Wed 7th August 6-8pm Wheaty (AEST), Hashigo Zake 5-10pm (NZST)
Yeastie Stu: “Brewing (and staying) with Al and Rose over the last two Good Beer Wheaty weekends has been a real pleasure. Al is maker of very fine beers and is probably one of the most underrated brewers I have come across - in many ways he's underrated more by himself than by anyone else. Last year we brewed "Bruce", a bitter named for Al and Rose's bulldog, and to me it was an absolutely perfect example of what collaboration (or spooning, as we call it) is all about. These crazy Yeastie Boys were coming to town and it was his chance to do something he'd always wanted and to blame us if it went horribly wrong ;-). We worked on a recipe via email for quite some time, before settling on Bruce, and it was one of the highlights of my last few years when Al asked if we were happy with him making it a permanent beer in his range. It makes me feel like there is always a little bit of us at Lobethal and The Wheaty.”
“This year Al threw the ball back into our court and asked what we'd like to do... Jade at The Wheaty had already suggested a Russian Caravan Imperial Stout, which would go beautifully with my black "heading dog" Wendy, to round out the doggy pair of beers. But Wendy seems a little more delicate than a Russian Imperial Stout, so we settled on a Belgian-style Strong Porter with Russian Caravan tea-leaves*. It was great to be back with Al and to notice how - as good as they were last year - his beers had improved in the 12 months between our visits. They'd rounded out in some way and developed more depth of flavour. A perfect example of a brewer changing and learning from every beer he makes, striving for perfection, in small increments rather than trying change the world in one fell swoop.”
“As to what Wendy will be, only time will tell, and I will not be trying it until about the same time you all are. We're lucky enough to be tasting the beer courtesy of Dominic Kelly of Hashigo Zake, Wellington's cult beer bar, who joined us at Lobethal on brewday. Hopefully she'll be like our dog Wendy: sweet and delicate, yet far more robust than you'd think on first impression, and pretty lean and dry (nobody wants a wet dog in their beer!). Somewhere between a porter and an abbey dubbel, with a little tea leaf twist…”
Or, as Lobethal Al puts it, “Wendy is a challenging, somewhat complicated brew with an almost tropical fruit aroma, some caramel and treacle flavours and a dry, tart, hoppy bitter finish…More in the series? I truly hope so. And Rosie and I have already purchased another bulldog (this time a little lady named L+++) - just in case!”
Wendy (6.5% ABV):
- Grist bill - Trad Ale, Carafa Special 1 & 3, Carared and Carapils.
- Hops - Pacific Jade for bittering (no relation) Citra & Cascade later in the boil.
- Other - Russian Caravan Tea
- Yeast - Belgium Strong.
As per long standing Wheaty tradition, we’ll be pouring Wendy three ways; regular Tap, through the Glasshopper and ‘soft-serve’ from the Handpump.
On for as long as she lasts!
* Not being quite as delicate, Jade will push on and brew Russian Caravan – once The Wheaty kit is fully operational…