This post is part of a series discussing beers brewed by members of the Merri Mashers brewing club as part of their 2015 case swap celebration. In essence, I have twenty-three different beers by twenty-three different brewers all from the inner-northern suburbs of Melbourne. I’ll be drinking and blogging them over the first quarter of the year.
The first beer for the 2015 case swap series is named the “Disturbing Brown Thing”. It was described on the tag as a light brown ale with 50% rye malt, two obscure herbs and egg white. Trời ơi! I have read here and there about old English brewers fining their beers, or attempting to clarify their beers, using egg white – but I never thought I’d be drinking such a concoction in the twenty-first century. Kudos to the brewer Timothy Train for giving it a go!
The “thing” poured well with a proud head that quickly shrunk away to zero. Carbonation was brisk and businesslike, the myriad small bubbles obscuring similarly-sized flakes of sediment, lifting them up and swirling them around inside the glass like a dust devil at a bush doof. Colour is deep copper, not too brown, and the aroma is sourly tannic with hints of rosemary and garlic. The note is similar to the beer I brewed with goji berries earlier this year.
It is a spicy devil of a drink; the rye comes through clear and strong, too much spice for many palates but I didn’t mind it. Bitterness is low, hop character zero. The rye tang, taken in conjunction here with a rough, medicinal sourness, reminded me a little of the delicious harshness given by plain lemon juice. My glass was very cold and I think this may be key to this beer’s potability. The carbonation also helps. On the whole the mouthfeel is thin and spritzy – not at all what one imagines upon reading “brown ale” and “egg whites” on the label.
I struggle to ascertain what the egg whites have given – the beer is opaque, does not smell, nor taste like egg and the body is thin. This is a very strange beverage. But not a horrible one, which bodes well for the rest of the case swap beers – I went with the weirdest first!