Wednesday, 16 January 2019


2019: The Year of Local

  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: Mornington Peninsula
  • Tasting Room: 1/2 Trewhitt Court, Dromana
  • Food: Gluten Free Pizza
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
  • Website
It's been a long time coming, but TwøBays Brewing Co became the latest brewery to join the ranks of Victorian craft brewers when they finally opened the doors in mid-December. They're a brewery with a difference; solely utilizing gluten free grains, such as millet, buckwheat & rice, to produce certified gluten free beers.

It's been a labour of love for owner Richard Jeffares, brother of Steve Jeffares of The Local Taphouse, GABS & Stomping Ground fame. You see Richard was a craft beer fanatic until he was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2015. He thought his days of variety were behind him, before a trip to the United States opened his eyes to the possibility of good gluten free beer. Fast forward to today and he owns his own brewery on the Mornington Peninsula producing gluten free beers.

Not only are they producing gluten free beers; TwøBays have partnered with Eckert Malting, out of California, & Grouse Malt House, out of Colorado, to bring their specialty gluten free malts to Australia & New Zealand. They're available for home brewers to buy on their website. I wonder if this will see a spike in the amount of Coeliac & gluten intolerant people home brewing - it certainly feels like there is more gluten free beer appearing on the commercial scene at the moment.

I trekked out to the brewery in early January. It's in a weird industrial development behind Dromana, that doesn't seem to quite mesh with the seaside/holiday town vibe. The brewery is well signposted from the street, with their company stickered van parked at the entrance. The brewery is laid out much like any brewery in an industrial estate; stainless at the back, plenty of seats (both inside & out) & a bar roughly in the middle.

I really enjoyed the vibe at the brewery whilst I sampled my tasting paddle. They have the capacity for 10 beers on tap, of which 7 were available on the day I visited. There was good variety across those taps with a Saison, a Gose, an ESB & a hoppy Brown Ale joining the usual assortment of Pale Ales and IPA's. Currently they only have one packaged beer; the Pale Ale, although this will change after they've been open a little longer.

It is that flagship Pale Ale that I'm reviewing as part of this segment. It pours quite a light golden colour with a fluffy white head, that is quite short lived. The body is a little thin, but there are some interesting flavours from their unique malts, the highlight of which is a light spiciness.

The malt bill is quite different from other Pale Ale's, I guess given the constraints they have in ingredients. What the malt bill does do is lay a platform for the hops to shine. I'm not sure what they've used, but it's providing plenty citrus on the nose & lots of fruit on the palate. It's not a Pale Ale I'd drink regularly, but it is a damn sight better than most gluten free offerings I've had previous.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

Wednesday, 9 January 2019


2019: The Year of Local

I'm very lucky to live in Melbourne, the craft beer capital of Australia. Melbourne has a huge array of craft brewers from tiny operations out of peoples garages right through to breweries with the capabilities to export their beer around the globe.

Victoria is without a doubt the leading craft beer state in Australia. Melbourne may be the epicentre but it would be a disservice to not mention the many wonderful regional brewers that our state has to offer.

The other day I was thinking about how many commercial brewers there are in Victoria. Naturally, this then lead to me thinking about how many Victorian brewers I have had beers from. I thought about how to go about sourcing this information, before deciding I'd need to create my own list.

Firstly I had to define what I meant by commercial brewer. I settled on a company that produces beer for sale. This allows for the growing number of contract/gypsy brewers to be included in this list; alongside their brethren that own their own stainless.

I've utilized a number of different resources to curate my list. I started with the best Australian resource for this type of thing; the Craft Beer Reviewer list. I've never been the biggest fan of the list, I think that it holds onto extinct breweries for far longer than necessary. With this knowledge I began contacting all of the breweries on the list to see if they were in fact still producing beer. The vast majority got back to me. As I anticipated, a number of brewers had stopped producing beer.

The brewers who I didn't hear back from needed further investigation. For this I used social media, Untappd; to see if their beer was still being consumed, Twitter/Facebook/Instagram; to see if they were still active. In most cases they weren't and I concluded that these brewers were no longer producing beer and could be excluded from the list. Three breweries got back to me and said they're on a break & weren't sure of their intentions in 2019. These breweries have been included in the list & I will re-evaluate them towards the end of 2019.

