Malt Shovel Brewery launches beer with West African native spice

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th February 2014
Mad Brewer's has launched a limited edition brew with West African spice

Sydney-based brewery, Malt Shovel Brewery, which is home to the James Squire range of beers, has launched its latest creation under the Mad Brewer’s label with the release of ‘Garden de Paradisi’, available as a limited release nationally in bottle shops and on tap from mid-February 2014.

Brewed by Dan Feist and Josh Staines, two of the younger brewers at the Malt Shovel Brewery, ‘Garden de Paradisi’ features a rare West African Spice that was traditionally referred to as ‘Grana Paradisi’ (or Grains of Paradise) by medieval merchants who were looking to increase its value.

Malt Shovel Brewery said the spice was “once used by Ghanaian witch doctors and occasionally in Caribbean voodoo rituals”, but the grain is used in a contemporary context to produce a unique take on a ‘Biere de Blanche’ (or ‘Witbier’, white beer).

Brewed with barley malt, unmalted wheat and oats, Malt Shovel Brewery said the ‘Garden de Paradisi’ brew was inspired by the classic Belgian Witbier. The brew has a “healthy dose of lime and mandarin peel”, as well as a blend of Mosaic, Topaz and Summer Hops. The ‘Garden de Paradisi’ is then “seasoned” with Grains of Paradise to add “peppery spice”. Malt Shovel Brewery said the result is a beer with a “citrusy aroma”, “light tropical notes” and a finish that is “dry, tart and refreshingly bitter”.

“Grains of Paradise seeds are closely related to cardamom, giving a sharp peppery bite and a refreshing acidity, which has worked exceptionally well in creating this beer,” said Josh Staines, Collaborative brewer at Malt Shovel Brewery. “The spice is also used in Moroccan and Tunisian dishes such as tagines and stews, which ‘Garden de Paradisi’ will complement brilliantly,” he said.

Using traditional Belgian Witbier yeast, ‘Garden de Paradisi’ is brewed to a higher than typical Alcohol By Volume of 6.2 per cent to balance its bitterness and complexity. Malt Shovel Brewery said the Grains of Paradise used are also roasted to “enhance citrus and pepper character and also added at off-boil for a greater volatile extraction”. ‘Garden de Paradisi’ is unfiltered and unpasteurised.

Pint-sized bottles (568mL) of ‘Garden de Paradisi’ will be available nationally in-pack and on-tap in selected venues and outlets (single bottle RRP $7.50, 12x carton RRP $70) from mid-February 2014, until stocks last.