Stacks of oak barrels, cuttings of Australian bush and a complete absence of large cylindrical tanks. Wildflower isn’t like other breweries.
Brewers in Australia tend to use commercial yeast and rely on malt or hop-led brews. But Wildflower’s Topher Boehm makes what he calls “wild-fermentation” beer. He collects indigenous yeast locally from bush cuttings and from trips to the mountains.
With that collection of wild, unidentified yeast, as well as an unusually flat tank (yeast performs better under low pressure) and a series of former wine barrels, he makes some of the most unique beers in Australia. They’re more like minimal-interventions wines: tart, slightly pungent and incredibly complex.
Unsurprisingly, they’re hard to get a hold of. Some progressive fine-dining restaurants and craft-beer pubs serve Wildflower, but one sure way to try the three different brews (a clean table beer, a tart golden ale and a funky amber ale) is at the brewery itself.
Each Saturday Boehm opens his Marrickville warehouse for tours and tastings. The former is a ticketed event that includes both a lesson and a taste of each of the brews. The latter operates more like a bar, albeit without an actual bar or any stools. Instead, the three beers are served from the bottle and the fit out consists of a scattering of recycled furniture and bush shrubbery for decoration.