Brendan Varis from Feral Brewing in working on a beer that might have something to do with oak barrels.
What beer are you making for GABS?
It’s still a bit up in the air to be honest. What we know is that we have been playing around with different toast rates on new oak barrels and their effect on beer flavour. We have a toast that lends real high mocha type flavor to finished beer which we really enjoy. The current thinking is a dark strongish ale with primary ferment carried out in the new oak barrels with the hopping rates being the subject of a vigorous discussion amongst the brewing team at the moment
Does it have a name yet?
Nope. Happy to take on board suggestions from anybody if they send them my way.
Where did the inspiration come from?
Recent work we have been doing on assessing toasting rates in barrels has really been the driver for this beer.
How much effort goes into designing a beer for GABS?
No more or less than any beer we release. The thing is we probably would have made it anyway but GABS provided an occasion to release it and a line in the sand in relation to when we got it done by. Our previous two GABS beers, Karma Citra and Watermelon Warhead, are now part of our permanent draught beer line-up and we except the same to be the case for this beer.
Does GABS give you the chance to go a bit crazy and try something you might not normally brew?
No more than usual. Crazy isn’t really our thing anyway!
Does the Spectapular bring out a competitive streak?
Nope. The competition is the night before GABS at the AIBA. We see GABS as more of a celebration of good fresh craft beer.
Explanation for the unaware: GABS is Great Australasian Beer Spectapular, a beer festival in Melbourne, Australia, from May 24-26 this year where brewers make a beer they’ve never made before and bring it along so the punters can try it. Cool, huh?