We are excited to announce that Abby 2020 will be available online and take-away/collection at our cellar door from 12pm (Sydney time) on Friday 5 February.
Abby 2020 is made with Greenwood organic oats, rye and barley, mash filtered through organic barley straw, boiled with organic Ryefield hops and finally macerated on white peaches from Thornbrook after making St Abigail 2020.
This beer started off life quite differently than the majority of our beer. Instead of a grist laden with raw wheat alongside malted barley, the base for Abby takes inspiration from saisons of old preferring a mixture of malted rye and rolled oats. I love the spice that rye brings to a finished beer, and the mouthfeel of oats suits our culture well. However, with >20% of the grist occupied with grains that do not filter easily, we feared a stuck mash was unavoidable. So, taking a page out of an old book, we decided to attempt laying down a straw bed at the bottom of the mash tun in order to aid in filtration. A more modern approach to a potential stuck mash would be to turn to rice hulls which both led extra roughage and impart no flavour. The barley straw came to us from Chris and Sam Greenwood, the same growers outside Coleambally, NSW from whom we source most all our grains for brewing. I was interested in testing both the filtration capacity of the straw as well as if if imparted a flavour in the resultant beer even after boiling. Much to my delight, the straw worked wonderfully and although the mash had a more porridge-like texture, we did not have any troubles lautering.
The organic malted rye and organic rolled oats made up 24% of the grist with the other 76% being malted organic Schooner barley, all grains courtesy of Greenwood Organics and malted by Voyager Craft malt. In the kettle the extracted sugars from these grains were joined with Ryefield organic Saaz hops, aged hops, CZ Saaz and GR Hallertau Blanc and boiled to a total around 40 IBU. The wort was knocked out directly to a 500 L puncheon where it underwent fermentation by our house culture for one month. One month later we transferred it onto the white peaches which were used to make St Abigail 2020 where it rested, soaking up the last bits of flavour from the peaches while completing its fermentation for four months. We packaged Abby on 14 Oct 2020 and allowed it to condition for 16 week before release.
Abby opens with a familiar peachy nose backed by white pepper notes from the rye. The palate is full of creaming soda flavours and texture, a noticeable aged hop flavour across the mid palate and a gentle bitterness at the finish to bring the beer to completion. I really like how this more-saison base interacts with the second use fruit, showing a whole different side to our culture and the fruit-refermentaions than the 'St' beers.
Abby, as a beer made with a nod to saison, is packaged in 750ml green bottles. Its label art is a drawing done by Abigail's big sister Phoebe. There are 612 bottles available with 204 available online (lim 2 p/p), 108 available at cellar door (lim 2 p/p) and 300 bottles will be made available to our stockists across Australia. We regret that we will not have Abby available for tasting at cellar door as we did not put any of this beer into keg.