew once again bring us an artwork from artist John Kelly. This one is called ‘Setting Sun’ (2005). It depicts a dark, thick rimmed circle portrayed against a backdrop of dark storm clouds and a dark landscape. A kangaroo on the far left stands on the horizon, gazing up the beauty of the setting sun. It’s alert, watchful, simple. Another artwork put to good use on this label.”
The Moo Brew Hefe has found a regular spot high in the top 100 of The Critics’ Choice with #23, #18 and #28 in the first three editions.
Todd Venning noted back in 2011;
“A quiet, unassuming offspring from a German family tree, this beer is very approachable. Moo Brew has managed to capture all the delicious banana, clove and bubblegum flavours that characterise this style. The sublime nature of this ale should appeal to everyone, especially if you’ve started on your craft beer journey.”
Matt Kirkegaard added some food pairing suggestions in 2013;
“This cloudy German hefeweizen is perfect for the Australian climate. Rounded on the palate with spritzy carbonation and gentle bitterness but delightful aroma and flavour, it is as satisfying as it is refreshing.what’s more, it pairs with a range of foods such as pan-seared scallops, goat’s cheese pork belly or weisswurst.”
Moo Brew Hefeweizen collected a Gold medal earlier this year at the AIBAs as well as the Exponet Trophy for Best Wheat Beer.
Fun Fact! MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art was opened in January 2011 by David Walsh as a way of making himself feel less guilty for making millions as a professional gambler.