Melbourne-based brewpub, Bad Shepherd, has teamed with Voyager Craft Malt to create its latest beer, SMASH India Pale Ale.
The single malt and single hop (SMASH) beer will showcase the now iconic Australian-developed Galaxy hop, coupled with Voyager’s Schooner malt, which has also been used by brewers including Sydney’s Batch.
In recent years we have seen changing consumer tastes begin to dictate what products brewers are delivering which, slowly but surely, influences commercial decisions made by raw material suppliers.
Galaxy was a mere code numbered experimental hop before Cascade put it in the spotlight under a mid-2000’s incarnation of their First Harvest beer. Plenty of other now-common verities have followed a similar path.
In a beer world dominated by big, brash hop character, it’s nice to see malt politely taking centre stage. The Schooner malt is an established malt that has not been heavily used in recent times due to having lower yields than other varieties. It does, however, have a unique aroma and amazing flavour profile that appealed to Bad Shepherd’s Dereck Hales.
“It didn’t take a lot of research to work out that Voyager were a good fit to work with for the Schooner malt to go into our SMASH beer,” Hales told Australian Brews News.
“They’re a small producer, focused on providing great quality, unique grains and they do it with the aim of helping craft breweries continue to do new and better things with beer.
“The idea of bringing back an old malt from a single-source supplier is exciting to be part of,” he said.
Voyager co-founder Stuart Whytcross said craft breweries are beginning to influence grain farming practices, as they have done with hops.
“When craft breweries decide to push the envelope like this, it provides a reason to continue production of these types of grains. They may not be commercial currently, but initiatives like this mean they will be,” he told Australian Brews News.
SMASH is being released as part of Bad Shepherd’s Brew Crew series, where the brewing is handed over to the wider team.
This time, the brewing is being done by Bad Shepherd sales manager Scott Thompson, with the beer to be packaged and sold under the SMASH IPA name.