St Phoebe is an Australian Wild Ale refermented with plums. While the beer is named for Chris and his wife Emily's first daughter, Saint Phoebe was a first century deaconess from modern day Greece. In 2021, this beer was made from golden mixed fermentation, barrel aged beer and 996kg of fresh, tree ripened Ebony Sun plums hand picked from Thornbrook Orchard in Nashdale, NSW.
As you may recall, the 2018 and 2019 editions of St Phoebe were made with raspberries. Despite our best efforts to source fresh local berries grown in a sustainable way, we were again facing the prospect of having to use frozen fruit. This hasn't sat well with us and whilst there was a lot to like about those raspberry beers, we made the choice to change fruits for St Phoebe for the 2020 edition and the 2021 beer continues this.
As mentioned before, St Phoebe is made with Ebony Sun plums from Thornbrook Orchard in Orange, NSW. Paula and her team at Thornbrook grow amazing fruit and it's really pleasing to be able to work with their fresh, tree ripened and hand picked fruit this year not only in St Phoebe but also St Thomas, St Henry and St Abigail. We worked with plums from Thornbrook in 2018 and 2019 in our Collective beers and loved the way this particular stone fruit grown by Paula works with our culture. Our preference for fresh fruit comes from our desire to bring the microbiology from the farm into the ferment, like we do with our wine grape referments. We feel that we can get a more expressive fermentation from specific fruits if we allow the native yeast residing on the fruit to be active in the ferment, hence our strong preference to work with fresh rather than frozen fruit.
St Phoebe 2021 was made in a similar manner to our other stonefruit beers (Thomas, Henry and Abigail) whereby we source and macerate whole, real fruit from Nashdale with barrel ripened Gold from our cellar. This year, the beer had a whole six months to hang out with these plums and soak up every last bit of their sweet plummy goodness before being blended and bottled in October 2021. The beer went through its ultimate fermentation in bottle for carbonation and conditioning for 4 months before its now release.
At this month of release, we reckon it bursts open with spice aromas, cinnamon quill and star anise. Red fruits follow, sweet red apple, cranberries and grape. Red creaming soda and candy floss lift the nose at the end. The palate is soft and full. Fruit sweetness runs the length. There’s ripe plum, spiced apple and vinous undertones. The cooking spices play across the palate and work in tandem with savoury oak. Simple but seemingly complex, exactly how we like them." - Wildflower Beer
BREWERY: Wildflower Beer
STYLE: Australian Wild Ale
SIZE: 750ml Bottle
ORIGIN: Sydney, NSW