St Henry is to be the last of the Saint series of Wildflower fruited beers for 2019. In devastating news for the beer lovers who can only experience joy through vertical tastings, 2019 is unfortunately substantially different to 2018. For starters, it’s a completely different fruit.
A hailstorm in late 2018 destroyed the apricots at the Thornbrook Orchard in Orange and partially damaged a good proportion of peaches. So, in keeping with the Wildflower ethos of sustainability, 400kg of otherwise unsellable white peaches were ripped asunder, the pits removed and the delicious flesh macerated in some older barrels of Gold.
Here’s a cheeky little aside for readers, too: peaches were first cultivated in northern China up to 8,000 years ago and spread via the Silk Road to the Middle East and Europe. The English word for peach is derived from the French word for peach, which itself came from the Roman word for peach where it was known as a Persian apple despite quite evidently originating in China. What a bloody palaver, no wonder they were destroyed by barbarians.
Want more? Tough, you're getting some. Peaches and nectarines are actually the same species, nectarines have just been engineered to have no fuzz and absolutely no chill. Nectarines are basically the cops of the fruit world. Peaches transition from hard and mealy, to ripe and succulent and finally to almost completely decomposed in around 12 seconds. Most people will trudge through life without ever encountering that perfect window of ripeness. Fortunately for them, beer is an excellent medium for fruit preservation.
In this writer’s opinion, peaches are the fruit most perfectly suited to the unique mix of funky, dry acidity of the Wildflower beers. There’s something about the juicy peach compounds that just slots in perfectly with the vinous, citric tang of Gold. St Henry is almost like Gold that’s been elevated to another level. The peaches are absolutely front and centre throughout, but it’s just such a perfect fit you could almost forget they’re there.
- Australian Wild Ale with Peaches