Joining BentSpoke’s well-loved core range, limited release Drifters, and the boundary-pushing Bending Spoke releases is a new series – and an old beer. Budding Cells looks to pay tribute to barrel-aged and mixed culture beers by giving them a chance to shine under their own banner. It’s a fitting name and series too, given the Canberra brewery has a history with utilising barrels that goes back further than most indie breweries have been in existence.
The Flanders red ale named Flemm, for instance, was first brewed a decade and a half ago during Richard Watkins' time as head brewer at the now-shut Wig & Pen. The beer’s named after a farmer Rich and BentSpoke co-founder Tracy Margrain met while in Belgium, and has regularly been brewed since, first appearing in cans in 2020 as part of the brewery’s Bending Spoke series.
Given that history, Flemm kind of feels like the only beer that ever could lead the charge for this new (budding, if you will) series. The Belgian-inspired ale is a blend of three different beers: one-year-old and two-year-old brews that have been on oak, plus some fresh liquid that aims to balance the acidity and bacteria from the ageing process. It’s a fittingly complex beer, with elements of cola coming through first before giving way to plum, raisin and toffee malt richness. It’s certainly not a sweet beer, though, with Flemm’s sprightly carbonation, acetic notes and funk all cutting through that sweetness with a short and sharp slap which makes it impressively drinkable.
Published July 28, 2021 2021-07-28 00:00:00