Slow Lane Grain of Salt Peach & Guava & Classic Haze Nelson Sauvin

Style
Fruited Gose & Hoppy Hef
ABV
3.5% & 7.0%

Slow Lane are well established as one of the very best purveyors of traditional old world beers, but in recent years they’ve been making a really good fist of blending the old and new. With these releases, they’ve gone and taken a couple of German classics and zhuzhed them up to the nines.

The Botany brewer’s fruited Berliner weisses are up there with the best and most interesting in the country, so now they’ve turned their attention to giving their gose the same treatment. As is their want, Slow Lane’s low ABV sours are not kettle soured, quickly brewed bits of whimsy. Grain of Salt Peach & Guava is a fully mixed culture ferment laced with salt, coriander and what appears to be healthy whacks of fruit.

It pours almost exactly like breakfast juice with absolutely no head to speak of and a tinge of pink blush. First impressions are of saltbush, tropical stonefruit and lacto sourness. Full disclosure: I drank this about an hour after exercising in the late summer swamp that is Brisbane and it was a genuine struggle to actually write notes in between gulps. It’s fruit forward with a mildly tart juicyness and a robust saline finish that demands another swig. The fruit starts like sour peach lollies but with that funky Brett and lacto fermentation profile, is more complex as you go. It’s clean, quaffable and one of the more flat out delicious fruited sours I can remember having.

Next up on the runway for a thorough makeover is the humble hefeweizen. For this modern Frankenstein’s monster, Slow Lane have taken their Classic Haze hef and hopped it to buggery with Kiwi Nelson Sauvin.

Hefeweizen are themselves already relatively polarising beers thanks primarily to the unique yeast character that provides a distinct profile of esters and phenols on the nose and rich bready malts. It’s such an interesting choice to pair that with another polarising and distinctive ingredient like Nelson Sauvin.

Classic Haze Nelson Sauvin is a lovely looking beer, with an opaque golden hue and huge rocky head. Now this is where it gets weird: there’s fruity esters and spice but I’m also detecting something a bit like a breakfast cereal with indeterminate dried fruits and grain, and something like a creamy chardonnay? The first sip is equally mysterious! A bracing bitter punch is followed with more chardonnay, wheat malt, lychees, vanilla and warming clovey spice. The finish is bitter and clean but I still had to sit with this for a while. It’s good to drink but absolutely perplexing to describe.

Judd Owen

Published March 1, 2024

Name
Slow Lane Brewing
Address

30 Byrnes Street
Botany
NSW 2019

Phone
(02) 9121 6279
Open Hours

Friday: 5pm to 9pm
Saturday: midday to 9pm
Sunday: midday to 7pm

Lallemand May 2024 B
Obsidian 2024

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