If you're a member of our beer club, The Crafty Cabal, there's a good chance you'll have not only tasted this beer but also know everything there is to know about it following its debut as part of our second Virtua-Cabal event with Rocky Ridge. If not, you'll likely appreciate a little background.
First brewed in 2018 as a collaboration between the Busselton brewers, Crafty contributor Guy Southern – AKA Goodtimes Craft Beer, and deVine Cellars, it's a chardonnay barrel-aged saison that spent several months in oak with Brettanomyces and Lambicus yeast strains before conditioning a further ten months in bottle. It also features rye malt as part of the grain bill, as well as poppy seeds, both a nod from Guy to his daughters Riley and Poppy. This little touch is in keeping with the intention to create a beer that "pairs well with long lunches, charcuterie boards and warm laughter."
Seven of the ten barrels filled with the base beer made the cut for blending, with experience suggesting this is a lively pour, so make sure yours is well chilled before opening. At 8 percent ABV and with that element of rye plus time in oak as factors, deVine Goodtimes is pretty full of mouthfeel, with a creaminess to its honey, bready sweetness and soft lemony vibes. Yeast-derived funk and a little peppery spice are there too, albeit subtle rather than dominant, in a beer with a festive feel that warrants splurging on some decent cheese (Reypenaer's aged gouda works wonders, according to Guy; I can confirm my wedge didn't last the evening...).
NB: Crafty Cabal members can get free shipping on orders from Rocky Ridge's online store until Oct 27 – you'll find the code within the Virtua-Cabal event listing in your member's area.