Brewery: Two Metre Tall
Style: Blended Wild-Fermented Cider 54% & Farmhouse Ale 46%
Size: 750ml Bottle
Origin: Hayes, TAS Australia
A bit of history ...
Commissioned by NOMA to make the first beverage for the degustation menu of their January to April2016 residency in Sydney, TwoMetreTall’s response to the. Copenhagen based restaurant awarded “Best. Restaurant in the World” multiple times, was a rather incredulous “but we make beer & cider”. It. was simply unimaginable at that time that the aperitif for the summit of gastronomy would be
anything other than the most expensive Champagne ... or sparkling wine or, at the very least, something with grapes ... surely!? Always the ground breaker & risk-taker, NOMA put their faith in TwoMetreTall who stepped up to the plate with a blend of 7-year-old wild fermented ale blended with a 3-year-old wild fermented cider. And, because the best restaurant in the world wanted their lead beverage from a small (but tall!) Tasmanian farmer & brewer, we decided to pay. homage with something not only particularly Australian, but something that had, quite simply
put, the worst reputation in the world of alcoholic beverages ...
... and with that SNAKEBITE was born.
Re-incarnation, Autumn 2021 ...
And ‘woah!’, hold on to your degustative horses, because only the bold, the ‘out-there’, the radical can take to the stage for this gig!
This one is controversial! It will sink the cognoscenti and challenge all-comers. But if you never push-the-boundaries, you never know where you really are nor what you are capable of. Don’t you worry though, if you can’t, or won’t or don’t, TwoMetreTall will push your boundaries for you! That’s what we do!
Snakebite returns as a blend of 54% wild-fermented cider & 46% wild-fermented farmhouse ale, with an average blend age of just under 6-years, the oldest component is 10-years-old, & the youngest is 3-years.
Fascinating enough, but here’s the real magic. Each component of the blend (& there are many components!) was. individually matured under its own wild flor. For those non-uber-nerds, flor is a naturally protective film – the French beautifully refer to it as “La voile”, the veil – thrown up as an effective oxygen barrier by the flourishing community of wild microorganisms responsible for the transformational characters that dominate, particularly on the nose, of this now finished beverage. Flor characters, a hallmark of beverages like fino sherry from Spain, are often characterised as “nutty”, sometimes even as “rancio” (a Spanish term for the extremely complex characters derived from the oxidative effects on fatty acids) and what they most definitely are is very much on the spectrum of what the pros refer to as “volatility”. Now here’s where we get controversial, because volatility is most often derided by too many of the modern beverage cognoscenti as being a “fault” (a concept we could talk for hours on if challenged!). Broadly speaking, there are two types of volatility in alcoholic beverages.
1. Bacterial induced volatility promoted via the metabolism of the acetobacter species. The nail-varnish character attributable to ethyl-acetate is predominant here, as are bucket-loads of acetic acid (i.e., good old vinegar!)
2. Oxidative volatility produced from very long-term maturation in slightly ullaged barrels under flor; a living, breathing, exceptionally food-friendly, slowly accumulated sea of umami complexity. Yes, the volatility is dominated by acetic acid, but it is SOOOO much more than that!
Snakebite is very much a product of the latter, i.e., long term oxidative volatility and demonstrates how even the most edgy, unfashionable & apparently undesirable of characters can be woven into a fabric of great interest & beauty. The aroma will confront with its distinctive, original lift of extraordinarily sharp but nutty, earthy, incredibly rich complexity and on the palate, a completely contrasting softness and buttery smooth texture will have you staring at an empty bottle before you think you’ve even started to unravel the mystery & intrigue of the aromatics. And finally, it is important to note, having finished this product so long in the making with bottle fermentation, we have very deliberately managed this process to just saturate the final product with dissolved CO2 so that it remains only very gently sparkling on the palate. A product more classically “fizzy” would not only detract from, & in many cases hide, the subtlety of the complex characters wrought by time but also negatively augment the sharper, more volatile characteristics. We believe we have struck the correct balance; confronting enough to serve as an excellent organoleptic learning experience, a complex plaything for adventurous diners and just downright delicious to drink. Serve lightly chilled, not cold. The beverage, given it is predominantly cider, will not pour a head on service, so serve into your best table glassware, and enjoy the reincarnation of a project conceived to be both original and