Each year Good Beer Week throws up a neat surprise or two and this year is no exception. Naturally it centres around a much anticipated beer with a back story as rich and soul-rewarding as its malt structure.
The beer is The Beast Tamer, a collaborative brew between the David Neitz-led Brewmanity crew and the good guys at Balter Brewing on the Gold Coast. Before I go any further I must correct a grammatical error in the previous sentence. The Beast Tamer was a collaborative brew. At the official launch of the beer on Sunday, 650 good folk turned up and drank the kegs dry.
The beer was brewed to raise funds and awareness for Motor Neuron Disease (MND), known by those joining the fight to defeat it as ‘The Beast’. Dr Ian Davis shone the first light on this insidious and destructive disease when he teamed with the boys at Cavalier to create Cavalier Courage some three years ago. Today, he shares a link to Balter Brewing through their brand director, Stirling Howland.
David Neitz, former Melbourne Football club champion along with world champion surfers Mick Fanning and Bede Durbridge, were on hand to pour the beer crafted by Mick Jontef and Scott Hargrave while punters listened to the soulful balladry of former Hunters & Collectors frontman, Mark Seymour. And those who cared to listen carefully enough heard the true story behind the beer. If each element of the story on its own were an individual ingredient then beer would be far greater in wealth than the sum of its parts.
From the paddock comes the barley grown by Max Jamieson who recently lost his wife to MND. He just happens to be the neighbour of former Canberra Brewers mate of Scott Hargrave, Stu Whytcross. Stu is a craft maltster (Voyager Craft Malt) in Barellan and Scott was keen to try his product – the link to MND through Max’s wife was as much neat coincidence as it was proof that MND is an ever-growing scourge.
To the pot, and David Neitz, whose old coach, Neale Daniher is fighting MND was inspired to begin his brewing label, Brewmanity, to help spread awareness of worthy charitable causes and to raise much-needed funds. Whether the Mick Jontef-design Beast Tamer at 6.9 per cent and bursting with big, punchy Australian hop bitterness would have been passed around after a hard-fought football win is questionable. It was certainly enjoyed by those lucky enough to be at the launch.
Not only was this beer made with such a deep level of care and concern for fellow man, some terrific tales from paddock to pot and some genuinely artful design and execution of brewing skills, but it now goes one better again. The Beer vs Beast event can now boast (unofficially, but from a senior insider source) the largest attendance for a single session Good Beer Week event EVER.
As if you needed another reason to feel good about a beer that does good for all.
Watch the video below for more on the event.