Thursday, 29 August 2019

BEER O'CLOCK PODCAST - EPISODE 10

Episode 10 - Show Notes 

We've only just made our deadline of approximately a month after recording, but the latest episode of the podcast is up. It's been a really busy month for both Dylan & I so excuse the even more outdated than usual nature of our news segment!

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.

On this episode we focused on Alcohol Free Beers as Dylan was just about wrapping up Dry July at the time of recording. We discussed the CUB sale to Asahi and the potential impact that this may have on their historic Abbotsford Brewery. And tackled the ever controversial Australian NEIPA's in our Desert Island 6-Pack. Hope you all enjoy the episode!


 Show Notes

News Items (0:30)
  • CUB sold to Asahi - $16bn
  • Little Creatures Geelong Expansion
  • ABAC Jedi Juice Ruling
  • Royal Adelaide Beer & Cider Award Results
  • Stomping Ground 3! Opening a Brewery at Melbourne Airport
  • Capital Brewing Opening a Bar at Canberra Airport
  • Zwanze Day Locations Announced
Alcohol Free Beers (18:35)
  • Heineken 0, Hollandia 0.0, Weihenstephaner Alkoholfrei Hefeweizen, Adnams Ghost Ship Alcohol Free, Carlton Zero, Erdinger Alkoholfrei 
Scouting Report (34:05)
  • Grand Ridge, Bullant, Two Rupees, Urban Alley
Desert Island 6-pack (44:50)
  • Australian NEIPA's
  • There were no crossovers this month!
  • Dylan's 6 individuals;
      • CoConspirators The Matriarch, Brendale Industrial Haze, Feral Biggie Juice, Sauce Pazy Hale,  Mash Little NEIPA, Mornington Squid Rising
  • Noz's 6 individuals;
      • CoConspirators The Distributor, Hop Nation Jedi Juice, 3 Ravens/Hop Nation Juicy Jedi, 3 Ravens Galaxy Juicy, Fixation The 86, Mr Banks The Drop #1
  • Honourable Mentions
    • 3 Ravens Juicy, The Mill I Can't Believe It's Not Juice, Westside Weekend Juicy, Bojak Calypso, Modus Operandi Gadzooks, Bonehead Phaze Out Phaze In, Beer Farm Boonta, Beer Land New England Pale Ale. 
The next episode is being recorded any day now, so we should have another episode up for you very soon. We've been asked to change the way we name our episodes, as Apple don't want 100's of shows titled "Episode X", so if you have any thoughts on how we should name them going forward we'd love to hear from you. If you've got anything you'd like us to discuss or if you just have some feedback or questions please email gus.norris7@gmail.com. Until next time..

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

BYRAMINE HOMESTEAD & BREWERY

2019: The Year of Local

STATS
  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: High Country
  • Tasting Room: 1436 Murray Valley Highway, Burramine
  • Food: Light Lunches
  • Price: Average
  • Websitehttps://www.byraminehomestead.com.au/
Byramine Homestead & Brewery is one of the stranger breweries I've visited. It's located the best part of a kilometer down a dirt track surrounded by vegetable fields off the Murray Valley Highway about halfway between Yarrawonga & Cobram. The property came into the possession of Wade & Nicole McPherson in 2010 with the brewery being established in 2013.

The Homestead was founded in 1842 & is the oldest still surviving home in regional Victoria. The home was built for Elizabeth Hume by the famous explorer Hamilton Hume, her brother in-law, after her husband John was killed by Bushrangers. She was pregnant with her 9th child at the time of her husband's death.

Nicole's family own the Kelly Bros vegetable farm, which is the largest vegetable farm in Victoria &, strangely, surrounds the Byramine Homestead. After Wade suffered a serious injury in 2006, Wade & Nicole moved to the country for a sea change. They acquired the homestead in 2010 and have been making it their own since.

The brewery is housed in a typical Australian farm house. There's a bit of a country bakery feel when you enter the main room, which is only offset by the bar in the middle of the room. Outside, where most patrons were enjoying the warm late winter sun, was complete with a range of different outdoor furniture from wooden all-in-ones to metal tables and chairs. The setting is quite idyllic, sitting in a garden amongst vegetable gardens, which provide the majority of the produce for the food they produce.

