20 June 2014 - Best Beer HQ

Yeastie Boys release craft beer made with wine

Yeastie Boys craft beer made with wine

New Zealand craft brewers Yeastie Boys have announced the release of a series of “wine beers” made in collaboration with Australian wine makers Some Young Punks.

In what’s described by the Wellington-based brewery as a world first, the new “Spoonbender” series of craft beers use botrytis viognier in an innovative brewing process that sees wine turned into candi-sugar before it’s re-fermented into the beer.

Yeastie Boys creative director, Stu McKinlay said the trickiest part of making the “wine beers” was convincing New Zealand Customs to allow it to import the wine, excise free. “The process of creating the candi-sugar removes the alcohol from the wine, so we didn’t want to pay tax on booze that was never going to be consumed.”

Meanwhile, he said the wine changed dramatically between Yeastie Boys’ original trial and the time they were finally ready to make the Spoonbender beers commercially, so the brewers had to tweak the recipe once the wine arrived in the country.

The Spoonbender name is play on the word “spooning”, which McKinlay said was appropriate considering the collaboration with Some Young Punks was a little more intimate than usual.

He added: “Uri Geller, the original spoonbender, was a popular topic in our household and brewers collaborating with winemakers seemed like a fitting example of this metaphorical bending of the spoon.”

The names of the three individual beers – The Sly Persuader, The Sun Before the Darkness and The Last Dictator (all pictured above) – are also inspired by Australian rock band Crime & The City Solution’s 1990 album Paradise Discotheque.

Yeastioe Boys has a reputation for innovation. In 2011, the brewery was awarded the Morton Coutts Trophy for Innovation for its “whisky beer” Rex Attitude. Yeastie Boys is also notorious for creating a Gunnamatta – an Earl Grey IPA.

All three Spoonsbender beers will be released in New Zealand from 30 June 2014 and will also be available in Australia from August.

Craft Beer Australia / New Zealand /