Gab and Chris Moore at Sailors Grave have collaborated with many people and in may ways over their relatively short existence to date. Yet this project with Bruce Pascoe – which we wrote about here – is one that's particularly close to their heart. While that article goes into more detail about the genesis of and reasons for Dark Emu – the project, the beer is here now too.
The key element is the use of mamadyang ngalluk and burru ngalluk grass seed harvested by Yuin people on the banks of the Wallagaraugh River, which was toasted and added to a dark lager base. What's more, some of the proceeds from sale of the beer will go to support the studies of local Aboriginal students at Orbost, Mallacoota and Eden.
As for the liquid, sent your way in cans adorned with atmospheric artwork by Terry Hayes, it's a dark lager more in the Vienna than schwarzbier mould when it comes to appearance: a hazy copper rather than dark brown. And, for the most part, it's all about the grains – typical and rare – in the mix, with flavours and aromas that take in sweet biscuits and toasted nuts, plus fragrant coffee bean, underpinned by an earthiness and a building, drying bitterness.
You could argue the liquid is of lesser importance than the concept and the goal, yet those who get behind it will find a lager with subtle depth that sits apart from the vast majority of beers on the market today too.
- Dark Lager