Wildflower Brewing & Blending feels like something of a turning point for beer in Sydney. This Gold is just the start.
It pours a beautiful golden colour as befits the name. The bottle conditioning has worked perfectly for the carbonation. There’s an effervescent white head that settles to a very thin layer across the mellow-yellow liquid, made ever so slightly cloudy by the yeast within the beer.
Wildflower Gold is best served at cellar temperature, between 8 and 12 degrees. If you don’t have a cellar, any cool, dark space would work. Otherwise keep it standing in the fridge and take it out a short while before you intend to enjoy it, like you might do with a bottle of wine.
There’s a gentle funk on the nose but it’s not overtly barnyard-like or horse blankety. Instead there are grassy aromas and an impression of organic matter. The native wild yeasts have made a delicate mark on this beer.
You’ll notice the acidity is mild at first but comes through more, albeit softly, as you sip. The natural souring bacteria has taken the liquid to a perfect pH level. Combined with the complexity of yeast-driven flavours it creates a tartness which is multi-dimensional.
The prevailing flavours of Wildflower Gold are ones of freshly zested lemons, cracked peppercorns and dried grass. Under this sits a rounded grist and subtle sweetness.
Australian Wild Ale
While I could wax lyrical about the qualities of this Gold blend and of the importance of provenance, perhaps the greatest compliment I can pay to this beer is that it stands up to a number of historic and benchmark beers.
You can probably tell that I’ve avoided words like farmhouse, saison, lambic and gueuze and for good reason. However, Gold does possess the same subtle complexity of flavours found in many Belgian and French styles. It will evoke fond memories in the minds of drinkers who have experienced such beers.
That said this beer is somewhat removed from those historic styles. While it owes much to the heritage and lineage of farmhouse-made beers, it’s a style in its own right, an Australian wild ale, made in the inner city, and should be credited as such.
You’ll see denoted on the bottle which of the ingredients are native to New South Wales. This is important for this beer, as part of Wildflower’s overall ethos, and for Australian beer as a whole. It elevates the concept of provenance within our collective beer-drinking consciousness.
Provenance is something that deserves consideration and should be appreciated when it comes to enjoying beer. This beverage we love is a living thing and it’s important that the life that goes into the beer is local, for the flavour and character of the beer and for the sustainability of the industry as a whole.
Perfect With Quality Local Food
Finally, Gold delivers a bone dry finish. It strips moisture from the tongue encouraging sip after sip, making for a moreish drinking experience. Thankfully, at an approachable 5% ABV, there are no concerns about sharing a bottle of this over a meal or even on its own.
It has to be said though, that beers from Wildflower naturally lend themselves to pairing with food. This would go wonderfully with a platter of soft cheese or a salad of lightly grilled mackerel and white wine vinaigrette.
Australian wild ales are a style that are quite new but encapsulate a long history of brewing and blending.
It’s an exciting development in Australian beer, particularly here in Sydney. It’s well worth watching this space for future blends, each of which will be subtly different.
From: Marrickville, NSW
Beer style: Australian Wild Ale
Pair with: A platter of soft New South Wales cheese with pickled, locally grown seasonal vegetables
I’ve gone on somewhat about this beer but I’m interested in what you have to say. Have you tried this first blend of Wildflower Gold? Leave a comment and share your experience of it.