First they Zusammengehörigkeitsgefühl, then they Freundschaftsbezeugung and now it’s time to Zusammenarbeiten. Are you confused? Burnley Brewing’s Oktoberfest packs have returned, with each pack of 16 filled with eight different beers. The idea was developed during the height of one of Melbourne’s many lockdowns with the first box name being German for the “feeling of togetherness", the second referring to “demonstrations of friendship” and this one meaning ‘working together’. As the name alludes, for 2023 Burnley have enlisted a bunch of their mates to brew to the Reinheitsgebot with them while each can depicts a different part of Germany (and Burnley’s spirit animal, Harry) and teaching you about the style's source.
In total, Zusammenarbeiten includes six different collaborations but let’s start things off with the two works that are pure Burnley. Märzen (5.2%) is Oktoberfest’s best known historic style and this one pours deep amber and provides malt-led notes of sweet biscuit, fresh-baked bread and soft spiced notes with a bitter finish. Schwarzbier (5.0%) meanwhile, takes things darker, with the lager providing smooth dark chocolate notes, roasted characters and a big bitterness.
Kicking off the collabs is a Leipziger Gose (4.5%) brewed with Sailors Grave, which has the Gippsland brewery’s figurative fingerprints all over it. It immediately brings quite an intense wave of sour lemon lollies and as that fades, the saltiness sinks in and is joined by a perfumey, herbal side. Fellow saison travellers Sobremesa’s time with Burnley saw them brew them the kind of of beer you might not assocaite with them, a Dortmunder Export Lager ( 5.5%). The golden yellow lager brings a wave dry crackers which is followed by a floral bouquet, slight earthiness and building bitterness that makes for a more-ish and balanced beer.
Having run an entire beer festival devoted to smoked beer, Mountain Culture’s input should be too much of a surprise. Rauch Weizen (5.4%) is largely a classic wheat beer with a textural mouthfeel, high carbonation and yeast-derived qualities of clove and banana but its point of difference is a light wave of smoke akin to a lightly smouldering campfire. Kristall Weizen (5.0%) saw Burnley catch up with Range Brewing and while they might be known for brewing cloudy juice bombs, here they take the clearer approach to beer’s original hazy style. Like the previous beer, there’s plenty of banana and clove on the nose that carries through on the palate before being joined by soft citrus.
Bohemian Pilsner (5.1%) saw Seeker travel down south to make a beer that’s all about Saaz, Saaz and more Saaz. Drink it in and you’ll find a herbal spice, earthiness and subtle notes of freshly-baked pretzel and a building bitterness. Finally, Dunkel (5.2%) brought in Adelaide’s Shapeshifter for a lager with layers of burnt sugar and molasses while remaining effortlessly clean, crisp and easy-drinking.
Unfortunately, the cases are sold out via Burnley but the individual beers are still available from the brewery and elsewhere. Plus you can call into the brewery for their Oktoberfest celebrations to enjoy them on tap.
Published September 26, 2023 2023-09-26 00:00:00