Foudre Beer is a spelt beer made in collaboration with our friend Mike. Mike Bennie may best be known for his well read and respected writing on all kinds of drinks. He's an incessantly interested person. The first time we met, he told me that there was going to be a little 'Mike Bennie' corner of Wildflower. People make claims and talk the talk all the time. Mike, however, carries through. Fast forward 8 months from that first meeting and two 2,500 litre foudres arrived at the brewery. One was ours, the other his.
So in December of 2017, we filled ours with a 30% raw spelt beer, fermented it with the Wildflower house culture and have been successively taking 'pulls' of half the volume of the barrel making a beer we call Solera.
The other foudre, however, was filled with a similar recipe of 30% raw spelt but made with aged hops in the tradition of Belgian spontaneous brewing and fermented with our 100% NSW origin yeast cultures. This mixture of yeast and bacteria is our Wildflower house culture sans a single Belgian-origin strain. Instead, all of the organisms that ferment this beer are from here, collected from flower cuttings, off the skins of fruit or from small scale spontaneous fermentations over the course of 2015. This same culture ferments Waratah, our annual 100% NSW origin beer.
The beer fermented slowly and went through some pretty strange stages, but has emerged after 7 months in this barrel as an incredibly balanced, highly drinkable beer. Its nice I didn't get a chance to blend this one, it opens with a familiar gueuzey aroma of aged hops and brett, the palate is remarkably clean with a refreshing acidity. I like to think of it as an Australian Wild Ale to take the place of lager. It's a beer for drinking, made of and for community.
Mike wrote the words on the label, so blame him if you cant read it.
The base beer is brewed entirely with New South Wales cereals: Single Origin (S.O.) Moree, NSW grown Gairdner ale malt and raw organic spelt from Barellan, NSW. It is made with filtered Sydney water and aged whole flower Fuggle (NZ) and Pacific Hallertau (NZ) hops. Finally, it was fermented with 100% NSW origin culture of foraged wild yeast and naturally occurring souring bacteria native to New South Wales. It was bottled on July 12 2018 and naturally conditioned through refermentation for 12 weeks. At bottling it was 5.2% ABV, 20 IBU and 1.1°P (FG= 1.004 SG).
Like all Wildflower beers, Foudre Beer #1 is best enjoyed when decanted off a settled natural yeast sediment at cellar temperatures (10-12°C).