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October 10, 2017
Habits

Molly Rose Brewery releases Foundation Series

Molly Rose, the new brewery informed by the extensive travels of owner Nic Sandery, is launching its Foundation Series – six highly-considered beers that will be delivered directly to your door.

  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Supplied

It’s been a little over a year since we last caught up with brewer Nic Sandery. Back then, he spoke with us about the benefits of contract brewing for a small start-up operation like Molly Rose.

He had just returned from an international recon trip where he’d scoured prominent beer cultures around the world for insights he could infuse into his own brewing techniques.

Remarks

Each batch of beer is brewed to limited quantities, and the foundation series has been capped at 150 subscriptions, so head over to the Molly Rose website to sign up and keep up to date on future brews.

Since then, Nic’s pursuit for knowledge in beer has not slowed – he’s worked as a brewer at Vale Brewing and also spent a vintage in the Yarra Valley to better understand a winemakers’ approach to fermentation.

All of this background, plus his many years of experience with Stone and Wood and Holgate, have culminated in the Molly Rose Foundation Series – six thoroughly considered beers to be released via subscriptions, delivered directly to your door.

The subscription will be released in two shipments of three beers, and the first, Nic says, “will be fresh and vibrant beers. They’re ones that won’t take very long to make, but doesn’t mean they’re any less complex”.

In early November, subscribers will receive ‘An IPA for Today’, inspired by Nic’s travels through North America, where brewery-fresh IPA was a must for any bar worth its salt; Kuro, a Japanese dark lager, in which Nic balances smoked malt for savoury character, and kombu for umami.

And the third brew of the initial pack will be the Sour Tom, a strawberry Berliner weisse, created after a workmate of Nic’s started a mash without having access to enough hot water. The grain then had to be dug from a mash tun, by which point it started to sour.

Nic took a bucket of the grain, brewed it with fresh strawberries, and named it after his unwitting collaborator, Tom.

“Everybody else at the brewery knew that I was making this beer except for him, and we presented him with a bottle of it. He was through his bad stage then, so everyone had a bit of a laugh in good fun,” Nic says.

The subscription’s second release will consist of three brews that draw on Nic’s experiences in wineries, all of which will be barrel-aged.

“I’ll do a clean barley one – so that’ll be a malty nod to the English beers. That’ll spend about three months in some oak, ex-pinot noir barrels,” Nic says.

“I’ll do a mixed fermentation saison; so it’s going to be a pretty classic saison, but there’s going to be some Brett and maybe a little bit of Lactobacillus in there. Over the few months that it spends in barrel, it will form a bit of a funky, fruity complexity.

“And then the final beer will be a wild dark ale. I captured a little bit of wild yeast from some shiraz grapes when I was working at my second winery, which was Wine Unplugged… and I made a little homebrew with that, and that turned out pretty delicious.”

Nic hopes to have the second batch ready for shipment in three months, depending on the barrel-aging process, “but if they’re ready in two months, I’ll package them up and ship them out,” he says.

Similarly, the first shipment will be mailed out as soon as the IPA is “drinking at absolute perfection”, with subscribers receiving brewery fresh IPA on their doorsteps ready for the weekend – a benefit of the subscription model.

The model also benefits Nic, who, after spending the better part of two years trying to find funding, can now officially launch his brewery without making any compromises.

“For a little while there I was trying to raise capital to build a brewery, or start a contract brewery and get some business funds, but I just couldn’t find anybody who was interested, and who didn’t want to take a majority of my company,” Nic says.

“This is a company that has come from my heart – it’s my grandmothers’ names. Everything about this company is about what I dream it to be, so it’s not something that I want to give away a majority stake in.

“Having been a brewer – we don’t get paid very much, so I haven’t been able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in my many-year career of brewing. So the subscription model is really appealing, it means I can make half-a-dozen different beers, get them out there to people in the best condition I can.”

Each batch of beer is brewed to limited quantities, and the foundation series has been capped at 150 subscriptions, so head over to the Molly Rose website to sign up and keep up to date on future brews.

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