May 19 2017

For GABS 2017 we’re going on a journey along the ancient silk roads.

We like festival goers to have an experience unlike any they could have elsewhere and this is without doubt one of our most audacious offerings ever.

First a disclaimer - none of these beers are historically accurate. Please don’t spam us with angry emails detailing the many anachronisms and inaccuracies we’ve brewed into these offerings. This is an imagined journey, a beer fantasy with refreshment stops at the great centres of trade along the way.

What is real is the story of the silk routes, the great trade highways that operated between 120 BCE – 1450s CE between Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, along which silk and all manner of exotic goods travelled.

Our Silk Road beers may not be historically accurate but they are among the most interesting, unique and diverse brews we’ve ever done. Each is inspired by traditional drinks from stops along the Northern and Southern silk routes and each has been brewed especially for the GABS festival.

Tie Guan Yin

We begin our journey in China, the origin of the silk that fuelled these great trade routes. Our offering here is Tie Guan Yin - Iron Goddess of Mercy, one of the most famous and sought after teas in China. Taking this as inspiration Tie Guan Yin is a delicately fragrant lager brewed with rice, green tea and jasmine flowers.

Es Buah

From Java, we have Es Buah, inspired by the traditional cocktail of fresh tropical fruit juices. Normally spiked with ice and sugar, our take blends guava, star fruit, pineapple and a touch of hibiscus flower with a sour base to create a juicy sweet and sour brew with a tropical fruit punch.

Qishir

For refreshment as we stop in the middle east we have Qishir. Traditionally a tea, instead we’ve brewed a rich bock beer flavoured with cinnamon and Cascara, the dried ‘cherry’ that surrounds the coffee bean. The result balances delicate coffee fruit and cinnamon in a way that makes you feel that these unusual ingredients belong together in a beer.

DIPK

Hop lovers do not despair - we’ve stretched credulity to its limits to bring you a hoppy treat 400 years before the first IPA took to the seas. To do this we’ve brewed DIPK - double India pale Kölsch, a fantasy beer that asks what would happen if brewers of this traditional German ale made it stronger and dry hopped it in barrel to make it travel better? Could it be the kind of brew to slake the thirst of travellers when they finally arrived in the markets of Europe?

Oumou

People often talk of the silk road between Asia and Europe, but the southern sea route took traders all the way down the east coast of Africa. From the great African continent we bring you Oumou. Traditionally a pineapple and ginger ‘beer’, our take on this brew is a zesty and refreshing pilsner with pronounced gingerol punch layered with pineapple fruit sweetness and aroma.

Bhang Thandai

With all these unique and totally different brews it’s impossible to pick a hero, but there had to be one GABS brew. We’ve chosen Bhang Thandai. In India Bhang Thandai is a spiced milk drink, spiked with bhang, the traditional edible form of cannabis, often consumed at festivals. Inspired by this traditional drink we’ve created a rich milk stout brewed with lactose and spiced with almonds, watermelon seeds, green cardamom, saffron and black pepper. Shiva’s gift isn’t treated with the same tolerance in our neck of the woods so the traditional bhang has been replaced with oil from organic hemp seed added to the mash. We can’t promise transcendental bliss, but the oil gives a unique nutty character to the beer. Bhang Thandai will be dispensed on nitrogen for a beer which is as smooth as silk, with a rich spice and nut character that makes it a truly decadent brew.

Bhang Thandai contains hemp seed oil, and by purchasing it, you agree that it will be used for external use only. As a tasteful perfume, or perhaps to water your camel after your long journey across the Garage Project Silk Road.

So there you have it. An imaginary journey along the Silk Road through six brand new beers, each unique, together creating an experience unlike any you’ve tasted before. All these beer will be available at our GABS stand. Come and join us on the road.

This year for GABS you get three bites of the cherry with festivals in Melbourne (May 19 -21), Sydney (27 May) and Auckland (16 - 17 June). The Garage Project Silk Road bazaar will be at all three events. See you there.

William

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