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SA’s contenders for the Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular – Australian Beer Online
AS is often the case with seminal concepts, mass promotion of an industry’s product can turn the revered into the just plain weird.
That’s the case each year at GABS – or, as it was known in the early days, the Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular – where weirdness is awarded. While the massive festival doesn’t come to SA as yet, our eccentricities in the form of one-off specialty brews are taken to it, in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.
Each year, these beers prove indicative of the creativity on show every day in SA’s 40-odd breweries. Often named in the world’s top 10 brew festivals, GABS this year will accept 170 Festival Beers and Festival Ciders, all purpose made.
Check out SA’s entries, some of which, if successful across the lips of ticketholders, will see iterations filter through to common production:
Barossa Valley Brewing has entered Barrel of Drunken Monkeys, a fortified beer aged for a year in the Valley’s oak, and drawing on the wisdom of local winemakers.
Big Shed Brewing Concern has #63 Thai Green Curry Pale, starting with jasmine rice in the mash tun, later infused with basil, coriander, cumin, chilli, galangal, garlic, lemongrass and lime.
Mismatch Brewing Co proffers Hazed and Confused, a nod to New England-style IPAs but doubled with slamming fruity hops. Its brewer, Ewan Brewerton – who has also just released his brilliant Evil Archie’s Red IPA can (6.66 per cent abv) – says his festival beer is the kind of thing we can expect from the Mismatch Brewery being built alongside Hills Cider Co./Adelaide Hills Distillery/Ashton Valley Fresh near Nairne.
Pikes Beer Company has sent its Double Barrel Black, fermented and aged in port and shiraz barrels for a sour, roasted and citrus/vinous palate.
Pirate Life has designed a Vanilla Malt Thickshake, with plenty of lactose, Munich malt and a heap of vanilla beans for thick, smooth goodness.
And Prancing Pony Brewery has Hunt for the Red Velvet, or a “black forest cake liquor” in the style of a Russian Imperial Stout v a fruity Double IPA.
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