We are very excited to announce that Common Ground Spring Ale 2021 will be available online and for take-away/collection from 12pm (Sydney time) on Friday 1 October 2021.
We first met Hannah and Dane in Hobart at Bottletops 2017, geez that was a night... Both of us were quite early days in our respective careers as producers and serendipitously pouring near one another on the night. Benny, myself, Hannah and Dane ended up sitting on the floor of Franklin restaurant sharing stories, forming a relationship (pre kids!) and hatching a plan to work together.
Over the next 18 months we spoke back and forth about what would be a meaningful confluence of our practices that not only displayed what we were both about independently but also melded them, elevated them to something better than the sum of their parts. We settled on an idea of transporting post-macerated, lightly pressed skins of Dane's grapes to Wildflower and introducing an unfermented, uninoculated wort to them in order to allow for the microflora from the grapes to come back to life and commence/continue/complete a fermentation on the beer wort without the addition of our house culture at all.
So these 'Common Ground' beers are genuinely a place where both of our practices meet, uninoculated grapes to make wine, lightly pressed post maceration sent to us in order to recommence that native ferment on wort soaking up the flavour/phenolics left in the grapes and showcase the flavours from the wine microflora. The first rendition of this beer was made in Nov 2018 using the skins from Momento Mori's 2018 Greco, 'Give up the Ghost'. However we didn't have our process honed in at all and that beer turned into a ball of VA/EA mess and still lives in bottles at the brewery today, still all these years later too sour to actually enjoy.
However, we didn't give up, thankfully, and at harvest (March) of 2019 Hannah and Dane sent us the lightly pressed skins from their cornerstone wine 'Staring at the Sun'. With the lessons of 2018 behind us, we introduced sterile wort to these skins (in stages, to get the yeasts/bacterias accustomed to beer sugars) and allowed them to macerate and ferment together in stainless for 8 months before bottling this in November 2019 (not oak as all our oak has traces of our house culture).
Now I know what you might be thinking... 2 years in bottle... why? Well, yeh, an explanation, this beer has always looked good to me... but its not just up to me... this is a collaborative project. Dane has always insisted in ageing the beers I send to him as swaps... and as sure as the sun comes up in the morning, he consistently enjoys our beers with more age on them. So, via both an arduous process to come to a final label design and a desire for these beers to see significant age in bottle pre-release... yes... this is our first release of a project we have three more of in bottle and another mid-ferment at this moment. In other words, in the next month we will bottle the 'Common Ground Spring Ale 2024', to be released in, yeh.... 2024.
This beer, though, is bright as a daisy, heavy tones from the parent wine on the nose with a lifted palate showcasing the fiano/muscato fruit... light acid and clean finish... its a delight to drink and a perfect pair with the sunshine.
Common Ground Spring Ale is bottled in 750ml bottles. We will have 200 bottles available online and 80 at our cellar door with a limit of two per person. We will also be offering a small number of cases to a handful stockists across Australia which you can find here.
Like all our beers, Common Ground Spring Ale is best enjoyed when decanted off a settled natural yeast sediment at cellar temperatures (10-12°C).