The story behind the relationship of Rocky Ridge and Beerfarm starts simply with a postcode, two farm breweries located a stone’s throw away from each other in the sou-west. Both who love exploring the endless possibilities of brewing beer, drinking beer, farming and naturally share an unprecedented amount of love and respect for each other. Hamish and his family regularly prop up the Beerfarm bar and we take any opportunity to go and visit The Ridge to see what he has going on at the drop of anyone’s hat. To put it simply, it’s love! We both wanted to bring an element of our Farms and brewing values and put them into your Glass at the greatest Beer Spectacular the land will see. Brewing a beer for GABS was a good excuse to combine these values and get weird.
So, we wanted to get super weird on this one……from the ground, from our farms , cultivating our own Lacto and being different. The brief was simple: Brew a beer with rhubarb (from the ground) and chocolate (from the surrounds) and after some consideration (a few beers) we came up with a dark sour beer with chocolate and rhubarb and wrapped up in a bed of nitro – The Choc Rock (y Ridge) Rhubarbarian was born.
We set off on a mission to grow the rhubarb element in both farms to get the yield we needed. Not going to lie here, Hamish and his 5 generations of farming showed true class here and his crop came head and shoulders above the rest. That’s the rhubarb
Usually we would culture our lacto baccillus from the grain, not for this beer! This time, to further include the values of our breweries, we cultured it from Yoghurt produced from The Coates dairy farm. That’s the lacto
We sourced chocolate husks from Gabriel’s Chocolate (Margaret River) – And that’s the chocolate
And that’s pretty much the beer!
Now Dark, sour, nitro beers are few and far between so it is a beer you have to take a few sips to understand…. It is for GABS though right? so let’s take the spiders out of the equation.
The beer was brewed @beerfarm with both crews together and a few others. The brew being a sour took a few days, During the mash in we added a generous amount of cocoa husks which brought Easter to the brewery! We then added raw wheat and the natural yoghurt by The Coates and inoculated the mash. We then drunk for 16 hours leaving lactobacillus in its ideal living conditions.
The next day was right where we wanted it and we found ourselves with a nice chocolaty, sour wort. We enhanced the body of the beer using lactose. After the yeast had put in its shift, we ruffled its feathers with the addition of 20kg of homegrown rhubarb. The secondary ferment along with the use of our Rhubarb shines through with more earthy characters opposed to what you may experience with a Rhubarb pudding. Exactly what we wanted.
We then tickled it with some Nitrogen which balanced out the acidity.
The Finished Product
The finished product is a rich, earthy, slightly soured dark ale with a touch of love and passion. It outlines the true trades of our craft and should give you something to think about, or talk about. Not too much though as none likes a wanker. The opportunity to work on the same brew as opposed to a competing brew with Hamish was great fun, very boozy but worth every bit of the 4 months process to bring this to you.
We will be launching this guy at @gabs in Victoria this week so if you’re lucky enough to be going, have a try. If not, the remaining kegs will be hitting some cracking venues across NSW and WA very soon.
From us, with love!