17 July 2023

Wollongong brewery's new truffle beer set to tantalise tastebuds at upcoming festival

| Keeli Royle
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Five Barrel Brewing beer list.

Five Barrel Brewing is growing a reputation for creative concoctions. Photo: Keeli Royle.

Five Barrel Brewing is breaking the rules of beer making by adding an extra rare ingredient to their new batch.

The Wollongong brewery dug up the idea to launch a ‘Trufflepalooza’ festival in the Illawarra after going on a truffle hunt at a farm in Golspie last year.

Co-owner Lucy Timpano said while truffle-loaded burgers had already proven to be a big hit at the brewery, they’re now seeing how the ingredient will go in beer.

“We have a keg of barley wine that we brewed a couple of years ago and we’re going to infuse it with truffles,” Lucy said. “We got some truffles from one of our friends and we’ve grated it into a little bit of vodka and then we’ll add that into the already brewed wine.”

Lucy said the 13.5 per cent ABV barley wine had aged nicely and was strong and malty with a hint of caramel richness.

The added truffles are expected to bring in some full-bodied earthy flavours.

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The infusion is currently underway so the batch will be ready for the event at the end of the month … if everything goes to plan.

“It’s a lot of trial and error and figuring out quantities and sometimes they don’t always work but that’s why we do pilot batches,” Lucy said.

And in a few days the beverage will be ready to test.

“It’s a bit heart-wrenching particularly on something that you’ve never tried before and it’s a completely new style of beer that we haven’t brewed,” Lucy said.

Two people and truffle sniffing dogs at truffle hunt in Golspie.

The Five Barrel Brewing team were inspired by a truffle hunt at Tantalising Truffles in Golspie. Photos: Five Barrel Brewing.

The brewery is starting to become well known for its creative and experimental concoctions.

“It’s the first time we’ve done a truffle beverage but it’s not the first time we’ve added the extra flavours,” Lucy said. “A couple of months ago we did a spud ale which was an Australian sparkling ale with potato with the Robertson Potato Festival.”

And Lucy said the sky was the limit when it came to ingredients, with most customers keen to at least try most creations at least once.

“There’s nothing that’s off limits, it’s just if it’s good enough to have a second glass.”

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But if you want to get a taste you’ll have to get in quick, with the beverage only available for one day.

“Truffle is very expensive so it’s a little bit of luxury,” Lucy said. “It’s a 50-litre keg and it will be available in the tap room only and once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

And Lucy isn’t ready to give away what it will taste like.

“They are just going to have to come try it.”

But even if you’re not feeling brave enough to try a truffle beer, there will be plenty more on offer at Trufflepalooza with the free event also boasting delicious burgers, live music, entertainment and games.

The event kicks off at midday on 29 July.

For more information or to book visit the Trufflepalooza Facebook event page.

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