Sounds of an Australian summer: cricket on the radio, barbeque sizzle, beer-can fizz and the soft crunch of a Golden Gaytime.
Wait…a golden what? No, it’s nothing to do with the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. Nor the Australian parliament’s recent endorsement of same-sex marriage. A Golden Gaytime is in fact a toffee and vanilla-flavoured ice-cream, entombed in a sheath of chocolate and yellow honeycomb biscuit – a summer favourite which has remained largely unchanged since 1959.
Sure, it’s ugly – something akin to a sand-blasted sea sponge. But like that other great Australian culinary concoction, Vegemite (a salty black spread which Barack Obama once described as ‘horrible’), the Golden Gaytime is a win for flavour over aesthetics. How do you improve on such perfection? Adelaide craft-brewers Big Shed Brewing Co has released ‘Golden Stout Time’, a meaty black ‘dessert’ stout.
‘The idea came about when I was watching MasterChef,’ says Big Shed director Craig Basford, ‘and someone made a deconstructed Golden Gaytime. When I looked at the individual components I thought, “that would actually work in a stout!” We don’t put Gaytime ice-creams in the beer, but it’s a homage to those flavours – toffee, honeycomb and vanilla.’ And it worked. ‘If a beer can go viral, it went viral!’ Basford continues. ‘Our intention was to only make it once, but it finished third in the ‘People’s Choice’ at the Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular. Then publicans started asking for it so we made some more. Then some more again… Now it’s probably the beer we’re most famous for.’
‘You can almost see people’s brains re-wire when they drink it for the first time,’ says Basford, ‘because it looks like a stout but it smells and tastes like something else. There are so few surprises in the world these days – a beer that can actually surprise you is a magical thing.’ We’re sure even Barack Obama would agree.
Around Adelaide you can sip some Golden Stout Time at Big Shed itself, or bars and pubs including the Gilbert Street Hotel, the Kings Head and NOLA, the Lighthouse Hotel in Port Adelaide and Sweet Amber Brewing Co in Semaphore.