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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 6
TASTE SENSATIONS WITH NEW APPROACH
Richard Watkins enjoys the competition and new beer tastes emerging.
Great truffle hunt with
brewer infusion tricks
Ensuring truffles are no longer the domain of the
elite or wealthy palate; brewers across the ACT
are putting the unique flavour on tap.
Richard Watkins, owner of BentSpoke
Brewery in Braddon, has created his eighth
season of truffle-infused beer. This year s brew
Big Nut can be tasted for $7.50, or $11 for a
A lot of the time with truffle, people are put
off because of the cost, he said.
Beer is approachable and my whole goal is
to make truffle more approachable and
accessible for people.
As a relative master in the region, he said
creating balance for the complex flavour is all
part of the art.
Taking tips from chefs, Watkins infuses the
truffle flavor -- a cold process that customers can
see taking place in a glass vat on the bar top.
"We are going to use blood orange, star anise
and large pieces of truffle to infuse with our
dark chocolate stout," he said.
"It s all about selecting ingredients that pair
well with truffle. I experimented with heaps of
different colours of beer but the flavor that
works best for me is the chocolate malt."
Pouring the first pint of Big Nut this week,
Watkins said the late-stage process enabled
drinkers to taste the beer with and without the
infused truffle element.
Watkins said truffle tempted all types.
"It s popular with everybody," he said.
"You d be surprised. Having the infuser there
people wonder what you are doing and want to
give it a go."
This year ACT brewers at Zierholz and the
Wig and Pen are creating truffle-infused beers
for the season, and Mr Watkins relished the
Its good to have a variety for people to
choose from, for a long while I was the only one
doing it, he said.
"People will be able to do the rounds and taste
test. It will effectively be a beer truffle hunt."
Protection worries over city's old trees
Tree management practices could wipe out all
of Canberra s large old native trees by next
century if changes aren t made, an ANU study
ANU researchers surveyed trees in green
spaces across the bush capital and say a worst-
case scenario would result in a total loss of the
trees within 120 years.
PhD student Darren Le Roux said there
would be a considerable decline in the number
of large old trees in the next few centuries under
current tree management practices. Large trees
provide resources that are crucial for
biodiversity such as hollows for parrots,
possums and bats, or peeling bark and debris
that host insects and fungi.
Although their optimal standing life should
be at least 450 years, Canberra s trees average
less than 300 years and in some cases as low as
"Perceptions of large trees as overly
hazardous structures can lead to trees being
unnecessarily removed," Mr Le Roux said.
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