‘The Hunt for the Red Velvet’ is a Black IPA that is reminiscent of the flavours of a Black Forest cake and at 9.6% it is certainly not for the faint at heart.
GABS (Great Australasian Beer SpecTapular) is an annual beer and food festival. Originating in Melbourne, it celebrates the diversity and creativity of craft beer and last year attracted around 28,000 people.
The festival was created by Taphouse owners Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone and the main idea behind GABS was to invite leading Australian craft breweries to brew a special beer just for the event. This year there will be around 170 craft beer creations on show and there truly will be the weird, the bold and the wonderful. Perhaps all in one!
Over the years, the GABS beers have become less about beer ingredients and more about adding exotic ingredients. More and more, non-beer substances such as coffee, coconut, rose petals, cardamom, bone marrow, sea urchins and tobacco make an appearance and no doubt, interesting and diverse flavours will be created.
For Prancing Pony Brewery, adding non-beer ingredients is not on the cards. Its philosophy is to create amazingly big and bold flavours that can be tickled out of the base ingredients of beer malt, hop, yeast and water, only. We believe that the skill and imagination of the brewer is challenged to create a beer that is bold, interesting and tests your senses but remains balanced.
This year, Prancing Pony’s GABS beer is called ‘The Hunt for the Red Velvet’, which sounds best if said out aloud in a Scottish accent. It is a Black IPA and an improbable marriage of India Red Ale and Russian Imperial Stout.
“Almost a year ago, I envisaged a Black Forest cake soaked generously in cherry liquor,” says Frank, head Brewer and co-founder of Prancing Pony Brewery.
“It finished up at 9.6% ABV and a nice reddish dark brown colour.”
“It has a super-rich fruity aroma, including elements of some citrus, candy, oranges, mango, Pinot Gris, raspberry, cherry, rockmelon, ripe pear, sweet bread crust and some sweet woody tones. A big malt body carries the rich fruity hop flavours and the roasted malt, just enough, to give flavours reminiscent of milk chocolate rather that dark chocolate.
“The flavour experience of this beer is somewhat reminiscent of a ‘Rum Pot’ (a European thing of soaking garden fruits in rum and sugar during the year and served up over Christmas pudding).
“Every time we try it, we discover more in it.”
Prancing Pony Brewery CEO, Corinna Steeb, explains the background behind the label.
“The Imperial Russian Stout is well represented with the emerging submarine that lands in the thick of a fruit-laden sea of Black Forest cake,” says Corinna.
“It honestly takes like Black Forest cake!
“We are keeping it real and we have created amazing flavours with nothing more than malt, hops, yeast and water, and we like it so, let’s see what the punters say about this creation.”
This beer is best shared with friends after dinner on its own or served with a chocolate based desert.
After GABS, the Hunt for the Red Velvet will be released as a once off edition of about 3,000 numbered bottles (500ml) nationally, including a few kegs for selected venues.