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Au Baron, Fantôme and Thiriez collab beers release Friday 13 January.

Sensation of Colour

Sensation of Colour will be available online and for take-away/collection from 12pm (Sydney time) on Friday 4 March 2022.

It brings me so much joy to make beers with others. Even topping that though is making a beer out of something which was otherwise seen as a byproduct.

Over the past two years, I have been fortunate to become friends with Meg and James Becker of M&J Becker Wines in the Hunter Valley of NSW. Their attention to farming, meticulous winemaking and wonderfully congenial mannerisms have quickly made them producers I love to drink and admire personally.

As the 2021 harvest was getting underway, James rang me with an idea to marry this slightly obscure Piedmont aromatic red-skinned grape, Brachetto, with our beer. He was just about to press the wine he was making with these grapes and offered to bring us down the pomace, the pressed skins. We have worked with pomace many times in the past in beers such as Touched by the Side of the Sun, Distinctly Perceived and Tendency to Rotate and can admit to finding the ones we enjoy best are products of aromatic grapes with a good level (but not too much) phenolic grip to lend to the beer. With the added benefit that these grapes were coloured, and would likely lend some hues to the beer, I was ecstatic.

So on 16 February 2021, we married these skins with a blend of aged and young Gold and allowed the two to macerate and ferment together for six months before bottling in August last year. From start to finish this beer has had the most attractive perfumed character that I was glad to see even after 7 months in bottle has not dissipated.

When we tasted it before release, it had incredibly perfumed, potpourri, black muscat, violet aromas. A skins element blends with big ripe fruit, guava and blackcurrant. The palate is unmistakably beer forward, focussed and light but with wonderful concentration of flavours. Red berries and blossoms. The gentle savoury phenolic hit comes late and gives such beautiful persistence to the beer. A wonderful, wonderful composition of them both.

The drawing on the label is by Florence, now 4 years old. She said I could use it, phew. She described it as showing two people in the sun under beach umbrellas. I liked it for this beer... two family businesses making something fun together.

Like all our beers, Sensation of Colour is best enjoyed when decanted off a settled natural yeast sediment at cellar temperatures (10-12°C).

Please see the specific product page for bottle quantities and limits.