GABS Edition: 5 minutes with Mal & Joel from Indian Ocean Brewing

Q&A with Mal and Joel from Indian Ocean Brewing on their GABS beer – Mumme

The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, aka GABS,  is on again as part of the annual amazingness that is Good Beer Week, a nine day festival throughout Melbourne which kicked off on 16th May.

Good Beer Week: 16-24th May

GABS: Imagine a really beautiful building and inside are all your favourite Australian breweries, plus a handful of international brewing superstars, with their beers ready for you to taste and brewers keen to have a chat. Upstairs there’s a variety of beer seminars with people who really know their stuff. There’s plenty of food and live music and on top of all this there’s over 100 unique beers, GABS festival beers, which have been brewed especially for the event and all are on their debut outing because that’s one qualification to be a GABS festival beer.

My blog has been pretty free of Good Beer Week activity this year and I can only put this down to an act of self preservation as I am not going to GBW this year. Every time GBW is mentioned I get a pang of beer envy but, nevertheless, I cannot ignore the thirst-inducing creative GABS beers that our fab WA brewers have put together for this years festival so I have been pestering our great brewers to ask them about their GABS beers …

Next  in the series we have Mal and Joel, the brewing team at Indian Ocean Brewing, talking about their GABS beer – Mumme.

White Cap at Indian Ocean

Photos by Danica Zuks, kindly provided by Mindarie Marina

GABS Festival Beer: Mumme | 5.6% ABV | Altbier

The Official GABS Guide says: “A traditional style of beer originally from Dusseldorf. ‘Alt’ refers to the ‘old’ style of brewing (i.e. making top-fermented ales) that was common before lager brewing became popular. A well balanced, bitter yet malty, clean, smooth, well-attenuated amber-coloured German-style ales.”

What is so exciting about GABS?

The prospect of seeing such a wide range of amazing and different beers under one roof; having the opportunity to access brewers interpretations and translations of all kinds of styles and sub-styles. Offers up not only an awesome sensory experience, but also an educational opportunity as well.

Tell us about the Mumme beer?

Well it was the fore-runner to the modern Dussledorff Altbier which Joel and I share a great fondness for. Mumme is an extinct Medieval ale that was at one time a global phenomenon; if my memory serves me correctly it was the first style to be exported to numerous countries and inspired brewers throughout various parts of Europe to brew their own versions – such was its appeal. Mumme was purportedly a brown, syrupy, thick and bitter strong ale, often brewed with the addition of an eclectic array of herbs and spice, while increasingly hops were introduced as well. Our interpretation uses a floor malted base malt, smoked malts and caramel wheat malt, in our minds at least, providing the elements we felt were critical to the original beers profile.

What is it about this style of beer that appealed to you?

As you know it stems from having a long-standing interest in extinct or little known beer styles, and Joel shares the same interest. We both enjoy beers that show quality malt characteristics as opposed to being more hop-driven and this style, because of its body and depth, invites generous hopping without that necessarily being the dominant presence. The opportunity to play with smoked malts is another motivating factor as well…but using them in such a way that they bring complexity and personality to a beer.

What was the trickiest part of the brew?

Building balance and drinkability into the design and execution of the beer….not necessarily an easy chore on this brew-kit 😉

Who’s beer are you most keen to try this year, and why?

We will be looking for sours, smoked and examples of rarely brewed or esoteric beers






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