Jade Flavell and her Wheaty Brewing Corps are always pushing boundaries, never satisfied and always looking to improve. In 2023, this process of constant evolution is all about their new toys: there's a new canning line and, with it, perhaps the most exciting new piece of equipment to enter the Thebarton brewhouse, a foeder. Flown in from America, they view it as both a blank canvas and a new challenge.
Heralding the oak vessels arrival are not one but three beers, with the foeder’s toasty oak character featuring heavily throughout, but each time integrating in a different way.
In the Strawberry Saison, fresh Adelaide Hills strawberries were added to a saison malt base along with local operation Ferveo’s French saison yeast. The foeder’s oak character does the heavy lifting on nose, combining with a little almond, macadamia nut and classical French saison yeast esters. The script is flipped flavour wise, as the sweet strawberry chimes in, melding beautifully with the dusty oak to create a strawberries and cream vibe. As it warms, a touch of tartness hits the back palate before finishing bone dry, leaving you with a delicate beer that has just enough funk, just enough oak, and just enough strawberry.
Munich Dunkel is a keg-only release in which Cologne, Vienna, Munich 11 and Carafa 111 malts lead the charge in a beer that launches with a load of rich chocolate, woody oak and a little nuttiness on the nose, segueing into dominant chocolate flavours alongside a subtle touch of roast and smoke, and a little cherry. A clean yeast profile aids drinkability, as any upfront sweetness soon dries out on the back palate.
Which brings us to my standout pick of the debut trio: the Belgian-Style Dubbel which was the very first beer to utilise the foeder’s services. This is an impressive beer, right from your first sighting of the clear gorgeous red and maroon hue. There is the same dusty oak on the nose, this time in tandem with Belgium yeast esters, a touch of cherry and dried currants. The sticky sweetness lays a bed for more dried fruit to weave in well with the oak and the Belgian Abbaye yeast. It is sticky, velvety and luscious, ending with just a touch of warmth courtesy of the 7.2 percent ABV.
A fine welcome to the world of Wheaty foeder beers.
Published May 2, 2023 2023-05-02 00:00:00