GABS Brewer 2104: Peter Philip from Wayward Brewing in Sydney
What beer are you making for GABS?
Smoked Cacao Sour Cherry Dopplebock (8.5 per cent ABV target).
Does it have a name yet?
Where did the inspiration come from?
I knew that I wanted to make something big and rich this year – last year’s Saizen was a Jasmine green-tea infused saison – a real summer session beer at 4.2 per cent that somehow just didn’t fit with the cold Melbourne winter weather! I’ve been thinking about doing a beer with cacao nibs for a while now and thought that this was the perfect opportunity to let loose and do something a bit out there (hence the name).
The inspiration for this beer was a fantastic smoked black forest tart that I had about a year ago at Vinery Foods in Annandale. It had smoked dark chocolate and just the right amount of sour cherries to balance the dish – it was rich, smooth and not at all sweet and knew then that I wanted to recreate that in a glass.
The cacao is obviously a big part of the beer and I plan to smoke the nibs just enough to give a hint of wood that will go great with a nice strong and malty dopplebock foundation. The cacao along with the sour cherries will balance the sweetness, hopefully without being overwhelming and I plan to age on oak to lend a subtle vanilla note. Both of these will be added in the secondary fermenter during a long lagering process – I’m expecting the beer will be in the tanks for at least a month then cold maturing for another two months.
I’m also thinking of turning half of the batch into an eisbock version – probably would come out at 12 per cent and if that works it will be my 2015 vintage of Devil’s Advocate.
Do you think it’ll be a one-off or are you considering adding it to the range after GABS?
It will be a one-off for now – the cacao and sour cherries cost a fortune!
What do you think of the concept of GABS?
GABS is a huge commitment in terms of time and money but I wouldn’t give up the opportunity to participate for the world – it gives brewers the opportunity to break loose and to push the limits of beer while having fun and demonstrating their creativity and skill.
In terms of the weekend itself, I’m not sure who gets more excited about getting the GABS beer guide – the brewers or the fans (I think the brewers). I also love the direct feedback from the real craft beer fans who definitely let you know whether they love it or hate it (hopefully more of the former!).
The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular (aka GABS) is on in Melbourne on May 23-25, 2014.