This brings us to the beer... It wasn't great. We tried a cider that was really refreshing as well as a really impressive Ginger Beer. Of the real beers, the Kellerbier was the pick of the bunch. It's called Kelpie's Curse and it had a nice malt body with some floral & grassy aromatics. There was a touch of green apple, which I'm assuming was acetaldehyde - a fault you very rarely see these days.

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

Monday, 26 August 2019

CUBBY HAUS BREWING

2019: The Year of Local

STATS
  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: Ballarat
  • Tasting Room: 884 Humffray St, Mount Pleasant
  • Food: Pizza
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
  • Websitehttps://www.cubbyhausbrewing.com.au/
Cubby Haus Brewing in Mount Pleasant, a suburb of Ballarat, is one of a number of breweries that I hadn't even heard of prior to starting this project. It was started by long time homebrewer Malcolm Sachs after winning a whole host of awards at the Australian National Amateur Wine and Beer Show.

It had been a long time coming for Malcolm, whose love affair with beer started whilst living in England & travelling around Europe. Moving back to Australia & severely disappointed in the local offerings he began homebrewing. After taking over his garage & with the awards in hand Malcolm finally decided to go pro. After being in planning for over 3 years, Cubby Haus Brewing opened to the public in September 2016.

The name Cubby Haus is a nod to the Bavarian brewing techniques that Malcolm likes to employ. It's also a reference to the way in which they put their own brewery together, from equipment cobbled together & re-purposed to make a comfortable space complete with a 500L brewery capable of producing good beer& some home-made pizza's!

It's all housed in a light industrial warehouse. As you walk up to the brewery you're greeted by a roller door with a plastic sheet hanging from it to keep the bitterly cold Ballarat air out! There's seating for maybe 30 people inside the brewery & there's a bit of a mix & match/op-shop feel to the decor, somewhat enhanced by the record player & collection.

I've decided to review the Good Witch Rye Blonde. It's a style that I've got a strong affinity for & had to order when I saw it available. The malts were slightly on the sweeter bready side, with just a hint of rye spiciness. There was the light grassy hops you'd expect as well as some citrus. It's a beer that I could drink all day! I really hope they manage to expand enough to get bottles of this to Melbourne!

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

Sunday, 25 August 2019

VENOM BREWING

2019: The Year of Local

STATS
  • Brewery Type: Gypsy
  • Region: Hume
  • Tasting Room: 18 High Street, Yea
  • Food: Pub
  • Brewed At: Hawkers
  • Price: Average
  • Websitehttps://www.venombeer.com/home
Venom was launched in 2015 by Joel Drysdale, a man who's been around the Victorian craft beer scene in various guises for years. They've got one of the most eye catching logos in the business; people don't always know Venom, but show them the logo and they know whether they've had the beers or not!

The Venom story is one that could've gone oh so wrong. You see Joel's dad John, who also helps out with the business, got bitten by a snake in his Mansfield garden. The story goes that whilst he waited for his wife to get home he cracked a beer from the fridge. Joel couldn't bear the thought of his old man going out drinking a macro lager & hence Venom was born.

Venom's beers have been brewed at Hawkers since day 1. Whilst they have dreams to one day own their own brewery, those days are still a fair way down the track. Venom have got their own space however, with John & wife Heather taking over the Country Club Hotel in Yea, which had burnt down in 2015. The doors opened in July 2017 on the rebuilt pub, that had been an institution in Yea since 1858. They've kept some of the old charm whilst giving it a modern twist.

I was really intrigued when I saw Venom was releasing an Imperial NEIPA in collaboration with Carwyn Cellars. Hazy Double Golden Ale was the name & it clocked in at bang on 8% ABV. It was also the best Australian example I've had of a NEIPA to date!

There was no astringency, which characterize so many Australian attempts, it was lusciously juicy and had that silky mouthfeel that you get in the best American examples. I didn't know these guys had this in them! Definitely keep an eye out as they're planning on releasing more limited releases to compliment their core range.

