Matilda Bay in the Yarra Valley has used COVID lockdown experience to fine-tune its eagerly awaited “lockdown brews”.
The label started the Aussie craft revolution more than 35 years ago, with the father of craft brewing, Phil Sexton, at the helm. Now, with his team, Sexton has its first new beer under the Matilda Bay label – Original Ale and also re-vamped and modernised Matilda Bay classics, Redback, Alpha Pale Ale and Dogbolter.
The beers are the first to be brewed at Matilda Bay’s sustainable brewery in Healesville, which opened on Boxing Day last year before spending a large portion of 2020 in lockdown.
Now, as the Healesville brewery throws open its doors, they’re now ready for craft-lovers to drink and enjoy over Christmas, including
“We’ve taken the opportunity COVID has thrown at us to focus on the things we’re passionate about– the beer, the food and the experience,” said Sexton.
Matilda Bay’s highly anticipated Original Ale is a classic, European golden ale, made with pure, Yarra Valley mountain water. This unfiltered and unpasteurised traditional beer is smooth and creamy with a subtle bitter finish.
“The Original Ale is an interpretation, a morphing or a riff if you like, on a particular beer that we really love that’s in the English market,” Mr Sexton said.
“It’s reminiscent of the classic ales on tap found in bars around Europe. Of course, we can’t visit these bars at the moment, so the Original Ale is the next best thing.”
Mr Sexton said the re-imagined classic beers have evolved to a modern era.
“If I’d been running Matilda Bay right through from 1990 to today, those original beers would have changed and evolved, because we’d be doing all that was core to Matilda Bay – experimenting, adapting, changing with the times,” he said.
“Myself, my son and head brewer Harry, and the rest of the people involved have worked tirelessly to create the new range. We knew we couldn’t just recreate these classic beers – like us, they’ve evolved enormously in the past 30 years.”
Matilda Bay’s four brews are currently available from the brewery in Healesville and a few locals. Hopefully they will find the road to a wider release in 2021.