Deep in the GABS Festival catalogue was some fearful reading.
No, this isn’t about the unique 9.999% brew made in a teapot with a bunch of gravel before Belgian yeast was thrown in via a helicopter. Punters do know what to expect from the well credentialled three-day craft beer event.
This is about an advertisement on one of the closing pages. It showed a Yak.
Australian beer drinkers have become accustomed to the animal being adorned on their brew labels. Fat Yak (4.7% American Pale Ale) was a gateway beer to the craft side for some consumers.
But then it spawned Lazy Yak (4.4% Australian Pale Ale). It was a bit like watching Bjorn Again. The tribute is never as good as the real thing. But it sold.
So owner CUB decided to register more Yak names than a Mongolian wildlife park.
Wild Yak (4.2% Pacific Pale Ale – whatever style that actually is) came along about this time last year as it was heavily promoted at GABS 2016.
Twelve months later and the herd has gotten bigger. Flapjack Yak (yee ha!) will be on debut at next week’s GABS in Melbourne.
Now details are sketchy but the new Yak will have a maple taste – because that is what it says on the banner! We also know it is an Amber Kellerbier with crisp malt-accented character. It hits 4.2% ABV – right in the general Australian beer drinker strike zone.
There is a short video released for Flapjack Yak but it does little to shine a light on the beer. But there is a Yak.
Flapjack Yak is another nail in the coffin for the Matilda Bay brand, which created the Australian craft beer renaissance almost 35 years ago but is left languishing in the CUB portfolio.
There are no Matilda Bay products on offer at GABS.
Yet the Yak hasn’t forgotten his roots. Or he is riding another brand’s coat-tails because in the GABS' program description for Flapjack Yak it states, “These Yaks can be traced back to 1984, and over the years they've wandered Australia with their friends at Matilda Bay and CUB.
"Like their namesake animals, the beers are big and hairy, yet surprisingly approachable. They love brewing beer and when you love what you do, it's guaranteed to result in only
One thing is for sure. A taste of the new brew at GABS will create quite a yak amongst Australian craft beer drinkers.