Shirazzaweiss, the seasonal release from Beerfarm and LS Merchants that coincides with the South West grape harvesting season, is a hotly anticipated blend of beer, wine and mateship that's been given a third release in 2020. After an outstanding sophomore version that captivated drinkers in 2019, this year’s drop had dizzying heights to live up to. Not a brewery to shy away from a challenge, Shirazzaweiss v3 was born and, somehow, is bigger and better than the last.
Revisions start with an increased 6.0 percent ABV and a new look smaller can, while in this iteration fruit was sourced from Dawson Creek vineyard and added in abundance to a lip-puckering Berliner Weisse base that is cut with a little bit of residual sweetness. A vibrant, purple pour is more akin to the sort of healthy, breakfast beverage far removed from the joys of drinking craft beer, though it’s that same colour that represents the sheer volume of shiraz grapes utilised in this beer's construction. A careful balance is key to the success of this beer, with an equal contribution from the minds behind LS Merchants and Beerfarm yielding a rich sour ale that offers sweet, sour, fruitiness and a long, refreshingly dry finish. Though identifying as a beer, strong grape derived characters are present and the co-fermentation of malt and grape juice creates vibrancy and complexity that could not otherwise exist.
Shirazzaweise looks to be developing a cult following of sorts, and rightly so. A celebration of its home, the Margaret River Region; a melting pot of craft brewers and impassioned wine makers, who on occasion see the merit of blending their respective trades and creating something that is remarkably unique and understandably limited.
Of a similar ilk is their collab with Tallboy & Moose. Bubblina is a light-bodied Berliner Weisse that has been boosted by the addition of semillon and sauvignon blanc grapes, skins and all, sourced from vineyards in neighbouring Yallingup. A wild ferment brings substantial funk, while a dry hop addition of Mosaic subtly boosts tropical and stonefruit aromatics.
Bubblina is a sharp, white sour with low bitterness and a tight, effervescent body. Vibrant stone and tropical fruits pour out of the glass and the tingling carbonation lifts acidic and slightly tannic white grape flavours. Some grassiness and funk round out a dry finish, cleverly disguising any sign of the 6.2 percent ABV it boasts.
Bubblina is a beer that could be labelled a hybrid but, if we were comparing beers to cars here, it would more likely be classed as a raucous, white-hot super car.
- Grape Berliner Weisse
- 6.0% & 6.2%
- 9 IBU