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

Friday, 23 August 2019

BUFFALO BREWERY

2019: The Year of Local

STATS
  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: High Country
  • Tasting Room: 1519 Boorhaman Rd, Boorhaman
  • Food: Pub Food
  • Price: Average
  • Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/BoorhamanPubBuffaloBrewery/
Buffalo Brewery is located in Boorhaman, a locality 15 minutes from Wangaratta in Victoria's High Country. One would think that this brewery isn't hugely significant in the history of Victorian beer, but you'd be wrong! The Buffalo Brewery is the oldest currently operating brewery in Australia, having opened in 1902 (the year before Carlton United in Melbourne)!

The brewery doubles as the Boorhaman Hotel. Husband and wife team Greg & Leanne Fanning run the brewery & pub with help from their daughter Tia as they have done for almost 20 years. It's your typical, really small town country pub. It's very long & narrow, with a veranda out the front & a summer beer garden.

They pump out their beers in 180L batches, in a space smaller than most homebrewers would operate in! I haven't been able to conclusively prove this either way, but depending on which literature you read; Victoria Bitter, the now famous Australian lager, was supposedly first brewed at the Buffalo Brewery in the early 20th Century. I believe it's the closest thing to the recipe they use now as the Victoria Brewery, which later became part of CUB, produced Victoria Bitter Ale in the 19th Century.

Their lounge area is quite cosy. There's a 360 degree fire place in the centre of the room, which was providing serious heat! It's got a number of tables of various sizes with heavy duty plastic chairs - a bit of a staff canteen sort of vibe, but in an old wood lined bar. There's a piano in the corner, with some bottles containing some different malts, and right next door is a red velvet chez... It's a slightly odd space, but it works!

The menu was really impressive! I was slightly surprised by the amount of seafood on the menu, considering they're a long way inland. I opted for a schnitzel with gravy - always tough to turn down! On the day we visited they were having a few issues with their draught systems - some beers were undercarbed, some massively overcarbed, 

I ended up with a partly frozen bottle of their Dark Ale - so it definitely wasn't in the best condition it could've been. There was some chocolate & molasses, but it was offset by a weird herbal quality & something that I initially thought was a chlorine issue with their water. I'd like to try the beer in better condition one day - but I have to work with what I've got for now...

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

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

PAPER SCISSORS ROCK BREW CO

2019: The Year of Local

STATS
  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: Western Victoria
  • Tasting Room: 119 Grampians Road, Halls Gap
  • Food: Seasonal Tapas
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
  • Websitehttps://paperscissorsrock.beer/
Paper Scissor Rock Brew Co opened in the Western Victorian town of Halls Gap in April, 2019. It was the brainchild of 3 locals; Pat Calvird, Marty Schoo and Will Hudson. As with most breweries the idea to start one started over some beers, with the trio hoping to bring more tourism to Halls Gap in the way Bridge Road has turned Beechworth into a tourist destination.

Photo Credit: Paper Scissors Rock
The setting was a beer tasting night, like many of you will have attended. It was early 2016 when Will & Marty got talking and eventually approached their other homebrewing mate Pat with their idea to bring craft beer to the Grampians & in particular Halls Gap.

The rest as they say is history. They've grown rapidly and look like having to implement the second stage of their plan within 6 months of opening. The brewery at Halls Gap is barely keeping up with demand at their brewpub & it looks like they'll soon have to brew offsite to keep up! This will also allow the trio to spread their beer further around the region & hopefully with some packaged stuff makings its way to Melbourne.

I'm not going to lie, my first thoughts when I saw there was a brewery opening in Halls Gap was along the line of; "Damn, that's a long way!". On the other hand, I was pleased to see an area devoid of craft beer options getting a craft brewery. Thankfully, I had another engagement in the Grampians last weekend and managed to swing back via Halls Gap.

The brewery is located inside the old Visitor Information Centre, complete with all the glass walls that come with that territory. It works well for the brewery as their location is so picturesque. The floor is polished concrete, again something that wouldn't look out of place in a regional information centre. They've gone with the tried and tested method of timber and metal tables, of a variety of heights and sizes.