With all of that said I believe that as of today, January 10th, that this is the most up to date list of active craft brewers in Victoria (see bottom of page). I'm also aware of 4 or 5 brewers, and there are probably at least that many again, that are in the process of getting up and running in 2019. They will be added to the list as they release their first beers. All said and done; I had had beers from barely 60% of them, hell I hadn't even heard of 15% of Victorian brewers! This is something that needed to change!

The idea behind The Year of Local, apart from sampling beer from every brewery in my great state, is to create a directory of all Victorian brewers. A one stop shop if you will, where you can not only find a list, but also get some information about the brewery. These may change in format as I go along, I'll be sure to update the original listings, so let me know what you want to see in these posts.

115 Grill & Brewhouse
3 Ravens
40 Acres Brewing
7 Cent Brewery
Albatross Brewing Co
Bad Shepherd Brewing
Bale-Worker Project Brewery
Bandicoot Brewing
Barrabool Hills Brewing Company (Cockies Beer)
Beach Hut Brewery
Bellarine Brewing Co
Bells Beach Brewing Co
Bells Brewing Co
Black Dog Brewery
Black Heart Brewery
Blackman’s Brewery
Blizzard Brewing
Boatrocker Brewers & Distillers
Bodriggy Brewing Company
Bonehead Brewing
BoJaK Brewing
Brewmanity Beer Co
Brick Lane Brewing Co
Bridge Road Brewers
Bright Brewery
Broo Pty Ltd
Brookes Beer Pty Ltd
Brownstone MicroBrewery
Buckley’s Brewery
Buffalo Brewery
Bullant Brewery
Burnley Brewing
Burra Brewing Co
Byramine Homestead & Brewery
Caltoria Brewing Company
Castlemaine Brewing Co/Shedshaker
Cavalier Brewing
Cheeky Peak Brewery
Clifton Hill Brewpub
Club Brewing Co
Cobalt Brewing
Coburg Brewing Co
CoConspirators Brewing
Coldstream Brewery
Colonial Brewing Co
Cornella Real Brewery
Cubby Haus Brewing
Dainton Family Brewery
Daylesford Brewing Company
Dollar Bill Brewing
Dolphin Brewery
East Ninth Brewing Co
Edge Brewing Project
Exit Brewing
Fixation Brewing Co
Forrest Brewing Co
Fury & Son Brewing Company
Grand Ridge Brewery
Hack Brewing
Hairy Oak Brewing
Harcourt Valley Brewery
Hargreaves Hill Brewing Co
Hawkers Beer
Hawthorn Brewing Co
Henry Street Brewhouse
Hickinbotham Brewery
Himmel Hund Brewing Co
Holgate Brewhouse
Hop Nation Brewing Co
Hopscotch Urban Beer Bar
Howler Brewing Company
Inner North Brewing Co
Jetty Road Brewery
Kaiju! Beer
Kettle Green Brewing Co
Killer Sprocket
King River Brewing
Kooinda Brewery
La Sirene Brewing
Last Word Brewing
Little Gippsland Brewing Co
Little Smith Brewing Co
Loch Brewery and Distillery
Malt Shed Brewery
Mildura Brewery
Mitta Mitta Brewing Co
Molly Rose Brewing Co
Moon Dog Brewing Co
Mornington Peninsula Brewery
Mount Duneed Brewing Co
Mr Banks Brewing Co
Napoleone Brewers
Noble Boy Beer
Ocean Reach Brewing
Odyssey Craft Brewing Co
Old Wives Ales
Otway Brewing (Prickly Moses)
Palling Bros Brewery
Phillip Island Brewing Company
Quiet Deeds
Rebellion Brewing Pty Ltd
Red Bluff Brewers
Red Duck Micro Brewery
Red Hill Brewery
RedDot Brewhouse
Riders Brew Co
Rutherglen Brewery
Sailors Grave
Salt Brewing Company Brewing
Sample Brew
Seville Ridge Brewery
Shearasun Brewing Company
Shiki Brewing
Social Bandit Brewing Co
Southern Bay Brewing Co
Sow and Piglets
St Andrews Beach Brewery
Stomping Ground Brewing Co
Sweetwater Brewing Company
Tallboy and Moose
Temple Brewery
That Little Brewery
The Cheeky Pint
The Craft & Co
The Flying Horse Bar & Brewery
The Foreigner Brewing Co
The Mansfield Brewing Co
The Mill Brewery
The Public Brewery
Three Greens Brewing Company
Thunder Road Brewing Company
Tooborac Hotel and Brewery
True Brew
True South
Tuesday Night Brewing
Two Bays Brewing Co
Two Birds Brewing
Two Brothers Brewery
Two Pot Brewing Co
Urban Alley Brewery
Valhalla Brewing
Watts River Brewing
West City Brewing
Westside Ale Works
Wolf of the Willows
Wrong Side Brewing
Yellingbo Brewing Company

