Peter Philip from Wayward Brewing is making a delicious-sounding French saison with an Asian twist.
What beer are you making for GABS? Does it have a name yet?
I am doing a jasmine tea and lemongrass-infused French saison for GABS which I am thinking of calling ‘‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Jasmine’’. (The name has since been confirmed as Saizen – Ed)
Where did the inspiration come from?
The inspiration came from wanting to brew a beer that appealed to both beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers. I’m always trying to turn people into craft-beer converts and have found that those who enjoy a nice fruity white wine are some of the most difficult to convert because they don’t really like the hoppier nature of many craft beers. A light summer saison is fundamentally a pretty fruity and refreshing beer so the infusion of jasmine green tea gives it a delicate floral aroma that compliments the saison character nicely and the lemongrass delivers a unique citrus kick. Interestingly the green tea lends a bit of dryness without the same effect of bittering hops (although CTHJ is still hopped lightly).
How much effort goes into designing a beer for GABS?
I’ve been working on a brew like this for a couple of years and was planning on releasing this commercially next summer, but GABS has given me a good excuse to bring those plans forward. I’ll probably just do one batch for GABS and bring the full production out next spring.
Does GABS give you the chance to go a bit crazy and try something you might not normally brew?
GABS is going to have some amazing beers from Australia’s best brewers, so I thought I really need to do something special and different to stand out from the crowd. I know a lot of brewers (including me) love brewing (and drinking) massively strong or highly hopped beers but I decided that going the other direction with a lightly hopped session beer (4.2 per cent) might just stand out from the crowd.
Does the spectapular bring out a competitive streak?
I think brewers are all pretty competitive by nature, but are also very generous at heaping praise on other brewers that brew great and interesting beers. For me, I get stoked just hearing that someone loves drinking my beer which I really hope will happen at GABS!
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?