no. 259

White Rabbit head brewer, Jeremy Halse, couldn’t be happier as he pops the cork of his Sour Red Grand Cru. The 100% barrel-aged beer was made using spontaneously fermenting Shiraz grapes supplied by Provenance Wines. Winemaker Scott Ireland looks on. 

When White Rabbit moved from Healesville (Victoria, Australia), to share a former wool factory site with fellow Kirin-owned brewery, Little Creatures, there were staff layoffs. The upside was more space for barrels and experimentation. Since then, they've added a blended Sour Red (White Rabbit Red) to their core line-up, and a Berliner Weisse (Teddywidder) which is now packaged in limited amounts. The Grand Cru hints at further wild intentions. 

The beer itself? Spicy, sharply tart and driven by subtle oak. I couldn’t decide if it was the highlight of the night, or the Provenance 2005 Kismet Late Pick Pinot Gris that followed. Either way, it's clear that wine and beer are better together. 

—Luke Robertson