We visited not long after they'd opened on a Sunday morning. The tasting room was surprisingly busy for that time of day, with a number of families playing board games or setting up on one of the huge communal tables for a family lunch. This slightly contrasted with the playlist, which was mostly Aussie Hip Hop.

I enjoyed a tasting paddle of their beers, before settling on the Red '67; a Red IPA. Initially brewed with 67 of everything you can thing of (IBU, 6.7 ABV, Red X % in malt bill etc.) the current recipe clocks in at 6.9% to provide a little more body. The resulting beer is really good. There's sweetish caramel malts, offset by relatively assertive citrus hop flavours & aromas. I think it's a touch on the sweet side & could do with a little more bitterness as it would be cloying by the end of a pint. 

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

SAILORS GRAVE BREWING

2019: The Year of Local

STATS
  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: Gippsland
  • Tasting Room: No
  • Food: N/A
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
  • Websitehttp://www.sailorsgravebrewing.com/
Husband & wife team, Chris & Gab Moore, launched Sailors Grave in the East Gippsland town of Orbost in the second half 2016. The duo had previously started famous Sydney restaurant The Commons before selling up and moving back to Gab's home town, with their two young children, which is about 4 and a half hours east of Melbourne.

They setup shop in the town's historic Butter & Produce Factory, which traces its roots back to 1893. Yet despite that historic venue Sailors Grave are unique in that they are a regional brewery, that doesn't have a tap room. At least yet! Chris & Gab have grand plans to build the brewery into a destination in Orbost, complete with taproom, restaurant & accommodation. It's part of their grand plan in playing a part in the rejuvenation of Orbost & the wider East Gippsland area.

They've developed a reputation for brewing unique beers, particularly using local produce from their East Gippsland locale. Whether that be flowers fossicked from the side of the road, sea urchins from the nearby ocean or local in-season fruit from their neighbours. Sailors Grave aren't afraid to throw anything into their beers & the oft-weird, but always delicious results have earnt them a loyal following.

I've gone with a very Sailors Grave beer; Fields V2. It's a Hazy Hoppy Farmhouse beer that has had rhubarb & white nectarines added to it. It's a cool beer. There's good sweetness from the nectarines, which is complimented by tropical notes from the hops & the yeast. There's an interesting savoury component from the rhubarb, which really works well with the other flavours.

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

LITTLE FISH BREWING CO

2019: The Year of Local

STATS
  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: Gippsland
  • Tasting Room: No
  • Food: N/A
  • Price: Average
  • Websitehttps://littlefishbrewing.com.au/
Andrew Greenhill had been homebrewing for 20 years before convincing wife Suzie to let him launch Little Fish Brewing Company, from their own home! The brewery began producing very small batches on what was essentially a glorified home brew system. Their focus was on producing great beer using as many local ingredients as possible.


After jumping through all the red tape, they began selling to the public in December 2017, initially just offering home delivery within Traralgon before expanding that to the whole Latrobe Valley. In mid-2018 they managed to get their beer into the local Foodworks, which is where I picked their beer up. There are also a number of restaurants around the area that carry their beer.

I'm not 100% sure if these guys are still operating, their website is currently down (it was up a month or so ago) and they aren't responding to me anymore when I try and contact them. Hopefully they still are as there were a lot of people in Traralgon and surrounds who were very fond of their brews. It's time to see if these people know what they're talking about.


I picked up the American Pale Ale, I believe they also have a lager & a Hefeweizen. The APA had a good malt bill, which provided a solid biscuity base for the hops to shine. The main hop character was citrus, predominantly grapefruit, although there was also a weird herbal quality that I couldn't quite put my finger on, but it was very familiar. All said & done, it's a pretty solid Pale Ale.

