The last one-off batch for Young Henrys in 2013 is a suitably festive affair. But warming winter ales and Christmas spices be damned; it's Australia, it's 40 degrees and it's the time of year when fresh produce seems at its most abundant - perfect fodder for a collaborative brew. As tends to be the case with Young Henrys one-off beers, there's a story. This one involves the Young Henrys Sales Manager's wife's friend's family's cherry orchard. The husband of one of the said family members also happens to be a regular visitor to the brewery, thereby vicariously instigating the idea of using the family's cherries in a brew and completing this circuitous tale. So the real key to both this somewhat convoluted family affair and the beer is the Lavender Hill Cherry Orchard which is based, quite appropriately, in Young, NSW. In early December, they delivered a batch of fresh cherries to the Newtown brewery - 400 kilograms worth. Having already brewed a Belgian ale as a base, the beer was racked on top of the cherries which kicked off a secondary fermentation which gives us the beer we now have. So what's it's like? Well, if you pick this beer up seeking a sweet cherry flavour, you won't find it because this is a sour beer - quite a sour beer actually. So much so that if you're not a regular drinker of sour styles, you'll probably be slightly taken aback. But whatever you do, don't stop sipping. Once you've recalibrated, you'll be able to appreciate the beer for what it is and what it's meant to be: dry, tart and absolutely cherrific.
Published December 20, 2013 2013-12-20 00:00:00