New South Wales, Australia-based sour beer specialist Wildflower Brewing & Blending now exclusively available in Singapore at Temple Cellars.
Sour beers may not be everybody’s thing, but in recent years beer geeks around the world have been lapping up tangy, piquant styles such as the lambic and gose. But despite sour ales being eminently suited for warm, humid weather such beers aren’t quite taking off here in Singapore. That may soon change, if craft bottle shop Temple Cellars had its way – it’s just brought in a range of beers from cult Australian craft brewing outfit Wildflower Brewing & Blending.
New South Wales-based Wildflower Brewing combines some old traditional brewing and beer blending methods with more modern techniques – you’re talking about the likes of mixed culture fermentation, barrel-aging, blending, and even bottle-conditioning – to create some of the geekiest beers ever. For those not too familiar with these terms, techniques such as barrel-aging and blending are borrowed from the Belgians making classic styles such as the gueuzes, lambics or Flemish red ales. Then there’s mixed fermentation, a process whereby brewers combine different yeast and even bacteria strains to replicate the funky, tangy flavours commonly associated with traditional farmhouse type ales; mixed fermentation is an increasingly popular technique used by American breweries – such as the likes of Jester King, Almanac, and Cascade – to create interesting sour beer styles.
And so it is with Wildflower. You’re looking at the likes of Wildflower Gold (Blend #17), a wild ale blended with beers from four different barrels of varying ages (from between four to fourteen months) and then further bottle conditioned to let the flavours mellow out more. There’s the spelt-based Wildflower Solera (Pull #3), which uses the solera technique – most commonly employed in sherry- and rum-making – to blend different beers together; here the spelt lends a earthy spiciness to beer’s balanced if funky acidity.
The Wildflower Daily Bread (Batch #2) on the other hand is essentially a kvass – a traditional Slavic beer made from bread – that it makes with surplus loaves from trendy Sydney eatery Ester Restaurant. This crisp, low ABV beer has clean saline and cereal notes that finishes extremely dry.
What’s particularly interesting about Wildflower Brewing is that unlike most other breweries that have a consistent core beer range, their beers are packaged as they are brewed but as they are blended. Which is why each expression comes with specific blend or batch numbers, and beers can taste slightly different from batch to batch.
If there’s a reason for Wildflower beers to take off here in Singapore, aside from craft beer geeks its beers are likely to also appeal to wine enthusiasts who are likely to find plenty of similarity in flavours to natural wines that are sweeping the wine world today.
Temple Cellars currently carry nine Wildflower beers, with prices ranging from S$27.40 to $34.40.