As men we're experts at keeping our cards close to our chest. But in the words of the late Kenny Rogers, 'you've got to know when to fold 'em'. Try sharing this frothy with a mate and help remove the stigma that is often associated with men talking openly.
Origin – Mordialloc, Victoria.
ABV – 6.2%
Size – 355mL can
Style – Amber Ale
Oh! And this one time… at band camp…. Now if you were lucky enough to get along to Wolf of the Willows in May after Victoria’s first Covid19 lockdown, you mightn’t have found Jim, Finch, Stifler’s mum or even Michelle and her infamous flute, but what would have stumbled across would have still blown your mind – pun intended!
Yet much like the movie, the story of Wolf of the Willows starts in the owners and founders’ formative years, fermenting boot legged ginger beers with his dad in the home carport. It’s an interest that was later reinvigorated in his early 20s as he spent time working in US and exploring craft beer bars in Colorado. On his return to Australia, home brewing became a regular hobby, and along with his future wife Renae they were soon impressing family and friends with standout barbecue beers. In 2014 the husband and wife team went all in, first as gypsy brewers, before sharing brewing capacity with Dereck Hales and Diti Haniotis of Cheltenham brewpub Bad Shepherd. Then in early 2020 they found a home of their own in the former Albatross Brewery site in suburban Melbourne. And it was looking at those, albeit new, four walls during the April lockdown when Scott decided to do something a little crazy.
Drawing inspiration from his stint in Colorado, the home of the summer camp, where it’s estimated that 45 million bags of marshmallows are toasted over a camp fire every year, Scotty concocted the idea of a nitro amber ale with a marshmallow twist. Yet unlike the quintessential American S’mores, rather than stuffing the gooey marshmallows between two biscuits already dripping with melted chocolate, he took thousands of perfectly charcoal crusted treats and added them directly to the brewing kettle, to mark the key ingredient for The S’more-man. He then added to it organic cacao nibs from longstanding industry mates at Mork Chocolate, dry-hopped it with a vanilla bean, and finished it off with a nitro infusion. The result was so well received it’s now back by popular demand. Sweet & delicious, the amber base provides a foundation of toasty dryness, biscuity sweetness and a little treacle, all wrapped in a nougat-like blanket that in tandem with a nitro shot fattens and leaves a wonderful sticky residue and slight hop bitterness.
So, what do you pair such a unique beer with? Can I be as crass as to suggest hot apple pie?