BEER WITH BILL
PINOT NOIR WINE-HYBRID WILD ALE
Our Collaboration Wild Ale with Bill Downie from William Downie Wines in Gippsland Victoria.
We trucked half a tonne of freshly pressed pinot noir fruit from the Camp Hill Vineyard in Warragul Victoria (250m above sea level grown on red volcanic soils) to our brewery where we fermented it on a neutral wort base – mainly Barley with a touch of wheat. The fermentation took place in an open tank on a cool April evening in 2021 where we allowed the airborne yeast from the brewery’s walls to duel with the indigenous yeasts from the pressed skins. The fermentation eventually bloomed overnight in a rather volcanic way that made way for an exciting next 9 months where it sat in large format French oak and allowed to ripen naturally.
The result is a yeast forward wine hybrid wine ale that definitely screams Pinot! and Wild Ale!
What fun this was, to allow both the natural yeasts from Bill’s grapes and our airborne yeast to partake in a mixed ferment of epic proportions! The hybrid wine ale definitely reminds me of Bill’s wines yet delivers the vibrant acidity and dry finish you would come to expect from our Wild Ales. I really like how its balanced in a way that has you jolting back and forth between both the beer & wine categories. Can’t wait to do it again this year!