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“Blame the Yeastie Boys!”
Could this be the craft beer world’s equivalent of the Monopoly “Get Out Of Jail Free” card? Certainly, it’s a cry we expect to hear a lot more of when Good Beer Week rolls around, and it’s the reason Jade Flavell from Adelaide’s The Wheaty is giving for the rapidly approaching festivities at her pub that will see them host brewers and beer lovers for a series of events over five days, in a kind of spin-off from the festival at which it was conceived.
“It grew from the first Good Beer Week,” says Jade. “I caught up with the Yeastie Boys and they invited themselves over, as they do. We thought we’d just do two or three special events in a concentrated period of time, but then you find other people want to do stuff and it develops a life of its own.”
The “it” in question was the first Good Beer Wheaty, a mini festival that ran in the few days leading up to Good Beer Week last year. Designed to give those South Australians who couldn’t make it over to Melbourne some high-quality the events of their own, it was such a roaring success that it’s back this year even bigger and with guests drawn from even further afield.
“You create a monster once you come up with an idea like this,” says Jade.
As such, the “two or three events” has turned into eight events over five days, running from May 16 to May 20. The Yeasty Boys are back and are joined by brewers from 8 Wired, Brooklyn, Renaissance and Birra del Borgo as well as a number of local and not-so-local Aussies. There are tap takeovers, an event focusing on sour beers, the return of the Contract Brewers of the World Unite concept and even a collaboration on the pub’s own pilot system.
“The most exciting one for me is the public collaboration with Leo [from del Borgo],” says Jade. “It was going to be called My Anchovia as, being The Wheaty, we wanted to design a beer based around a cheesy pun. I got chatting to Kerrie [from Birra Italiana, which imports Leo’s beers] and asked if there were any ingredients that his region of Italy was renowned for. She listed them off and then mentioned anchovies. At the time we were drinking My Antonia [the del Borgo / Dogfish Head collaboration] so that was that.
“I had to try and design a beer around anchovies so narrowed it down to two options: it could be a gueuze or a stout – a bit like an oyster stout. In the end we went for stout because it’s more robust â more places to hide! Then we had to work out how many anchovies to add, how many grams per litre…
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