Carlton United Brewery
The Crafty Squire
Little Creatures Brewing – Geelong
White Rabbit
Mountain Goat Beer

I need your help guys! I need you to let me know if I've missed any breweries off the list or if a new brewery opens near you I need to know. I'm biting off a lot here; there will be at least 150 posts for this to be completed this year. I think I can do it, I'm pretty determined to make it happen.
Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!


Carwyn Canvent (Part 5)

Carwyn Cellars is a name that every Australian Craft Beer lover should know. It's one of, if not the, preeminent bottle shops in the country. For their advent calendar, they've partnered with 24 Australian Craft Breweries to make an exclusive canned release for their "Canvent Calendar".

I'm not 100% sure why I didn't document my BrewDog Advent Calendar this time last year - I wonder if it got lost with moving in and recovering from surgery... In any case; I'm not going to make the same mistake this year!

The Carwyn Canvent Calendar is going to get the full treatment - and with any luck you'll have updates every 5 days.

Day 21 - Bodriggy Cucumber Sour Pilsner - When Bodriggy finally get their brewery open in Abbotsford, they will be the closest craft brewery to where I work. They make some very good beers & some pretty out there as well. This I'm sure will fall into the second category & hopefully also the first. As the name suggests this is a sour Pilsner brewed with Cucumber.

This was a really interesting beer. Cucumber was dominant upfront and this mostly masked the malt bill. It wasn't particularly tart, despite reportedly being kettle soured. I'm sure this one will have divided opinions! The cucumber was particularly strong and the vegetal nature of the beer became disconcerting as the end of the glass neared.

Day 22 - Slipstream Imperial Red Ale - Slipstream Brewing Co. is a brewery based in the Salisbury, a suburb in the south of Brisbane. The brewery launched in the second half of 2017 and quickly gained a reputation for good hoppy beers. This beer is an Imperial Red Ale, a great style and one that should pair well with their signature tropical hop flavour.

My initial thoughts on this beer were bang on. This was a cracking Imperial Red/Red IPA. There was great malt depth and complexity, with heaps of different caramel/toffee flavours on display. There was an impressive whack of tropical & citrus hops initially, which gave way to a bigger resinous pine hit. Delicious beer and one that I would like to see more of in the future.

Day 23 - Old Wives Ales Choc Walnut Brownie - I was waiting for Carwyn regulars Old Wives Ale to make their appearance in the Canvent. These guys met at the Merri Mashers Home Brew Club before forming their own brand. They're now making seriously good beer. although I'm not sure I'm on board with the new branding.

Choc Walnut Brownie Ale. I understand all of those words and can't wait to see the combination in beer form (although slice form wouldn't go astray either...). When I tasted the beer I got heaps of chocolate, although there was next to no walnut present. What was present however was plenty of hazelnut, a far more delicious nut than walnut! If you're looking for a Ferrero Rocher in beer form, look no further!

Day 24 - Hawkers Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine (2018) - Last but certainly not least; it was Hawkers' turn to take on the Canvent challenge. Hawkers need no introduction, they've done amazing things since they launched and will hopefully do so for many years to come. Their Canvent offering was a special Bourbon Barrel Aged version of their Barleywine, which interestingly also comes in a can.

This beer had been hanging out in Bourbon barrels for over 2 years before it was canned! This really showed as heaps of bourbon transferred over and really complimented the raisin sweetness nicely. There was very little carbonation, which isn't surprising in this type of beer & nor did it hurt the finished product. It was a superb way to end what was a thoroughly enjoyable 24 days!

