Green Gully Brewing, the tiny farmhouse operation on Phillip Island, have put out a couple of beers that bring familiarity in two very different ways. In the case of SMASH – their Single Malt And Single Hop farmhouse ale – the familiarity will be for fans of Luke Smith's beers: alongside Aussie malt and Nectaron hops from NZ is his house yeast culture.
It feels like this potent hop variety has met its match in the farmhouse yeast too as it not only contributes to the fullness of body and head but, more than that, adds a floral spiciness – a little nettle, a little hay – that infuses the stonefruit and young pineapple characteristics from the Nectaron, while drying things out to the point you'd describe the finish as quenching.
The familiarity with XPA comes about as it's Green Gully's first "clean" release; in other words, a beer brewed with a more traditional brewer's yeast than the funky, Bretty culture Green Gully have been evolving on their land. The beer took shape while Luke was off on a family holiday in Europe, immersing himself in as much traditional beer culture as possible while handing the reins for this brew to someone more accustomed to brewing such "domesticated" beers, as Luke calls them: Chris Martin from Five' 3" Brewing.
It came about as a response to all the times the Green Gully founder has been asked: "Do you make a pale ale?" while hawking his more esoteric wares. His answer is this golden XPA featuring Galaxy and Eclipse hops. Aromas are of the floral (orange blossom) and tropical kind and it's lean of texture. Where it differs from most XPAs is in the finish: bitterness is punchy for the style and builds as the can empties.
Published October 16, 2023 2023-10-16 00:00:00