When Old Meets New

When Old Meets New

May 2nd, 2012 by Crafty Pint

One is the world’s oldest existing brewery, a place of legend that has created beers that are the very definition of their style. It is known by drinkers in every corner of the globe and in its thousand years has only ever made one beer with another brewery. The other opened its doors to the public for the first time on December 18.

Even in a climate that has seen some unexpected collaborations, the coming together of Weihenstephan’s head brewer Frank Peifer and the team at Temple Brewery & Brasserie takes some beating. Yet Friday sees the unveiling of the Unifikator, a weizenbock (strong wheat beer) brewed by the two earlier this year when Frank was in Melbourne. It’s quite a coup for Temple’s owners Ron and Renata Feruglio who, prior to opening their venue in East Brunswick (above) late last year, had been operating as gypsy brewers on other brewery’s systems around Victoria.

“Initially we struck up a relationship with Marcus Englet from Weihenstephan at the Infinium launch in Melbourne where we discussed our plans and ambitions and invited him to our brewery that had not yet been built,” says Renata. “Now that our distribution is with Phoenix Beers, the importers of Weihenstephan, the concept of an actual collaboration was raised and we jumped at the opportunity.”

Apparently the decision making process went a little like this:

Phoenix: “Would you be interested in a collaboration with the head brewer from Weihenstephan?”

Renata: “Let me think about it [and without taking a breath] YES!”

Ron: “ .” In other words, speechless.

“Naturally we wanted it to be a wheat beer,” says Renata. “Frank and Ron both independently suggested a weizenbock and from then the emails flowed thick and fast with technical details as well as ideas. Frank was very excited about introducing various forms of rye, as well as the more intimate experience of brewing on a smaller scale.”

Frank was also able to impart invaluable advice to his hosts, which is launched over two days this weekend. The beer will be tapped at midday on Friday, when a special dish will be added to the menu in its honour. Chef Raymond Chang has created a traditional German Schweinhaxe, a slow roasted pork hock (cooked in the weizenbock, caraway seeds and garlic brine before being roasted until the skin is perfectly crisp). It comes served with rotkohl (braised red cabbage and apple) and heiss kartoffle salat (a warm potato and bacon salad).

As for the beer, the brewery tells us it’s “ruby brown in colour, seven per cent ABV and wonderfully complex with a seductive aroma of dark fruit that blends beautifully with light banana esters and spicy phenolics, courtesy of Weihenstephan’s iconic yeast strain. We used premium German wheat and Munich malts to provide rich melanoidin and bready malt flavours, but the judicious use of both malted and chocolate rye adds a spicy dryness to the palate, with gently warming alcohol balancing the finish. Extended cold maturing has provided a smooth and distinctive mouth feel. But more importantly the beer embodies the unifying of the old and new world of brewing and lives up to its name – UNIFIKATOR.”

Sounds rather tempting, no? If you can’t make it to Temple, kegs will be heading to selected venues late next week with individually numbered bottles following shortly after. And if that’s not enough Temple-related new beer action, don’t forget the launch of The People’s Pint takes place there for Good Beer Week on May 14. Full details of the beer plus the lineup for the night can be found here. Tickets are on sale here.

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