Without A Paddle was Nomad Brewing’s beer for GABS 2016.
I enjoyed it during the festival but with just a taster it was hard to get the full experience of the beer. Thankfully the Brookvale based brewery has released it in a limited bottle run. But you’ll have to be quick.
The first thing to note with this kriek is the colour. Krieks are some of the most beautiful looking beers and this doesn’t disappoint. It’s a deep cherry red bordering on a gorgeous purple. It’s bold and enticing.
The beer was initially fermented using a yeast re-pitched from another sour beer. It’s also worth noting that the colour comes from a massive 300kg of cherries that went into the beer.
These cherries created a secondary fermentation, with the natural yeasts and bacteria on the cherry skins doing their work on the already fermented beer. This is exciting stuff for beer geeks.
If you haven’t heard of secondary fermentation, it’s worth reading up on as it’s interesting from a beer lover’s point of view as well as a purely scientific perspective. Even more so when the bacteria and yeast is naturally occurring on fruit.
Modern Australian Interpretation Of Kriek
There’s not much of a head on this beer but you wouldn’t really expect it from this style. It’s no issue in a beer like this and the same can be said for the lack of discernible hop character. There are Melba hops in this brew but it’s definitely a fruity beer with most of the character coming from not just the cherries but the yeast and bacteria.
The aroma from Without A Paddle promises a touch of tartness. There’s a cutting sourness on the nose.
At 5.8% there’s a decent amount of alcohol in this beer. I normally like this style a bit lower but this drinks well under its ABV.
At GABS it was a nice refreshing palate cleanser between all the rich, sweet dessert beers and crazily bitter IPAs.
Drinking it from the bottle you really notice the assertive sourness. It’s super tart and cuts across the palate. There’s a mild cherry flavour which isn’t quite as strong as many Belgian krieks you can pick up in Sydney from the likes of Oak Barrel and Beer Cartel (if you haven’t tried these, give them a go).
It’s restrained in its fruity flavour and has a fruit cordial aspect to it. It’s a very easy drinking and refreshing beer.
Given all these characteristics, it could be said that Nomad have created a modern Australian interpretation of this classic style, one that’s particularly suited to a festival like GABS.
The tartness would wipe away any spicy or greasy food from your palate but because of the cherry flavour I’d recommend it with a delicious, rich chocolate mud cake or maybe a Black Forest gateaux.
From: Brookvale, NSW
Beer style: Kriek
Pair with: Black Forest gateaux
Did you try Nomad Without A Paddle at GABS? Or have you picked up a bottle? Leave a comment and share your thoughts on the beer.