The first of Sailors Grave's seasonal farmhouse ales for 2019 has snuck out of the Orbost brewery just in time to still be seasonally appropriate. The quartet of annual releases typically operate upon a saison-esque base from which the team launches into a flight of fancy armed with fruits, flowers, weeds and whatever they can get their hands on in Gippsland.
In this case, at play are lees from Lightfoot & Sons Chardonnay, strawberries and rhubarb "from Joe's garden" and foraged fennel pollen added in the fermenter. On first whiff, you might believe you've got a beerified spin on a summer berry dessert in your hands, with floral aromas and sweet berry perfume leading the way. But it doesn't take long for the fennel powder – a notoriously intense spice – to gatecrash the party and take control of the stereo, adding its liquorice-like stamp and a drying quality to proceedings.
- Spiced Farmhouse Ale