Wildflower Poolroom will be available online and for take-away/collection at our cellar door from 12pm (AEST) on Friday 3 November 2023.
Brewed with NSW grown regenerative organic barley and organic raw rye, hopped with NSW-grown Red Earth hop flowers. Unfiltered and bottle conditioned, Poolroom showcases the younger side of our mixed house culture wholly collected from native flowers in NSW.
Topher's production notes
This one is pretty cool. Poolroom is roughly a biere-de-garde... a beer style I have been dying to make since we started the brewery. The name, obviously another Castle reference, is in-keeping with the beer's utility, it is a beer 'to keep' (the literal translation of 'de garde) and in the sense that you might receive a sporting trophy and put it in the poolroom to keep, this beer is much the same.
Since their opening, I have followed along and enjoyed the food at Paddington's Porcine bistro. Nik, Harry and Matt have created a really special place to dine, paying respect to generations of hospitality and food traditions... no doubt it is one of those places you could and should have a standing reservation at, visiting time and time again for that rarely achieved axis of value and quality. I love it.
Their team started to throw around the idea of a beer for the venue right around when I was nearing to depart for Europe to brew with Familie Thiriez in Northern France this year. The Porcine food, unabashedly French, called, for me, a french-tradition beer. All Wildflower beer, in a way, is in this vein but we never have really sought to attempt this specific style which balances malt sweetness with high fermentation esters and a firm but evasive bitterness. Amber, in its early iterations, was somewhat of a biere-de-garde but over time, it did evolve to something a bit more rich and Flander's Red/Oud Bruin in style... however in its originally conceived form, it was to be called Ambreé made with pale malts and an extended boil for caramelisation.
While on the trip in Esquelbecq, I spoke with Daniel [Thiriez] about the style itself, its traditional characteristics and production techniques. Particular amongst those was that extended boil... but also while there, I became more acutely aware of how ingrained beer was in these communities of France. At a Lille bistro, you would have a choice of up to 20 different beers on a menu with simply a house red or house white wine to choose from. Northern France is beer country to be sure... and while Champagne is only a few hundred kms south, the drink of choice at a meal for people of all genders is beer.
To make Poolroom, we wanted to respect this tradition of an extended boil, something we could do now with our own brewhouse, however I also wanted to incorporate the spice of rye grains... something less traditional, but given Nik Hill's relationship with Voyager malt, I was keen to have a more grain focused element of the beer. We mashed in real early with the Porcine team and continued the boil for three hours before splitting the wort sending 1/2 to cool in coolship overnight and the other 1/2 through the heat exchange and inoculated with our house culture. The two were combined the next morning for fermentation and this beer continued maturation in stainless before bottling.
It's one of the most Euro-evocative beers I think we've ever made and its going to be a delight to watch it develop over time. A massive thanks to Porcine for the impetus to make something like this, I'm delighted to share it with y'all.
Meesh's tasting notes
A visually stunning beer, pale gold with beautiful foam. The nose is evocative of Cuvee des Jonquilles, hyper floral. This beer has a beautiful weight and richness. The body is full but met with a perfect level of carbonation. Red Earth hops lend a spicy character with a cut of zesty citrus and a pleasurable bitterness.
Like all our beers, Poolroom is best enjoyed when decanted off a settled natural yeast sediment at cellar temperatures (10-12°C).