Much like a shipwreck, we can sink in life too. Rather than choosing to drink this alone, and save yourself so to speak, share one with a mate as you figure out what to do to ensure you both get to the lifeboats.
Origin – East Brunswick, Victoria
ABV – 5.0 %
Size – 355mL can
Style – Sour Ale
The write-up on the online city guide read ‘tucked behind Lygon Street's main strip; this hidden bar is not to be missed; it's about so much more than beer'. And a late-night trip to this craft brewery, located in one of Melbourne's more industrial stretches, had me thinking the same. The prominent black façade topped by the enormous sign simply stating ‘Temple’ could easily be mistaken for a high-class establishment selling an altogether different type of service!
Thought once inside, there's no doubt it's a space for worshipping beer. The perfect blend of a working brewery full of vats and the freshest beer humanly possible, mixed with a first-class kitchen serving a mouth-watering South American-inspired menu. However, Temple's story begins in failure, unlike many success stories where mates open an amazing micro-brewery that goes from strength to strength. The first owners were forced into liquidation two years after the 2011 opening. Fortunately, in one of the great comeback stories of the craft beer world, Nick Pang reopened the doors again in 2013.
Many wondered how they would fare by bringing a new look to the beers, a fresh feel to the venue and, ultimately, new beers. Within a year or so, the new Temple was here to stay. Almost a decade on, the core range still consists of old favourites such as the Anytime Pale Ale and Bicycle Beer, yet the limited releases have more recently had craft lovers falling to their knees in praise. The latest experimentation from head brewer James Mullins is this collaboration with East Brunswick neighbour Oriental Teahouse. James takes inspiration from his English heritage and serves a British summer treat in a glass. Brewed for this year's GABS, it combines 10kg of strawberry & cream fruit tea with a kettle-soured base before adding 60kg of strawberry puree. While the ingredient list and the initial fruity flavour might make you think sweet, this Strawberry & Cream Tea Party is a long way from there. Instead, the initial bouquet of fresh, ripe strawberries and fruit is balanced against the beer's underlying tart acidity.
What more reason do you need to worship at Temple with limited releases this good?