New Zealand brewers Yeastie Boys have a habit of linking brewing and music, naming some of their beers after songs that inspired them. This week we look into seven of those beers and the songs they took their name from. And Yeastie Boy Stu McKinlay graciously supplies an explanation of how he came to link the beer to the song.
So let’s begin with what is perhaps Yeastie Boys most popular beer.
Gunnamatta leads off Ways & Means, a double album from iconic Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly. Released as a single the summer of 2004, it’s a surf-tinged instrumental named after the beach of the same name in Victoria. It’s a beach Kelly says is “one of my favourite Victorian surf beaches”.
The song very much calls to mind another surf-tinged instrumental from another iconic Australian act – Midnight Oil with their Wedding Cake Island. Unlike a great many of other songs released by Kelly, he didn’t write this one on his own. The band who played on the Ways & Means album – later to be credited as The Boon Companions co-wrote the track. For the record, that band was made up of Kelly’s nephew Dan Kelly, Bill McDonald and brothers Dan and Peter Luscombe.
Gunnamatta was a Yeastie Boys creation for the 2012 edition of the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular. It went down rather well with the punters, winning the People’s Choice award at the festival. It’s tagged a tea leaf IPA because it uses Earl Grey blue flower tea instead of hops, adding them near the end of fermentation in the same way as hops.
McKinlay, a tea drinker, has said the inspiration came from being fed up with chocolate and coffee beers and wanting to push tea into the spotlight. It’s a very tasty beer and certainly doesn’t want for any hop presence. And, in case you were wondering, it doesn’t taste anything like cold tea.
The reason, from Yeastie Boys’ Stu McKinlay:
Gunnamatta was brewed for the inaugural Great Australasian Beer Spectapular and was lucky enough to pick up the People’s Choice Award. It’s now gone on to become our biggest selling beer in all markets.
When I was thinking up ideas for the festive beer, and was well into the tea trials, I listened to a lot of Australian music in the hope that I could tie in an Australian theme for the beer. Paul Kelly’s Gunnamatta came on one day and the opening sample of surf breaking had me reminiscing of surf trip in my teens and early twenties… hanging with friends, beers, cooking on open fires, and plenty of cups of billy tea. Need I say more?
I should point out that I couldn’t surf to save myself but I do make a great cup of tea.
Categories: Yeastie Boys Mix Tape