As well as professional brewers, there’s also a spot at the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular reserved for the reigning Australian champion of homebrewing. they get that title by winning the Australian Amateur Brewing Championships, held as part of the Australian National Homebrewing Conference.
This year’s Homebrew King is Sydneysider Michael Wallace and he got the chance to brew a GABS beer at Young Henrys in Sydney. So here’s the details on his GABS plans.
What beer are you making for GABS?
A black German-style ale.
Does it have a name yet?
Not yet. I’m not a big fan of crazy/contrived naming conventions, so would be perfectly happy to just call it a Schwartz Ale. That should hopefully tell people enough- that it’s black, German-style, and an ale! If I had to pick something though, it would be 3X3 Schwartz Ale, as at this stage the recipe has three malts and three hops, though the plan to use three yeasts has fallen by the wayside! That’s probably a good thing.
Where did the inspiration come from?
Drinkability. This will be the sort of beer that I would like to drink myself- full flavoured and rewarding, yet something that you’d be able to have quite a few of without getting ‘‘palate fatigue’’, or full and bloated like you might with a true porter or stout.
How much effort goes into designing a beer for GABS?
I put a lot of effort into it! As a home-brewer, the chance to make a commercial-size batch doesn’t come along every day. I always do a large amount of research before coming up with a beer plan, so this was no different.
Does GABS give you the chance to go a bit crazy and try something you might not normally brew?
Young Henry’s Brewery at Newtown was good enough to offer their brewery and skills to brew the beer of my choice, and I decided to brew a beer that would not only be appreciated by the GABS festivalgoers, but also something that would be a desirable addition to the Young Henry’s range of beers available at that time of year.
I already make more than enough crazy brews at home, many of which I would never try to subject other people to, let alone try and sell at a beer festival!
Does the spectapular bring out a competitive streak?
Not really. As long as I’m 100 per cent happy with the beer I’m able to present at GABS, then I’m not at all concerned with what any other brewer brings along! I’m VERY much looking forward to tasting all their beers though.
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?