Pioneer Brewing taking Country Fling to Sydney GABS Festival

Festival ready: Peter Gerber, from Pioneer Brewing Co. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 1009jkfest1

Festival ready: Peter Gerber, from Pioneer Brewing Co. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 1009jkfest1

Even though the upcoming GABS Craft Beer and Cider Festival is being held in various metropolitan areas, nods to the central west will certainly be tasted thanks to a local brewer.

Peter Gerber, from Pioneer Brewing Co near Orange, is heading to the Sydney festival in June with a unique craft beer they've specifically created for the event.

"This year we put our names forward again to do another GABS beer, a Berliner Wiesse," head brewer Pete Gerber said who will be at the festival's Container Bar.

He explained that a Berliner Wiesse craft beer is a German style sour beer and is staying true to the GABS tradition of showcasing originality.

The Orange brewers are very proud in keeping things local and wanted to use local produce in the speciality craft beer, which is why they called it Country Fling, to showcase to the central west.

"Whenever we can we'll try and put as much focus on the central west or our region, or the outback...," Mr Gerber explained.

"For that reason that's why we try and keep everything as local as possible. We've got big plans to keep that philosophy growing into the future as our business grows."

And they certainly have kept it local for this year's GABS festival.

Pioneer Brewing Co have an orchard which not only produces citrus, but wood off cuts, leftover grapes, plums and other fruits.

"So we figured why don't we take that and smoke a malt with it," Mr Gerber said, who further went on to say that 94 per cent of the malt in the Country Fling beer was grown on their property.

Pioneer sent the malt to Griffith's Voyager Malts, who then added to the GABS twist and threw in walnut shells.

"We got this malt smoked up and figured we'd put it into a beer. Obviously there's a lot of smoked beers in the world and there's a lot of different sour beers in the world, but we haven't really heard of people doing both of them together," Mr Gerber said.

"On top of that we needed to get a little residual sweetness out of it so we figured we'd use some local honey."

Mr Gerber said GABS festival attendees will taste a lot of complexity with Country Fling.

"When you actually smell the beer at first you will smell a little bit of smokiness, but you will smell, some citrus.. but when you taste the beer you will get a little bit of citrus, sweetness... and when you go looking for it you will find the smokiness in there," he explained.

Mr Gerber said not many farmers are into drinking craft beer just yet, which is why they decided to make Country Fling more of an introduction to sour beer.

"We want people to turn around and go 'actually I don't mind that, 'or no it's too much for me', but we don't want to give them something where they just turn their nose up to it and never want to try a craft beer ever again," he said.