We are excited to announce that the series of Bright Side beers will be available online and for take-away/collection at our cellar door from 12pm (Sydney time) on Friday 7 May 2021.
Bright Side is a series of five collaborative Australian Wild Ales made with smoke tainted grapes.
When Bryan Martin of Ravensworth Wines realised his vines were smoke tainted from the 2020 bushfires, he concocted a plan ‘B’ with Topher Boehm of Wildflower Brewing & Blending to turn the unwanted grapes into a series of blended beers. A series expressing the 2020 harvest through five unique beers, using Wildflower Gold as a base, married with Ravensworth grape varietals.
We embarked on this journey for a number or reasons… firsty, I hate waste and I love giving grown produce a 2nd or 3rd life. These beers are an extension of that, adding value to a crop that is seen by an entire industry as useless, trash. Second to experiment further with smoky fruit in order to make educated inferences in years to come (I mean we can’t expect this not to happen again). Third to challenge ideas on worth – what is worthy of being used and what is wasted, and lastly to help Ravensworth recover a portion of the cost of the 2020 harvest- this is a separate label for us both and something we undertake 50/50. We are looking forward to being out and about having conversations about the project and taking an optimistic approach on the harvest, indeed the year that was, 2020.
The Bright Side beers are two friend’s attempt to view the world with a glass half-full. Share in our optimism.
Behind the beers
These five beers are the marriage of Bryan’s hand harvested, carbonic macerated, whole bunch wine grapes with Topher’s freshly fermented ‘Gold’, a beer made with regenerative organic grains and mixed-culture fermented with a collection of native microflora foraged from native flowers in NSW.
Late 2019-Early 2020
Persistent smoke from both nearby and surprisingly distant bushfires begin to pass through the Canberra District wineries, threatening crops.
2 February 2020
Over dinner, Bryan shares the recent news to Topher that his grapes are too highly affected by smoke to make any wine from the estate and the two hatch a plan to see the fruit not go to waste.
March 10-12 2020
Wildflower brews fresh wort in Sydney and starts fermentation before heading down the M5 to pick the whole Ravensworth vineyard with Bryan. Whole bunch grapes are added to neutral stainless steel vessels for a three week carbonic maceration to begin their own fermentation on skins.
1 April 2020
Young fermented Wild Ale travels to Ravensworth and is blended in with each of the vessels containing fruit. The two are left together for eight months for maceration and higher level fermentation development.
Topher travels back down to Canberra to separate the fruit from beer and create each blend with Bryan. The blends come back to Sydney for bottling and maturation.
After 4+ full months of bottle conditioning and maceration, the results of this project are finally ready to be shared.
Bright Side: Shiraz
Tasting notes: Whole bunch character on the nose, pepper and spice. Plump fleshy palate, ripe red fruits, mild stalk, leathery savouriness, textures are good despite being compact.
Bright Side: Gamay
Tasting notes: Full weighty nose, ripe red fruits, raspberry and strawberry aromas with a touch of cured meats. Compact shorter palate, fruit sweetness, raspberry/blackberry flavours.
Bright Side: Riesling
Tasting notes: Lovely bright nose, citrus pops, herb garden (provance), minerality, mild smoke. Flavours of lemon soda, chalky minerality and earthy spice.
Bright Side: Viognier
Tasting notes: Roses, cherry, red brambly fruits on the nose. Woody and spicy, more red fruits on the palate, plum and grape. Closing bitterness. Mild smoke.
Bright Side: Sangiovese
Tasting notes: White pepper aromas, smoked citrus (orange), applewood. Pear and stonefruit on the palate, skinsy phenolics, moreish palate good acidity. A gin aromatic and flavour carries across.