Apologies all for the belated final post in this series; things have taken far more time than I would've like them to this year. I'm hoping to finish up 2-3 posts by the weekend, but given how this year has gone so far & my track record I wouldn't hold your breath... There is an exciting announcement for what I'm focusing on this year in the pipeline though, so check back soon. Remember to keep your emails coming - I'm almost on top of them for once so should be able to get back to you soon.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!


Episode 5 - Show Notes 

It had to happen eventually... I'm actually quite surprised that it took the Christmas period for the inevitable to happen. Dylan & I did fall a little behind due to various engagements throughout December, so I do apologize if anyone was hanging out for their Beer O'Clock Australia Podcast fix! It's a good thing we always preface the new segment with "out-dated"! There's a lot of really good stuff in this podcast, that we hope you'll all enjoy!

We're going to rotate some segments in and out, especially early on while we get into the swing of things - so if there is anything you love or hate, please let us know! The idea at the moment is that the podcast will be (roughly) monthly, and we'll try and keep that pretty regular - at least more so than I've kept the blog up to date recently... Basically every month we'll discuss some of the latest news from the beer world, we'll talk about some beers that we've been enjoying over the last month & we'll crack something interesting from my cellar.

This show was recorded way back at the end of November, so some of the news is a little more out-dated than usual. Also in this episode; I checked out Beer 360, we discuss another great Beer Deluxe event & talk about some home brewing techniques. We discuss a range of under appreciated styles in the Desert Island 6-Pack & get our first look inside Dylan's cellar. It's a big episode so buckle in!

 Show Notes

News Items (00:20)
  • Trillium HR & Quality Issues
  • Wig & Pen Is Up For Sale
  • Vale Marco Bona - SA Brewers Pull Together
  • Bad Shepherd Victorian Pale Ale - Melbourne Ale Yeast
  • Good Beer Week & Independent Brewers Association Merger
  • Little Creature Open Furphy Hall in Geelong
  • Panhead Opening a Taproom in London
  • Slowbeer Close Richmond Store
Scouting Report (17:50)
  • Beer 360 - Craft Beer Shop at the old Slowbeer Richmond site.
    • 468 Bridge St, Richmond, VIC, 3121
What We're Drinking (22:48)
  • Firestone Walker - Roll Out the Barrels @ Beer Deluxe
  • Mountain Goat Goat Lager
  • Stomping Ground Gipps St Pale Ale
What We're Brewing (34:18)
  • Mango Gose
    • Pilsner Malt, Wheat Extract
    • Lacto Plantarum & Neutral Yeast Co-pitched
    • Dry Hopped at desired pH
    • A full tray of mangoes - approx. 200g/L
  • ESB's (from last episode)
    • Changed tea to Cherries & Raspberries. All variants being bottled.
    • Tasting Notes for the straight ESB.
Desert Island 6-pack (44:03)
  • "Dark-er Lagers"
      • Vienna Lager, Amber Lager, American Red Lager, Euro Dark Lager, Munich Dunkel, Schwarzbier 
  • The cross over this month was:
    •  Burnley Brewing Vienna Lager
  • Dylan's 5 individuals;
      • Monteith's Black Beer, Matilda Bay Dogbolter, Weihenstephaner Tradition, Mornington NZ Black Pilsner, Hawkers/Edge/Kaiju/Evil Twin/Baird Inappropriate Touching
  • Noz's 5 individuals;
      • Staropramen Cerny, Kozel Cerny, U Medvidku Oldgott Barique, Valmiermuiza Tumsais, Barrow Boys Stormy Lager 
  • Honourable Mentions
    • Efes Dark, Toohey's Old, 1516 Bavarian Dunkel, Red Hill The Dark Horse Schwarz, Gauden Schwarzbier, 
Dylan's Cellar (1:15:45)
  • Red Duck Big Licky
    • Released July 2016
    • Their Licky - a licorice flavoured lager - that they've turned into an Imperial Stout.
    • Thumbs Up!
We apologize for the extra long episode this month; Dylan & I may have got a little too into some of these topics. Keep your emails/questions etc. coming in - - we take everything on board and try and make little adjustments where we can to make this show better for you guys. We're recording a new episode any day and will have that to you - along with a whole heap of written content - as soon as we can.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!