To close out 2019 with a bang, the Wheaty Brewing Crew invited long-time friend and collaborator Ben Kraus from Bridge Road Brewers into their house to play with something fruity and sour one more. The fruit of choice this time around was Swan Reach Apricots, with South Australian Bridge Road sales rep Dave lending a hand to pit and slice 40kgs of fresh fruit for the fermenter. The fruit sour saison was then dry-hopped with Aussie HPA-016 and US Amarillo for added stone fruit characters, while the Wheaty’s house culture, The Menace, was introduced to impart a splattering of funk and freshness.
Deep yellow in colour, the fruits adds a thick cloudiness to the beer. Quite obviously, the stone fruit shines, as the apricot dances in between citrus fruit aromas of juicy mandarin, orange and a hint of yeasty funk. The fruit alerts the tongue with the apricot doing the heavy lifting upfront before a decent sourness comes through on the back palate. Mandarin citrus, apricot and sourness combine to create a juicy, zingy sherbet like flavour before Apricot's Hour finishes quite dry.
Nobody loves a pun more than Jade from The Wheaty and she has outdone herself here with the Blank Czech Pilsener. Sticking pretty much to a traditional recipe, using Pilsener, Vienna, Carapils, Munich and Acidulated malts to create a clean body with a little breadiness, upon which Czech noble hop Saaz does the bittering work. The traditional Budvar White Labs Czech Budejovice Lager yeast chewed up the sugars during ferment before Blank was set to rest for an eight-week lagering.
Pouring a strikingly transparent straw colour, there's nothing off style. You'll pick up bready malt characters, some herbal hop aromas, and a few light, fruity esters on the nose, while bready malts carry a medium hoppy Saaz spice, a prominent bitterness and a super clean, crisp and dry finish on the palate. It's like being transported to the heart of the Czech Republic without leaving the comfort of the Wheatsheaf Hotel.