If you think about it (and I mean really think, not just not just google on your smart telephone) two of the four best things mankind has ever invented - wrestling and chilli sauce - both originated in Mexico (the other two things - being pizza and crossbows - originated somewhere else, possibly Russia, i'm not sure).
Aside from great chow and martial arts you may have seen or experienced a Mexican beer or two, and I know that the type of person that's reading this blog right now ain't got no Corona or Sol on thir top ten beers list!
Those Central Americans just aren't as renowned for their ale-smithing prowess as they are for their flying choke-slams. Nope, it looks like if you want a MexiBeer done right you have to get it done by two Chicas in old Melbourne town - a place very similar to Mexico, but with (slightly) less graffiti and more fixed gear bicycles.
'Taco' is a hoppy wheat beer with added lime and coriander, sounds interesting right? It's difficult to spot the wheatiness here but it's there, hiding under a citra punch and paired with the coriander it comes off tasting a lot like a corn chip dipped in guac. But that could just be my drunken brain playing tricks on me. It's a terrific arvo ale and seems like it was designed specifically to calm the burn of a chilli taco or two.
The only downside I've found is that it's almost impossible to drink this stuff through my luchador mask, which I bought especially for this tasting - very disappointing and messy (don’t worry I'll leave the eBay seller sternly worded negative feedback).
Two Birds Brewing seem to be a pretty fun bunch and this particular beer shows that they most certainly know how to get creative in the brewery whilst keeping their excellent core range of brews consistent and delicious.
I think it's safe to say that no 'Juan' loves Taco as much as we do (sorry, I had to) so we caught up with Jayne, Co-owner and Brewer at two birds, to find out a thing or two about her loco new brew.
BM: What made you decide to start jump in and start a brewery.. in other words are you mad?
Jayne: I've been brewing for 10 years for companies like Little Creatures, Matilda Bay and Mountain Goat and when we started Two Birds, the end game was always to own our own stainless steel. It’s
madness, but it's a dream come true for us!
BM: When you started brewing the .Taco beer, did you stumble across this amazing recipe or did you start with an end taste in mind?
Jayne: The Taco is a beer that Danielle and I dreamt up after a trip to San Diego, where we enjoyed stacks of craft beer and tacos. We decided to use the fresh flavours of corn, coriander leaf and lime peel in the beer, with a heathy dose of American Citra and Amarillo hops, to echo the citrusy notes. We knew what we wanted the end product to taste like and I worked back from there. We never did any trial brewing of Taco, just jumped straight in and brewed 2500L and we haven't changed a thing with the recipe since the 1st brew.
BM: Are you like most of us, a functioning alcoholic or do you manage to keep yourself under control even tho you are surrounded by beer daily?
Jayne: Making beer is serious business and there's a lot of heavy machinery involved, so we keep our tastings to a minimum during the day. We do love a good beer once the hard work is done though!
BM: What has been the biggest challenge with your brewing?
Jayne: The planning phase of the brewery, dealing with the various regulatory bodies, utilities companies etc, was one of the most challenging things that I've ever had to do. Everything takes longer than you expect and it can be very frustrating. Brewing beer is the easy part!
BM: Where do you see the craft beer industry going?
Jayne: Even in the last 5 years, I have seen a massive upturn in the acceptance of craft beer. There are new breweries entering the market all the time and while beer quality remains high, the industry will go from strength to strength. The biggest threat to the craft beer industry is poor quality beer in the marketplace.
BM: Do you mainly drink beer or do other beverages really get you going as well?
Jayne: I love beer, but I'm also partial to wine, gin and tea. I don't discriminate.
BM: You are consistently brewing the same beers now, Do you still love to get in and invent a new one?
To me, brewing consistent beer on a daily basis is the sign of a great brewer and we love trying to make our core beers, the best that they can be. We have been making a lot more one-off beers since the installation of the brewery and it's always good fun and a chance to let our imaginations run wild. It's a collaborative process, as Danielle and I will often discuss the idea for the beer and then Wilson (our brewer) and I will work together to write the recipe and brew the beer.
BM: There is talk of cans coming back in... your thoughts - bottles or cans??
Jayne: The craft can market in the US is booming and there are a number of Australian breweries who are canning their beers now, with great success. I believe they both have their place, but there will be a lot of growth in craft cans over the next couple of years.
BM:Favourite beer you have brewed?
Jayne: I have a love/hate relationship with Taco. I really love drinking it, but it's a very involved beer to make, with lots of limes to peel and coriander leaf to wash, so I hate it a little bit too.
BM: Finally, When can we get you into The Blind Monk for a session?
Jayne: Hopefully soon, I'm overdue for a visit!
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