Beerfarm’s motto is Established for the future. The phrase perfectly encircles the tops of their cans but if they had more space it could easily extrapolate out to be: Established for the future, but not forgetting our past and this beautifully presented, and tasting, release, which is the latest in their Native Series, is another example of how the Metricup brewery in WA looks forward by not overlooking their roots.
The Woolya Wah Red Ale (6.2%) is number 7 in the celebrated Native Series, where the brewery, in collaboration with Fervor – a provider of regional-food driven dining experiences – celebrate indigenous food explored through beer whilst equally weaving a narrative around the release about indigenous Australian culture.
This year’s brew was inspired by a journey to Roelands Village, a small town located in the Bunbury Region of WA. Once home to over 500 stolen generation children, Roelands Village is a nationally significant heritage site and thriving bush tucker farm with WA native Cyclops wattleseed and Wattah wattleseed (Woolya Wah) – a diet staple for Indigenous Australians for over 40,000 years – growing amongst its many other native Australian bush species.
“The Native Series journey has always focussed on using the native foods that are available to us across the whole nation, including right here in WA, which was a big driving force for us to utilise the native wattleseed,” Beerfarm’s head brewer Josh Thomas said.
“The cultural history and stories behind the use of wattleseed is an opportunity for us to continue the educational journey about country, native ingredients and how they should be respected and interpreted today.”
Paul ‘Yoda’ Iskov of Fervor said native wattleseed has multiple traditional uses, most common of those as ground up flour to make bread, but that it can, as examples, be harnessed in a spice mix for curing kangaroo and infused in sweet desserts.
“It’s important to understand the ingredient, its history and its cultural significance to Aboriginal people. From working with Roelands, we got the chance to really learn about the Woolya Wah and the stories behind it,” Yoda said.
Appropriately, there’s an earthiness to this red ale with its rusty brown colour complemented by the nutty, savoury aromas and flavours from the two types of native wattleseed – Cyclops and Wattah – and the faint hint of pepper, pine and citrus from the Ahtanum hops. The moreish toffee maltiness aides it in going down slow and smooth which allows one to linger over the can art by local Noongar artist Korrine Bennell-Yarran from Karrak Designs and the reveal more by peel label which delves further into the release and its ideals.
If this is what establishing the future looks like we’re all in good hands with the likes of Beerfarm and Fervor shaping it.