It’s Beervana 2017. Welcome to the weird and wondrous world of the Cabinet of Curiosities.


Today the name cabinet sounds a little underwhelming. It brings to mind a small cupboard, but back in the 16th century a Cabinet of Curiosities was a private museum and would often fill a whole room or multiple rooms. In Germany, where they have a knack for cool names, they were called Wunderkammer, or room of wonders. They were collections of the most marvelous, unusual, exotic and fascinating objects to be found - filled with botanical and zoological specimens, ethnographic curiosities from far away lands, relics, geological treasures and weird and wondrous contraptions. Serious scientific specimens would often sit side by side with objects of a far more occult nature. Cabinets might proudly display genuine ‘unicorn’ horns, and one famous collection included a preserved mermaid’s hand brought back from the mysterious east.

Cintamani

5.8% - Sessionable Citrus IPA made with Buddha hands

First up, and the most reserved of our curious offerings, is Cintāmaṇi, the alchemist’s stone of the east, an aromatic pale ale infused with Buddha’s Hand fruit. If you’ve never seen a Buddha’s hand they look a little like a bizarre fingered lemon, with little or no flesh inside. What they lack in juice they more than make up for in aroma, so much so that they’re often used to fragrance temples. In this beer the fruit lends a delightfully delicate fragrance, elevating citrus hop notes to create a crisp, light and deliciously drinkable beer.

Toadstone

8% - Black, brett, buckwheat, bourbon barreled beer

Of a more unusual nature is the most rare and extraordinary Toadstone, named after the mythical gem thought to have been formed in the head of a toad and said to possess the power to render poisons harmless. Dark and mysterious Toadstone is a black, brett fermented beer brewed with malted buckwheat and aged in bourbon barrels. Its unique combination of unusual ingredients creates a singular brew with a unique rich character unlike any other.

Mermaids Hand

7.8% - Brett fermented Golden Pear Ale

Next up, for your delectation and delight, we have Mermaid’s Hand, a golden ale, co-fermented with freshly crushed perry pear juice (courtesy of the wonderful folk at Peckham’s Cidery) using the true Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois, and aged in freshly emptied oak wine barrels. It’s a beguiling brew, both bizarre and beautiful, full of fruit and a twist of funk.

Golden Spiral

8% - Fibonacci hopped IPA - Super Hoppy Golden Ale

For those looking for a transcendental hop hit, we have Golden Spiral, a unique experiment using the Fibonacci sequence to determine the volume and timing of hop additions. Undoubtedly the most complex and audaciously hopped recipe we’ve ever attempted, with thirteen different hop varieties utilised in 21 different hop additions creating a lupulin complexity rivalled only in the wonders of nature itself.

Tempest Prognosticator

7.5% - Bitter Dark Choc & Burnt Mandarin Foam

Finally we bring you the marvellous Tempest Prognosticator. This was an actual machine of unsurpassed ingenuity, invented to predict storms by using the uncanny precognitive abilities of leeches. Leeches it seems can sense changes in barometric pressure and quite sensibly leave the water before torrential rain causes flooding. The Tempest Prognosticator sought to harness this precognitive power. Leeches in glass jars of water would climb up and ring a small bell to warn of imminent storms. I shit you not. The Tempest Prognosticator in this Cabinet is a blend of two separate beers, brewed to be combined - first a luscious robust porter, infused with cocoa nibs, cinnamon and vanilla and then a second beer, designed to pour only as a thick foam, infused with hand roasted burned mandarin.

The Aardvark

4% - Lemongrass Ant Sour Beer - Sour ale flavoured with ants

Perhaps our most unusual offering in this curated collection of curiosities is The Aardvark. Named after one of the most bizarre of creatures, The Aardvark is a kettle sour beer infused with Lemongrass ants. Procured for us by edible insect experts Anteater, these potent edible ants deliver a powerful lemongrass zing to what is a truly unique beer. Almost all Garage Project beers are vegan - this clearly is not, so if you are sensitive about these things you may wish to abstain (or not).

There you have it, The Cabinet of Curiosities, six wholly unique and wondrously bizarre brews, undoubtedly some of the most interesting offering to have ever come from the Garage. For your chance to experience the wondrous Cabinet of Curiosities come to Beervana this Friday and Saturday at Westpac Stadium. Something for every taste, even formivores.