Wildflower Solera

Brewery: Wildflower Brewing & Blending
Country: Australia
ABV: 5%
Style: Wild Ale
Other Notes: Australian Wild Ale

Brewer Description: (from website) Solera is a spelt beer aged in foudre. It’s recipe is similar to our Gold except raw spelt is exchanged for raw wheat. We took the seventh pull of half the volume of our 2,400 litre foudre on 22 May 2020 and packaged it, unblended, on the same day.

This is, somewhat sadly, our final release of Solera. After making this pull we decided as a brewery to not refill the foudre with a spelt beer. This came about for a number of reasons, but principally the fact that we cannot source raw spelt from our organic farmers, the Greenwoods, who we purchase all the other grains we make our beer from. While there were organic options out there, we had decided to take a step closer towards being more hindered as to what we make based on what they grow. If the Greenwood’s find a suitable space and need spelt in their crop rotation and cycle, we may choose to use it again then. In the meantime, we are keen to work closer with what is already existing in their rotation. This was coupled with the fact that despite its best efforts, we were not convinced that the Solera beer was reaching the same levels as our Gold and Amber. While the production method of iterative blending was intriguing and educational for our palates, we feel that the specific blending of smaller oak barrels lends us more diversity and depth of flavours. Tasting this blend at release, I fear I may have made a misjudgement. However, this is now in the past. More grains, development and educational opportunities are now ahead of us.

At release, the aromas are earthy and funky and with strong orange citrus. Savoury marmalade overtones lifted by oak spice. This pull has great tension. The acidity is firm but in harmony with the dominant orange citrus. It’s bright and energetic, the length is lovely and the finish is all sherbet and cellar funk.

The base beer is brewed entirely with New South Wales cereals: NSW grown Gairdner ale malt from Providence Malt and raw spelt thanks to Voyager Craft Malt. It is made with filtered Sydney water, Motueka (NZ) and Saaz (CZ) hops. Finally, it was fermented with our house culture of brewers yeast, foraged wild yeast and naturally occurring souring bacteria native to New South Wales. It was bottled on 22 May 2020 and naturally conditioned through refermentation for 15 weeks before being seen outside the brewery. At packaging, Solera Pull #7 was 5.0% ABV and 1.2°P (FG = 1.005 SG).

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.19
My ratebeer.com rating: 4

Intro: A 750ml bottle, pull #7, bottled in May 2020, and with a best before date of May 2025. Poured into a 3 Fonteinen Zenne glass.
Appearance: A lightly hazy golden colour with a thin white head that dissipated fairly quickly to a ring around the glass, while leaving some tiny spotty lacing.
Aroma: A nice citrus fruit blend, light funk, oak, lemon, lemon zest, orange, with stone fruit notes.
Taste: Tart, lightly sour, lemon, lime, very light funk, oak notes, apricot, with hints of lightly spiced pepper.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: Very enjoyable, refreshing and easy to drink.

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