Thus Let Us Drink Beer – Akasha x Robert Stein Collaboration
As we have previously covered, what Dave Padden and his crew have accomplished with Akasha Brewing within its six years of existence is quite something, with especially recent releases pushing the envelope in hoppy excellence and knocking it out of the park.
Given that the warehouse where Akasha set up its operation was an empty shell in 2015 with no electricity, water and gas, it was astonishing to see how they turned it into a hospitable brewhouse in no time. However, I do not think the Akasha crew would have imagine back in the day that their haunt would serve as the backdrop for a fine dining experience.
Fast forward to 2021, where after a successful rebrand and the establishment of Akasha Projects, dedicated to limited releases and allowing for collaboration not unlike the one with Robert Stein winery, which saw both channelling their alchemy in the creation of wine / beer hybrids culminating in a three course meal paired with never-before-seen beer and wines to celebrate it.
After being eased into the proceedings via Akasha’s nod to their neighbourhood, i.e. a tin of their classic Canada Bay XPA, the evening had its first highlight with the Rhyme Or Riesling – an Australian grape ale – flanked by a Robert Stein 2020 Riesling, paired with smoky pork, potato and Mexican chorizo tostadas with avocado salsa, queso fresco and chilli pickle.
With winemakers in Australia traditionally growing Riesling in areas of higher elevation, or in the cooler areas of existing vineyards in a bid to mimic the cooler climate where the grapes are known to thrive, the offerings unfolded delicious citrus notes with limy, zesty highlights sitting against a backdrop of herbal notes of white pepper.
Course two comprised of Oaxacan-style molé served with Tex Mex rice and black beans a la charra was my personal highlight on the wine front as Robert Stein’s deep ruby Shiraz proved to be an example par excellence for a full flavoured, red plummy, fruity aromatic tour de force of fullbodiedness with an elongated, lingering finish.
Things got experimental and wild with the final course and the Shiraz Sour, which was an excellent palate cleanser before one of the more challenging yet not less interesting emissions of the collaboration materialized, i.e. a Chardonnay Barrel Sour Ale, which accompanied a masterclass panel with the head of Akasha and Jacob Stein discussing the rationale behind joining forces and the common denominator when it comes to their creations.
images by @k.a.vv
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