The basis of the recipe is the same as the 2011 hedgerow brew, six UK malts, German brewers gold, UK Bramling Cross and Slovenian Bobek hops are used as aroma and for dry hopping. Hawthorn berries, sloe berries and rose hips were then added to the conditioning tank and the beer was allowed to sit for a 12 weeks on this mix, developing the subtle fruit flavours.
A further portion of the beer was aged in two, local vineyard, Moores Hill pinot barrels for a period of 16 weeks, with it being brought back into the main hedgerow beer and racked off. It was then conditioned for 6 months before release.
The beer pours an off-white head laced with a subtle berry aroma. There are certainly some aromatic French oak qualities coming out on the nose, as well as a few spicy notes. The initial sip is quite sour and sharp, but as you work through the beer a ripe sweetness begins to develop and reflects the original hedgerow beer exhibiting a toasty malt character underlies the subtle seasonal fruit flavour. Hints of peppery spice result in a semi soft and dry palate finish of this autumn ale, the barrel aged element brings that funky edge to the beer as well as the imparted tartness.
A style very rarely seen in Australia.
A keg or two of the 2012 release will make its way to the Courthouse Hotel, North Melbourne for Pint Of Origin as part of Good Beer Week 2012
The Crafty Pints' take on the beer here