On a Friday afternoon in early Spring, Afends and Young Henrys came together to create an experience for selected media and influencers to connect and enjoy their brand new beer collaboration; a Hemp IPA, one of the first in Australia.
It was a delightful evening, a mashup of interesting and intriguing like-minded folk gathered on a beautiful farm in the Byron Bay hinterland. After a little canapé and schmooze, we sat down and listened to what informative wealth this product had created; with speeches by Afends co-founder Jono Salfield, property owner and Balanced Earth co-founder, Luke Wrencher and Young Henrys co-creator Oscar McMahon.
Following this, guests were led down to the hemp crop, where all Luke’s marvellous plants were sitting pretty. While everyone was inspecting and celebrating the plant and seeing it in its glorified fruition, a keenness to know more quickly grew. Enter Nathan Mcneice, hemp expert and Fair Foods Australia owner, whose wealth of knowledge seemed limitless. He explained everything – from the neurological process of getting high, to the fact that hemp is one of, if not the most, important ingredients leading us to a more sustainable and resourceful environment. It’s people like this who are truly helping society to move forward, ask questions, learn as much as possible about our impact on the earth and how best to lighten our footprint.
Now, there’s enough information out there about the beer itself and we don’t want to nerd out too much, but suffice to say this one is pretty special. Young Henrys worked with Daniel Schultz of Halcyon Bioscience to create a world first, a 100% natural, water-soluble hemp oil that is added to the raw fermented beer to create a zesty, herbaceous and grassy tasting brew.
Afends as a clothing brand is no stranger to using hemp - one of the most sustainable organic fibres available – but the beer was a first and damn, it was good. The beauty of a collaboration such as this is that it’s helping to lead industries into not only more sustainable farming and manufacturing processes, but also opening minds and inviting conversations on a plant that has been so naively and ignorantly dismissed in the past.
Hemp as a product is hardy and sustainable, as a fibre it’s soft and durable, and as a beer its fucking delicious.