Craft beer is big in Australia, but finding your favourite brew is still like digging up liquid gold. Finally we have found an Australian craft beer than you can drink more than two of in a row. Phew!
Now with Autumn approaching, we thought it was a bloody good idea to get serious about the epic pairing of beer and Thai food. So as we prepare for our Sailor’s Grave beer match dinner on Wednesday 3rd May, I caught up with head Brewer Chris Moore, to learn more about his inspiration. As it turns out, Chris is a long-term fan of travelling through Thailand and drinking an ice cold beer.
Here's Sailor's Grave Head Brewer Chris Moore in his own words:
“If left to my own devices, I would wander the fresh food markets of Northern Thailand all day. That combination of people, chaos, colour and smells sums up the thrill of visiting another culture. The moody atmosphere of the night markets crowded and dimply lit, just made stumbling on stall after stall even better. On my honeymoon in Chiang Mai I fell in love with pungent oily fish soups of North Thailand - served over vermicelli noodles with chilli, sourness and that intense salty fishiness. And of course cold Singha in the hot night...
In a previous incarnation, owning a restaurant, I would do endless wine tastings, and while I loved it, and still do, at the end of the day I craved something else.
Now we live on a farm on the wilderness coast of far east Gippsland where we are surrounded by influences and ingredients from the sea and the land. If something is in season or a neighbouring farm has a glut of some crop - we want to try and put it into a beer. We really believe in putting as much of our location into our beers as possible. Beer is often produced very close to its market but pretty remote from its ingredients. Nowadays it is usually Gabbie Moore, my wife and co-brewer, who comes to me with an ingredient that is available and says - “make a beer out of that!” It can be anything from White Sea Urchin, seen as a pest down here, to fresh cut hay, foraged coastal succulents or local fruits.
One of the beers that we’ll feature in the Longrain dinner is the Down She Gose with seaweed.
For this we took a really ancient beer style Gose, which is traditionally pretty salty and sour with a coriander finish and we pared it back a little.
The seaweed comes from the farm of friends of ours - Snowy River Station. They harvest a wide range of seaweeds from the estuary on their farm where the Snowy River meets the ocean. Gose beer reminds us of the ocean and we wanted to make a really easy drinking version that had an ocean tang. Something that reminds us of the sea mist we get down here.
Every brew day for this beer - the guys go out a pick a heap of Ulva Compressa - a bit like sea lettuce and we put a giant teabag of it into the brew kettle at flameout. It gives a really subtle minerally flavour and the subtle saltiness and tart finish of the beer complete the maritime feel. While we have had plenty of raised eye-brows to our beers…especially out in Far east Gippsland …the one thing I have learned is not to underestimate people. I am constantly surprised by how adventurous people can be with tasting beer.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this original and interesting beer from a craft brewery and Longrain’s punchy flavours will go together. It’s going to be, really exciting."