Madocke brews beer with Belgian Embassy
Madocke Beer Brewing Co. on the Gold Coast has brewed a beer in collaboration with the Belgian Embassy to raise funds for the Ukrainian humanitarian project, Help on Bee Wings.
Commissioned by the Embassy, the project first began after the Ambassador of Belgium to Australia, Michel Goffin, visited Madocke earlier this year.
“We started chatting and he was so intrigued by our story that he said, ‘I really would like to come and visit you on the Gold Coast’ and he did,” Madocke co-founder and brewery manager Annelies Nijskens told Brews News.
“Now that he’s a beekeeper on the Belgian beehives, and because he loves his Belgian beers as well, he said ‘Hey Madocke, can you make a honey beer with the honey that I’m producing?’
“So we have put that honey in a Belgian Honey Blonde.”
The 8.2% abv beer first started with a Belgian Blonde recipe, but as Nijskens explained, the addition of the Embassy’s honey was special because of the strong connection to the brewery’s Belgian heritage.
“On the Embassy grounds, they have native Belgian trees and flowers so that makes it special on its own because there is a blend from Australian flowers and nectar but also a blend of the Belgian trees,” Nijskens said.
“We added the honey at the end of fermentation to grab as much of the honey aroma as possible and it worked out really well.”
Raising the profile of beer in Australia
In another similar initiative, The Good Beer Co. brewed the ‘Thank Brew’ beer ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, to raise money for Ukrainian refugees arriving in Britain.
To be chosen for a project like this is an achievement in itself, however, as Nijskens explained, it is also a good sign for other foreign breweries in Australia.
“It is so nice to receive the recognition from our home country from within Australia,” she said.
“It also showcases foreign breweries that want to have a little bit of groundwork done here in Australia as well. It is always possible.
“Of course, we want to support our own local breweries first. I consider myself local and Australian as well, but I do have Belgian roots.”
The beer will launch this Saturday, 21st May, at the Belgian Embassy in Canberra for a World Bee Day event. 85 per cent of the batch will be sold at the event, while the remaining 15 per cent will be sold at the Madocke brewery on the Gold Coast.
As with many other Australian breweries raising money for displaced Ukrainian brewers, all proceeds for the beer will be going towards Help on Bee Wings, a project set up by the Brotherhood of Beekeepers of Ukraine to support beekeepers who became soldiers for their country.
“We will be there with a stall to present the beer as part of the humanitarian project for Ukrainian beekeepers that had to leave their families behind to take up their weapons to go and fight against Russia,” Nijskens said.
“It’s just normal people and normal tradesmen that had to take up their guns in order to go and fight and defend their country. So all the profits from the whole thing will go to that project.”
Listen to the full Beer is a Conversation podcast with Madocke’s Annelies Nijskens and Jimmy Van Eetvelde below.