Thursday, December 13, 2012

Uncle Beef's Baby Beer (not made with real babies, or to be drunk by babies)


Congratulations to my brother and sister in law on the birth of their first baby, born on Tuesday (11th December, also my dad's birthday). Welcome to the world baby Thomas!

Seeing another package of potential has been given it's chance at life, and with it allowing me to become an uncle for the first time (about time I had something to celebrate after recounting the many things Stass has had over the years in my last post), I thought it appropriate to take a bottle of a beer Miro brought back from Germany for me into Goat to share with him and the crew. What makes it appropriate is the label has a picture of a baby sitting in a beer stein...Berliner Kindl Weisse.

Having kept it at the back of my fridge since Miro gave it to me, at least I had done all I could to make sure it was in the best nick for tasting, and even though I only had this beer on tap at Slowbeer a couple of weeks back, I have to say it tasted better from the bottle. Maybe it was the hot day that was made to feel even hotter after a day's work in the brewery, but for all that is going on in this beer, it is quite refreshing.

At only 3%, this could simply be a throw down beer, which would probably be the case for a beer with this little alcohol made in Australia. Still, even looking at the label, it seems this style has little respect even in Germany, as it is shown mostly blended with syrups, which for me would only ruin the refreshing character this beer has and put out of whack the balance of flavours already evident in the original version.

You can even smell the carbonation as the citrus zest pops in your nose, with enough sourness for the uninitiated to realise they are not drinking the standard beer this looks like in the glass. As soon at it hits your tongue, the spritzy wheat beer feel envelopes and a minerally lemon/lime character takes over the front palate, before the sourness/tartness feels like it hits quite strong on the midpalate (probably helped again by the carbonation) but then completely dissipates at the back leaving your tongue clean and fresh, ready for another sip. I actually had to stop myself drinking this too quickly, to make sure I let it warm up a bit. But really, apart from some additional wheat character coming to the front palate, this beer feels like it has more flavour when it is chilled and the carbonation is at its highest. I therefore rank it a bit similarly to the Faro, with a spritzy feel, fruity character, but offset with the tart/sourness, and like the low alcohol Faro, a beer that is loosing its footing in the world of beer as other styles dominate over it. Still, as always, am happy to have just had the chance to try this beer, and hope the sour wheat style continues just to keep the diversity beer has.

I don't know what you were doing at 12:12pm on the 12/12/2012, but I know I was kegging brew #2012 at Goat. No, I did not fill only 12 kegs, but at least 96 is a derivative of 12.

I suppose I should also mention that today is my birthday, and while I have to share it with my sister, at least I was born 5 minutes before her so I am not the youngest in the family...I guess that is taken by Thomas now he is two days old. As for today, it happens to be Goat's chrissy party, so don't have to work, and get to celebrate the day with my fellow Goaters. We even made sure the pub we will be celebrating at has a keg of our Skipping Girl Summer Ale, which is tasting pretty good this year. The Nelson Sauvin hop is a bit stronger than I remember it tasting last year, but the very late addition of Motueka hop really rounds it out nicely. At 4.6%, will be good at having a session of this arvo.

It is still funny to think that 2 years ago I had just made the decision to pursue a beer career, and so took the family into Goat to celebrate our 30th and dad's 60th, and looking over to the brewery wondered what it would be like working in there. Now a year after being a permanent member of the Goat family, I do know what it is like, and appreciate the opportunity I have had to find out.

Feels like a Phoenix 'Party Time' kind of day...