It's high time to celebrate — GABS is back for 2021! As part of the longstanding tradition of brewing something weird and wonderful just for the occasion, the Wayward brew team brings you Sourade: a Blueberry Gose that's inspired by the popular sports drinks. It's an electric blue sour ale that's refreshingly tart and packed with electrolytes and big berry flavour. It'll keep you going through the many, many beer sessions to come.
Grab a taste of Sourade at GABS Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and keep an eye out for tinnies of the stuff — available in bottle shops and venues across Australia this June. While you wait, here's what Head Brewer Shaun Blissett has to say about this insanely blue drink.
We heard you came up with the idea for Sourade after one too many GABS hangovers. Is that true?
"Ha! It's somewhat true. The idea did come from attending so many GABS festivals and Melbourne Good Beer Weeks over the years, and desperately needing something that can help you bounce back after last night's debauchery. But with the typically big beers and crazy flavours going around, there was never that option.
So, for the return of GABS in 2021, I thought we should finally make a beer that is designed to refresh, and, as well as it can, hydrate. Sourade was born. It's different, it's super blue, and it's very GABS. We hope it'll help our punters make it through all of the GABS sessions and surrounding beer events happening over the coming weeks."
What makes Sourade such a great recovery beer?
"It's a blueberry gose, so it's a little sour, a little salty and very light and refreshing. It honestly tastes just like a recovery drink. To get those classic blue drink vibes from it, we needed a fruit that would work with the gose base. So we sat down with our flavour consultant and tried heaps of different berries — including raspberry, winter berry, mixed berries, you name it — and blueberry was the clear winner.
Similar to a sports drink, this beer is actually a source of electrolytes as well, thanks to the added salt that's used to achieve the gose style. But to be clear, it's still a beer, so don't expect too much hydration from it."
How did you pull off that electric blue colour?
"There were a few hurtles. First off, beer is naturally hazy, and malts and wheat are yellow. In case you've forgotten your colour wheel, yellow and blue make green, which is obviously not what we're going for. To get that crystal clear, super bright blue we're after, we started with the lightest malt base we could find, which is Heidelberg malt from Germany. We mixed that with a bit of Australian wheat, which just works in sours.
After fermenting, we ran the beer through a centrifuge and then ran it through our carbon filtration system (which we do with W Seltzer). This strips away that beer colour, and we replaced it with a hard-to-find, 100% natural blue food colouring that is both PH and temperature stable — so the bright blue colour can shine through."
What makes GABS the most wonderful time of the year?
"Historically, GABS has always been a safe space to put out all of the experimental, different and downright dumb ideas you’ve had as a brewer. The beer festival has always been a great space to test out beers you wouldn’t make for any other reason. But “GABS-style” beers are now becoming the norm in a lot of ways. Our mates over at One Drop are a testament to that, with their many milkshake and slushy beers.
As an industry, we’ve gone full circle as to what a beer can be. But GABS is still a good opportunity for punters to seek out breweries that they may never try otherwise, and for brewers from different states to intermingle. No other beer festival in Australia can bring this many brewers together. And it gives us a chance to brew this insanely blue drink while we're at it."
We heard you're working the Wayward stand in Sydney this year too?
"Yep, I'll be at the Wayward Gym (aka our GABS stand) for Sydney on Saturday, May 7 from 11am-4.30pm. Make sure you come on by for a chat and a brew."