Nothing pairs better with freshly cut grass than beer. So next time you shut off your Victor grab a neighbour and enjoy this cracking cold craft together over a convo.
Origin – Tanunda, South Australia
ABV – 6.3%
Size – 375mL can
Style – New England IPA
Dorothea Mackellar will always be remembered for one poem that has been recited across the land by every school-aged child from Bourke to Broome. It is, of course, My Country. ‘I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains.’ Written in 1904, We were at the time was in the grip of what was one of our many big dry’s. It was, of course, followed in 1909 by flooding rains - a big wet that left rural towns in the eastern part of the country under water following 915mm of rainfall in 24 hours. Wet and dry, dry and wet, it is part of the fabric of our, well, sunburnt country!
It’s something that Tanunda isn't immune to. Denham D'Silva, the founder of Barossa Valley Brewing, still clearly recalls SA’s big dry in January 2019. The mercury was so high the route of cycling's Tour Down Under had to be shortened. He just as vividly remembers the floodwaters edging closer to BVBs beer garden after the Para River broke its banks in September 2016. It is just two of the many wets and drys that D'Silva has witnessed since abandoning a career in finance in 2005 and opening his brewery, complete with five vessel brewhouse and an eight-tap bar and restaurant.
Fortunately, his latest wet and dry experience comes in beer form, or hops, to be exact. Continuing down the single hop NEIPA series that BVB kicked off to celebrate their 15th Birthday in late 2020, comes this new experiment; wet versus dry. Half the batch received fresh Cascade sourced from local Adelaide Hills artisan producer, Hills Hops. Timed to ensure the hop addition was added immediately after picking, the whole cones, leaves and all, were thrown into the fermenter. The result is mild and offers gentle, resinous qualities. Layered upon subtle citrus and grapefruits characteristics, the plant matter seemingly rounding off any rough edges. D'Silva mixed in a batch of dry US Cascade hops for the other half, producing, what is, a traditional hop punch. The up-front hoppy bite then gives way to a polished NEIPA that hones in on the pleasant, flowery and spicy, citrus-like quality that the Cascade hop is famous for. Despite the difference being as stark as
Mackellars’ sweeping planes and ragged mountain rangers, what both these incredible well-balanced crafts have in common is that they are perfect for our sunburnt country!