Thus Let Us Drink Beer – 4 Pines
We have covered The Calyx at Sydney’s Botanical Gardens before. If I was pressed to describe it, I’d probably draw a parallel to an event centre, yet one architecturally embedded in a meaningful way in the context of the beauty that is the gardens centred in the city of Sydneytown.
Over the last years, The Calyx has become a focal point of interesting, fun and engaging masterclasses where e.g. distillers and brewers not only proffer their emissions but give lectures on how they incorporate and channel the products of the flora into their alchemy.
Tonight’s event was a Botanical Brewing Masterclass, hosted by 4 Pines’ Lab Technician and lover of beer, Tom Meredith. What started with an elaboration on the brewing process and accompanied by brews courtesy of 4 Pines and pies, evolved into a deep dive into the botany of beer.
Tom shed light on the botanical components of beer and given the fact that craft breweries are popping up like mushrooms and incorporating everything from the staple hops via barley, fruits and spices, one could not help but feel like the craft of making beer is much like gardening.
It might be common knowledge that hops create the DNA of what is commonly perceived to constitute “beer”, yet it was interesting to not only learn about different varieties but also about the flavourful impact of their globules, with their resins contributing to bitterness and the oils adding another layer of aroma. If a brewer is crafty when it comes to calibrating ingredients, flavours can be orchestrated via modifications ranging from citrussy, notes of almonds and bacon to white wine and spicy notes.
I for one like a good ole hoppy India Pale Ale and while 4 Pines’ own Kiwi hop infused IPA was unfortunately not on offer, their American Amber Ale hit the spot.
Another discovery was their Stout. The stout is in essence the strongest version of a porter. It for sure is an acquired taste for sure, yet the delicate roasted barley flavours of 4 Pines’ Stout hit the spot.
After the gin masterclass and this one, one cannot help but be intrigued what the next instalment of The Calyx’ Masterclass series will be.
Photos by @k.a.vv