“I had a truffle tripel at the Truffel Kerfuffle,” would have been quite a hard sentence to say after a few of the aforementioned truffle tripel beers by Colonial Brewing, beer sponsor of the annual Truffle Kerfuffle festival in Manjimup.
Celebrating its fourth year, the Truffle Kerfuffle was held on the last weekend in June at Fonty’s Pool, about two hours south of Bunbury through WA’s beautiful Southern Forest region.
Sadly I wasn’t able to go along this year so I had to be content with my memories of the 2013 Truffle Kurfuffle instead. Just to add salt to the wound of not going I also caught up with Colonial Brewing’s head brewer Justin Fox, after an epic five game of telephone tag, who told me all about the truffle beer they brewed for the festival.
In 2013 Colonial brewed a truffle porter, this year they opted for a Belgian style tripel. Stocks of the truffle porter were so limited that the promise of your first born probably could not have guaranteed you a glass and while this years truffle tripel is not quite that elusive they still only brewed six hectolitres. For those of you who speak fluent pub that equals about eleven kegs.
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Colonial brewers Justin and Paul brewed the truffle tripel at the Edith Cowan University (ECU) brewhouse using five kilos of truffles from The Wine & Truffle Company. That’s just under 500g of truffle per keg. “Half of Edith Cowan smelled like truffles!” Justin laughed.
Brewing at ECU allowed the guys to brew in a small batch and highlight those unique truffle characteristics. They also made their own clear candi sugar using the ECU 50lt pilot brew system. For those brewing along at home they also used a Belgian ale yeast strain, French hops and Belgian pilsner malt. The rest you’ll have to work out yourself whilst you’re trying to find five kilos of truffles.
The beer was allowed to cool after fermentation before the truffles were added to happily swim inside for over a week. Afterwards, not leaving anything to waste, the truffles ended up in the hands of chefs from The Print Hall, Amuse and of course Colonial Brewing. Who have thought that chefs would be so keen to get their hands on beer soaked truffles?
Justin says the truffle tripel boasts much of the Belgian yeast aromas you would expect like banana and clove whilst the truffle sits quietly in the back waiting to be discovered, “once you stopped thinking about it you get it”. Also waiting in the beer’s background is it’s dangerous 9.5% ABV though Justin swears it only tastes like it is 6.5% “Last years porter melded well with the truffles whereas the tripel provides more contrast,” Justin remarks, “the tripel has hints of spice and a bit of fruit going up against the earthy truffle.”
There’s only a few venues where you’ll find the remaining kegs after Truffe Kerfuffle festival go-ers demolished three kegs in two days. It is currently pouring at Colonial Brewing and The Print Hall in Perth’s CBD and the last couple of kegs will make their way to The Raffles, Applecross and The Royal on the Waterfront, East Perth sometime week. I suggest following Colonial on Twitter for exact dates for getting your truffle on!