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

Monday, 19 August 2019

HAWKERS BEER

2019: The Year of Local

STATS
  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: Northern Suburbs
  • Tasting Room: No
  • Food: N/A
  • Price: Average
  • Websitehttps://hawkers.beer/
I was adding the finishing touches to this piece when Hawkers through a curve ball at me on the 5th of August. The old Hawkers was gone & in it's place was a new, very different looking beast. Hawkers' decision to move from away from their high volume core range approach to a more fluid operation focusing on limited releases, is an interesting reflection on the craft beer scene in Australia.

The rarely seen inside of the
Hawkers Reservoir Brewery
But before we get to the present iteration of Hawkers, it's time to look back at the history of the brand. Hawkers launched their first beers in 2015 to much fanfare. Their co-founder Mazen Hajjar was already well known in craft beer circles in Australia through his Lebanese brewery, 961 Beer, which was the Middle East's first craft brewery.

Mazen has one of the most interesting backgrounds you'll ever come across; before starting 961 Beer & Hawkers he spent time as a war time photographer, banking CFO & founded two different airlines, all before he turned 40!

A chance meeting in 2013 when Melbourne restaurateur Joseph Abboud was visiting his motherland, sparked what would become a very fruitful partnership. Initially Joseph began importing 961 Beer to Australia, before tempting Mazen out for a visit. Mazen fell in love with Australia and less than 2 years after meeting the pair opened Hawkers in Reservoir, in Melbourne's northern suburbs.

Old Hawkers Logo
To say the brewery was ambitious would be to do it a disservice. When it opened, it had the largest capacity of any craft brewery in Victoria. Within months they had to expand, and substantially so, such was the demand for the beers they were producing.

Their ethos was always around consistent offerings. They had a stable, very solid core range which covered a good breadth of styles. They slowly began adding barrel aged offerings to their lineup, and began releasing many many variants of their popular Imperial Stout, Barley Wine & Wheat Wine, Their labels were simple, probably not the most eye-catching, but they were recognizably Hawkers.

Fast forward to today; gone is the Lebanese Hawker, that we became so accustomed to over the preceding 4 and a half year, & in its stead is The Commonwealth Star. From the horse's mouth; "A symbol of Australia. A self-governing and sovereign nation, a place I am exceptionally proud to now call home. The star is also our nod to the history of beer. For centuries, it was customary for brewers to brand or paint a star outside the brewery and on the ends of their barrels, advertising “Good beer here”. "

The change in look also represent a change in philosophy for Hawkers. The coming months will show just what that entails; but I'm expecting them to be a lot more agile & able to adapt to trends in the market place. I'd also be shocked if they didn't become more of a limited release brewery. The one thing that I implore them to do is not ditch that beautiful West Coast IPA - that I was going to review prior to the re-brand.

One thing that is still the same is that Hawkers don't have a tap room at their brewery! They are one of very few Victorian breweries who own their own site, who don't have an on-site bar. I'd guess it's something to do with their zoning or the size of their operation. In any case, I wonder if this is something that may change in the future...

It seems only appropriate to review the re-launched Hawkers Pale Ale. As soon as you crack the tin, you know this is a very different beer to their original Pale Ale. It's a much more modern take on a Pale Ale; gone is the floral notes that characterized the last one & in is the well known tropical & stone fruit notes. It's got a good bit of bitterness and is a beer I'd be happy to sink many of!

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

Monday, 12 August 2019

TWO RUPEES BREWING CO

2019: The Year of Local

STATS
  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: S.E. Suburbs
  • Tasting Room: 69 Renver Rd, Clayton
  • Food: Bar Snacks - Uber Eats
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
  • Websitehttp://tworupeesbrewing.com.au/
It's not that long ago that I was lamenting the lack of diversity in the craft brewing scene, not only in Victoria but, worldwide. That is slowly changing. One of Melbourne's newest brewery's; Two Rupees Brewing Co, is one such brewery championing diversity. It was started by two Sri Lankan guys, Amila Mendis & Danny Perera, & opened in July 2019.

Melbourne has a large Sri Lankan population, however I don't think I've come across any in craft beer circles before. I visited their new brewery the week after they opened & spent the best part of an hour talking to the two about their journey - which sounded so similar to my own. They got into craft beer, loved it, progressed to visiting breweries regularly, progressed to home brewing, progressed to opening their own brewery!

