Yes, I know it’s been a long time between drinks (bad pun – sadly – intended). Rather than doing more extensive articles here, I’ve been concentrating on Twitter and Instagram. But with a few more irons in the fire now, it’s time to head back to the longer format.
You might have heard of La Sirène. They’re a small brewer located in inner northern Melbourne who’ve made quite a splash in recent times with their highly specialised beers (notably their Praline chocolate ale, which has garnered pretty much universal praise and a top 10 place in the Critics Choice top 100 Aussie beers). Their declared mission is to produce classic Belgian and French Farmhouse styles – pretty left field for an Australian brewer. To that end, all their beers are unfiltered and unpasteurised; with all the bottled beers being refermented and matured in the bottle.
So to Florette (incidentally not available in bottles – yet – but on tap in many craft beer joints), La Sirène’s take on the classic Belgian witbier (think Hoegaarden). It pours a cloudy hay-yellow with a thin white head and barely noticeable carbonation. The aromas, I must admit, were a bit light on the light side (although that might have had something to do with the temperature at which it had been stored). Nonetheless, I could pick up some lemon, flowers and gentle cinnamon and pepper spice. The taste is citrus zest up front; delivering a whole lot more oomph than the nose suggests. Prickly pepper and cut grass emerge in the mid palate with orange and coriander coming through towards the end. Finishes quite cleanly, but leaves a light peppery aftertaste.
In some ways, this beer is a little off kilter in terms of the classic witbier style. It doesn’t quite have the usual creaminess associated with the style; but replaces that with some dialled up citrus notes that I really enjoyed. If you’re looking for a reproduction of Hoegaarden then, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for an interesting, very drinkable and refreshing local beer, you should certainly give this a try.