Part of the Latin name for Geraldton Wax is uncinatum, meaning hooked, and we’ve been pleasantly snared by Modus Operandi’s use of the plant’s flowers in their debut 2021 release.
The Wax Flower Sour (6.9%, 500ml can) uses the rarely seen plant, that’s endemic to parts of West Australia, as the sour’s power and whilst the flavour it imparts won’t be to everyone’s liking, Modus’ successful wrangling of it should mean it won’t be the last we see of it in the Australian brewing industry as native ingredients become even more de rigueur.
A sprinkling of WA-based breweries have used it in the past, including the majority Aboriginal-owned Spinifex Brewing and Eagle Bay in a few tap only releases, while it is growing in popularity in the food industry and in local gins due to its similar characteristics to the juniper berry.
The flavour it delivers is a unique zestiness where citrus notes head in the lemon myrtle-kaffir lime direction and much of that is evident in this new release.
A candied lemon sweetness meets the nose alongside a good dosing of floral herbaceousness and spice that’s as equally as inviting as the golden-hazy good looks and thick, pillowy white head that lasts.
A citrus tang and earthy spice continue with refreshing crispness and a deft delicacy on the palate before a herby, bitter back-end has you dwelling on this with interest and what other beer styles it would work equally as well with.