A beer to stoke the fire in your belly
THERE'S something brewing in Byron Bay that's sure to warm the bellies of beer lovers across the country.
It's the newly invented Fire Face imperial choc-chilli Schwartz bier, concocted by The Byron Bay Brewing Company as a one-off beer to be launched at the largest craft beer festival of its kind in Australia - the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS).
Head brewer Scott Hargrave said it was the perfect beer heading into winter.
"I got invited to brew a beer for the festival, then I had a list of crazy beers that might have suited and I whittled it down to this one," he said.
"For the time of year, I was thinking a darker beer, a more soft or comfortable winter warmer."
Mr Hargrave said the Fire Face beer combined "rich dark chocolate malts" with a hint of chilli to balance out the malt and a relatively high alcohol content, 6.5%, to warm the belly.
"That's what the higher alcohol does as well," he said.
"It adds a warmer character to the beer and the chilli should help with that as well."
For Mr Hargrave, the GABS festival is about getting people to notice The Byron Bay Brewing Company beer and showing the industry and customers they're capable of producing something different.
It will be the first time The Byron Bay Brewing Company has entered the Melbourne-based beer festival.
More than 250 beers from 130 breweries around the world will be on show from May 23 to 25 as part of Good Beer Week.
The Melbourne-based beer festival attracts about 12,000 people and is held every May.
This year's event will see brews incorporating peanut butter rice, home-grown rocket leaves, blueberries, apricots, toasted coconut and seaweed.