We Chat with Wildflower Brewing & Blending
When we heard the Wildflower Ales are now available on this side we jumped at the chance to stock them... Based out of Australia Wildflower Ales is a unique brewery - the specialise in fermenting wild ales and blending.
We will be pouring these guys in the shop bar soon and ahead of that we wanted to get to know them a little more.
Tell us a little bit about what is the ethos of the brewery and how it all began?
Oh man, this is a hard one to pin down... essentially it was born out of two desires. One was to make local beer not by where the beer was being made, but from what it was being made with, a desire to showcase and work closely with the produce and microfora of here. To that end, we focus our brewing solely on beers made from a mixed culture of yeast and bacteria that we foraged/borrowed from Australian flowers, hence Wildflower. We started with local yeast as that has the largest impact on the making and eventual tastes of your beer and have been attempting to bring all the other ingredients to New South Wales, state based ones. Our cereals have always come from NSW, however they are all now regenerative organic and 99% come from a single farm. The second was a desire to make a beer that is complex due to its subtlety. I believe that by removing large notes, aggressive flavours, we will see more clarity as well as make a more beautiful beer, one that may be enjoyed by all people, rather than solely the standard craft-beer-demographic.
What inspirations do you draw from?
Oh again many. I am pushed a lot by wine, we have some excellent natural producers in Australia, and many I am lucky to call friends. They help hone my palate and notice my own blindspots. From beer its the beers of Northern France and Southern Belgium that started this journey. I also enjoy sake and cider and, well really anything fermented. A lot of my yeast management process comes from bread baking... its all over the place.
Any beers/experiments that went horribly wrong?
Oh yeh, all the time. In fact we never release about 10-15% of the beer we make. We kindly donate these to a local distillery and the two of us have a little project together. When you are using a wild yeast, it stays true to its name and can produce flavours that are what it wants to do, but not ones we want to drink.
Can you tell us more about your house yeast strain?
Sure, is a combination of the best smelling and tasting yeast capturing experiments off native flowers we conducted back in 2016. All the microbiology of those ferments was blended with a single strain of brewers yeast from a favourite brewery in Belgium. Now that same culture is used to ferment our beers being collected from one fermentation and pitched into the next one, very simple.
How does a sour based brewery differ from a conventional one?
Oh man... a lot and not that much. I think the biggest difference is outlook though, timelines... we are generally planning 1 year or more ahead of where we currently are, there is no ability (or desire) to brew trend beers or change on a dime, we have to keep our course and back where we are at.
...and what are your favourite breweries / beers at the moment? Is there a dream collaboration you would love to do?
Oh man, I am a big fan of everything that Burning Sky does there in the UK, I love my friend Adam's beers from Floodland in Seattle and drink a decent chunk of Orval. Dream collab... maybe Coopers here in Aus? I love their sparkling ale.