The Native Series has retuned for its eighth year with our Quandong and Samphire Gose, capturing Western Australia's abundant native produce used by the Noongar people for generations.
Working alongside Fervor and Badgebup Aboriginal Corporation to source wild harvested Quandong (Kwondong) and Samphire (Milyua) from Goreng Boodja, this beer was an opportunity to spend time on country to listen, learn and give back to the community.
Badgebup Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) is a remote community in the Great Southern region of WA between Katanning and Nyabing and is one of the thriving remote communities Paul ‘Yoda’ Iskov of Fervor has connected with, learning firsthand the stories of their people.
It was through Yoda's extensive understanding of native ingredients, flavours and foraging with traditional owners that we were lucky enough to work with BAC to create this year's brew.
We sat down with The Beerfarmer Josh Thomas and Yoda to find our more about their recent trip to Badgebup and the Quandong & Samphire Gose that was born as a result of this special partnership.
Tell us a bit about your history and relationship with Badgebup and why working with them on this beer release is so special.
Yoda: I have personally known BAC's CEO Julie Hayden for some time now, and after a trip with the Djinda Nardak team out to Badgebup I got to meet the whole family and community. This release is a special one because there was a large involvement from the Badgebup rangers, who foraged for the Quandongs for weeks, and there is a real appreciation for how much time and energy that goes into harvesting.
Josh: Each Native Series beer we've released is special in it's own right, generally telling a story and taking us on a journey of ingredients and flavours that we don't have common access to. Native #8 is no different, working with both Yoda (Fervor) and the team at BAC to showcase these WA local native ingredients and to highlight the great work Julie and the team at BAC provide to the wider community. Each Native series aims to give back to the land and the community, with proceeds from this release being passed on to the BAC to assist in funding local initiatives, groups and projects.
Tell us a bit about the flavour profiles of these native ingredients.
Yoda: Quandong is up there as a favourite ingredient of mine, and we used them in one of the early Native Series, which I thought was a standout. With the quandong trees that were flowering really well early in the season, we anticipated it may be a bumper crop this year, and it certainly was. The country out near Badgebup is plentiful with quandong trees and after discussing with Josh and the Beerfarm team, we set out to talk to Julie and the Badgebup Aboriginal Corporation about collaborating for this next beer.
What are some of the traditional uses for native Quandong?
Yoda: The Quandong is also known as wild peach, desert peach or native peach. They're highly nutritious with double the vitamin C of an orange, as well as being high in vitamin E, folate, magnesium, zinc and iron. It was either eaten raw or dried for later use, with the kernel, fruit, leaves and roots used for medicinal purposes.
Samphire or sea asparagus is a salty succulent found in the wetlands, which has long been used for health purposes by the Noongar People. It's rich in vitamin A, calcium and iron and can be eaten raw or cooked.
How has your relationship with Beerfarm grown, evolved and changed over time, since working together on eight Native beer releases?
Yoda: I think as the years have passed, we strive to partner with the right people and support Aboriginal groups in the best way we can. It’s a learning curve for all of us, but each release we try to step it up a notch and really work on how we can give back to the community and build growing, lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with the people we collaborate with.
Beerfarm have similar ethics and views as Fervor and they have been willing to go the extra mile to spend time on country, listen, learn and give back, and for us at Fervor, it is great to partner with like-minded individuals.
Josh: The list could be quite extensive here, but I'll try to keep it short. Yoda has been pivotal in creating these products, with his understanding of native ingredients and how to balance flavours, he has given us the tools to try to replicate what he does in the kitchen and turn it into beery liquid. That said, Yoda has taught us there is plenty more than just making things taste amazing, bringing us back to local produce, knowing where our foods come from, the stories of our land and how to respect it.
Initially we started off with a deep interest in exploring flavours and the list was pretty endless (and still is) however as time has evolved it's been more about our focus to work with Yoda and local groups who align with our values, with the intent to give back to the land and the wider community. This is a journey of passion, education, community and ensuring we do as much as we can to understand our collective history and protect the land we are so fortunate to live on.
What are some of the flavours profiles imparted by native Quandong and Samphire in this beer?
Josh: With Yoda's words of wisdom we were able to understand which style of beer these ingredients are best suited to, ensuring the quandong's and samphire are the standouts of the beer. With BAC situated in saline wetlands in WA's wheatbelt region, it made sense to produce this beer as a Gose with the salty and fresh addition of the Samphire.
The beer will be light in colour and refreshing with a mildly sour base, complimented by the melon and peach characters imparted by the native ingredients. With the lower ABV of 3%, we expect a standout showcasing of the two!
What were some of the highlights about working with Badgebup for this beer release?
Josh: The genuine alignment of values and engagement from the team at BAC has been incredibly heartwarming. The team holds a common theme of positivity and humour which has been very mutual, I'm hopeful there are more times like this to come.
We have been very grateful for the opportunity to spend some time on Country with the BAC team and catching multiple laughs with Johnny; the respect and time they have given us as visitors to their operation has been truly amazing. We, as a team, will cherish these experiences in the years to come, giving us greater respect and understanding of our land and history.
Native Series #8 Quandong & Samphire Gose will be available at the farm and in fridges around WA from May 11th! Don't forget to peel back the label for a little educational insight about these native ingredients, as well as their flavours, origins and traditional uses.
East Coast mates, give us a follow on Instagram if you haven't already to find out when and where this special beer will be landing near you.