A Rye Smile

A Rye Smile

April 24, 2012 by Crafty Pint

Australia’s first ever People’s Pint has been brewed! The beer made its way through the brewhouse at Temple Brewery & Brasserie yesterday ready for release during Good Beer Week. It means we can finally reveal what form the Double Hoptendre conjured by the competition winner Leo Hede will take. And it also means that we’re able to reveal that the spirit of giving in which The People’s Pint was conceived still has a lot more to give…

The launch of the beer will also be the formal launch of a new scholarship that will see one young Aussie brewer sent overseas to work at one of the world’s leading international craft breweries for two weeks – all expenses paid. You’ll have to wait until Good Beer Week to find out which overseas brewery is involved – and submissions for the scholarship will not open until the festival is finished – but we can confirm that Temple, in conjunction with Good Beer Week, plans to make this an annual affair.

“This is a chance for us to give something back to the industry,” says Renata Feruglio, who founded Temple with husband and brewer Ron. “Brewing is a really hard gig but everyone along the way has been very supportive.”

When The People’s Pint was being planned by The Crafty Pint and Good Beer Week, we were keen that it would not be a profit-making exercise, hence the idea for a scholarship. As soon as we approached Temple to see if they would become the brewers of the beer, they not only loved the idea but got straight back in touch to say they would add in their own money to fund the scholarship.

“We want to help provide the motivation for the pursuit of excellence,” says Ron. “We strive to achieve that here at Temple and we know that it’s really hard – it’s much easier to make something that’s less than excellent. Our intention is that whoever ends up receiving this scholarship will be sufficiently motivated to reach loftier heights in their brewing.”

As for The People’s Pint itself, the Double Hoptendre is a “Double Hopped Rye Red Ale” that is expected to register around 6.2%. Starting from the original description in the competition entry:

“A woman walked into a bar and ordered a Double Hoptendre. So the bartender gave her one… This is a spicy, flamboyantly hopped, cheeky beer, not afraid of making a statement, big flavours but enough subtlety to be acceptable for all occasions; it speaks its mind without offending anyone.”

the beer took shape in a conversation between Leo and Ron. They discussed what Leo had in mind, the characteristics he was seeking and what he was hoping to achieve.

In the end, the “Double” and “Hop” translated into the use of two hops throughout (Styrian Golding and First Gold) plus plans for some hefty “double dry-hopping” with them. Both hops have a spicy as well as floral character too, which accounts in part for the “spicy”, while the fact that a whopping 15kg of them will be used covers off “flamboyantly hopped”. The spiciness is also catered for by the use of rye malt; except there’s not just one rye malt – Ron has used four different varieties, including German and American malted rye and caramel rye. Between them they should help account for the “big flavours”.

Comments online during the voting phase suggested many expected the beer to be an IPA with big pungent hops, so the fact it’s something very different hints at the double meaning element of “Double Hoptendre”. And, in a nod to the fact that this is the beer of the people and many of the people who took part nominated beers inspired by the red of the Australian desert, Ron decided he’d try and make it as red as possible too.

“From the conversation with Leo, it was clear he wanted something spicy and interesting and with its own personality,” says Ron. “So we decided to use rye extensively along with English Maris Otter. The ‘Double’ meant it had to be hoppy and I was keen to stick with my current crusade of staying away from fruit salad hops. Both hops we’re using contribute spiciness and some floral and lemony notes while the redness should make it pretty interesting.”

The beer is launched at Temple on the Monday night of Good Beer Week on a night that features the formal announcement of the scholarship and musical comedy from ElbowSkin too. There has also been interest from a number of great interstate craft beer venues so, all being well, there maybe a coordinated national launch.

“I’m nervous about the beer,” admits Ron, “because it hasn’t gone through my usual pre-production process so it’s something of a live gig! Red beers are always a challenge to get right too as they can easily become brown.”

That said, he tells us: “It should have a dry spiciness, a full mouthfeel from the numerous malts that are in there, while the hops should be distinctive because they are being used in abundance and they are two hops that haven’t been used in a signature context in Australia; they should be quite aromatic but different.”

See you on May 14 to find out if he’s right!

For those for whom The People’s Pint is new, there’s a load of info on the competition website here (apologies if any of it’s out of date now that it’s over!). At The Crafty Pint, we’d like to thank not just Temple for getting involved and offering the scholarship, but also Bintani for providing the rather large amount of grain and hops, Grain & Grape for yeast, Code Create for the website and William Delmont for the logo. In keeping with the spirit of the venture, everyone has supplied their time and goods free of charge. Thanks!

Temple will be extending its opening hours all throughout Good Beer Week, from midday to 11pm all week.

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