One of Australia’s most iconic craft beers has been reimagined in time for summer.
Matilda Bay’s Redback wheat beer helped to kickstart the country’s craft movement when it was originally created by master brewer Phil Sexton in 1986.
Mr Sexton parted ways with the original Matilda Bay in the early 1990s, before returning to partner with Carlton & United Breweries two years ago and re-establish Matilda Bay Brewery in his new home, Victoria’s Yarra Valley.
This is the first year Mr Sexton has brewed the beer in more than 30 years, with a “riff on the original” returning on-tap to its place of origin, Western Australia, in June.
Since then Mr Sexton has continued finetuning Redback for modern palates – and the result is Redback Summer, a more sessionable beer with a name that reflects its taste.
“For many people, the original Redback was the first time they drank beer and savoured it like a wine, which was great, but nowadays there are lots of different beers you can do that with. We wanted to make Redback a little easier to drink than the original, which was very close to a traditional Hefeweizen,” Mr Sexton said.
The revamped Redback strikes the balance between a sparkling Summer Ale and a Belgian Wheat Ale, delivering a smoothly sessionable experience from start to finish.
“We were playing around with new yeasts , the blend and the acidity a lot this year, and we’ve finally found something we think does this iconic brand justice. It’s been a tricky journey to get the balance right – keeping the lovely Belgian characteristics while not overpowering the beer.”
The aroma is mandarin rind and floral spice with underlying fruit, a hint of hop spice and a slightly biscuity malt tone. Palate is creamy, soft yet firm; balancing lovely lemon curd and earth fruit notes to produce a well-balanced mild palate with high drinkability. Finishes very crisp and extremely fresh, with an ABV of 4.7%.
Redback Summer is now exclusively available at Liquor Baron stores in WA as well as on tap in selected venues across Perth and on tap at the Matilda Bay Brewery in the Yarra Valley.