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Noraebang: A collaboration with Gorilla Brewing

Noraebang: A collaboration with Gorilla Brewing image

Collaborations present the opportunity to experiment with new processes and ingredients. Noraebang, A Hibiscus Rice Lager, was no exception.

Last year we had the pleasure of brewing with some special guests all the way from South Korea. Our friends at Gorilla Brewing are one of only a handful of microbreweries in the country, and are based in the port city of Busan on the south coast. ⁠

It was great to be able to brew with Paul and Andy after chatting via email and creating a plan for a beer that used the location of their brewery for it’s inspiration.

Together we decided to brew a traditional rice lager. The use of rice in fermentation is commonplace in Asia, where a lack of barley and plentiful rice supplies led to the invention of sake or rice wine. There is also a long history of breweries in Asia using rice in beer making, producing a product that is light in colour and more delicate in flavour.

We started with our base recipe for Hunter, took out the Munich Malt and subbed out 20% of the base for flaked rice. The beer was hopped with Saaz and Motueka for a little spice and earthy tones, with a touch of tropical. ⁠

For a local twist, we added some dried hibiscus – the national flower of South Korea – supplied by our good friends at Good and Proper Tea. ⁠We made a tea out of the ⁠hibiscus flowers and recirculated the wort at the end of boil to achieve the flavour and colour impact we wanted prior to the whirlpool addition. ⁠

After the beer was lagered in tank for around 40 days, we passed it through another hibiscus tea prior to packaging to add more flavour and colour.

The end result is a light tartness and a heavy pink hue to the finished beer. It’s a light and delicate lager, that allows the fresh tropical notes and the flavour of the hibiscus to shine through.

We named the beer Noraebang, after the name Korean’s give to the insane karaoke parties which make up a huge part of their culture. The label features Paul, Gorilla’s co-founder.

Noraebang is available now to purchase from our online shop. Use the code Busan for 15% off Noraebang, or any of our mixed packs containing the beer. Offer ends 1st March 2020.