Their venue is one of the smallest I've visited. It's housed in a small brick warehouse, on a street that looks like it should have a brewery on it. It's located in Clayton, just around the corner from Monash University, about 20km SE of the Melbourne CBD. Inside the walls are painted white bricks, the brewery is at the back and takes up approximately half the depth of the space. There are tables with the ubiquitous brewery stools, plants dotted about and invisible shelves showing off the range of spirits they offer alongside their beers.

Two Rupees is so small that it's currently only licensed for 20 people! They hope to have a footpath permit in place in time for summer, which should double the licensed capacity! The brewery has snacks that you can purchase as well as allowing drinkers to order in their own Uber Eats/other food delivery services.

I sampled each of the 4 beers on offer, all of which are well made and sessionable. I've decided to review the Witbier. The guys, influenced by their homeland, have added cumin alongside the traditional coriander seeds used in the style. The resulting beer packs really good depth of flavour, yet retains the drinkability of the style. Honestly, I could quite happily have stayed there all day drinking this beer - it's an excellent first up offering!

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

RED BLUFF BREWERS

2019: The Year of Local

STATS
  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: Gippsland
  • Tasting Room:No
  • Food: N/A
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
  • Websitehttps://www.redbluffbrewers.com/
Red Bluff Brewers is one of the breweries I learnt about for the first time through this project. They have been brewing commercially in, until recently, one of the biggest craft beer wastelands in the state since late-2017. Started by two mates Damian Witham & Wayne Burnett, with the idea of bringing craft beer to East Gippsland.

The brewery is in Lakes Entrance, a popular holiday town about 4 hours east of Melbourne in East Gippsland. It's population is almost 5,000, who are mostly employed in either the tourism or fishing industries. It's a beautiful part of the world that was screaming out for a brewery!

Currently Red Bluff Brewers don't have a tasting room. However you are able to visit the nursery, where the brewery is located, and buy their full range of beers. Recently they've got popular beer label designer, Clint Weaver, aka Pocketbeagles in to design some labels for a new range of beers. Around the same time, Damian stepped away from the brewery with Wayne's wife Donna joining the team.

It seems like all the Gippsland breweries end up with a lager, to try and convert their craft averse locals. With that in mind I decided to try their Barrier Lager. It's a genuinely nice beer. There's a little bit more malt than most lagers, which is accompanied by moderate dirty/grassy bitterness. It's crisp and refreshing & I can see why it sells.

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

MOUNTAIN GOAT BEER

2019: The Year of Local

STATS
  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: Inner Suburbs
  • Tasting Room: 80 North St, Richmond
  • Food: Pizza
  • Price: Average
  • Websitehttps://www.goatbeer.com.au/
Mountain Goat was launched in 1997 by two friends, Dave Bonighton & Cam Hines. The duo had spent time studying and working overseas, where they had discovered full flavoured beer independently. Upon returning to Australia they were disappointed with a market dominated by macro lager & set about trying to change that. They are the true pioneers of the craft brewing scene in Melbourne, which barely 20 years later is one of the most vibrant in the world.

A lot has changed about Mountain Goat in the 22 years since they brewed their first batch of Hightail Ale in the Scottish Chiefs Hotel in Geelong. After two years splitting their time between the aforementioned pub and the Grand Ridge Brewery in Mirboo North (note: these are not close!), the duo had cobbled together enough money, with the help of family & friends, to start their own brewery.

They opened in Crown St, Richmond in 1999 & decided to open the brewery up for locals to drink in once a month. It was a decision that proved to be a masterstroke for cash flow, with people lining up out the door to get in. One of the strangest things about my long craft beer journey is that until last month, I'd never been to Mountain Goat! This Melbourne institution, in my area, and I can't explain why I'd never visited.

2004 saw them move to a larger warehouse on North St, one street over from their previous site. Something I didn't know until writing this piece is that it took them until 2005 to get an automatic bottling line, until then they'd hand capped & labelled over 2 million stubbies of beer! Mountain Goat was available nationwide & the Richmond brewery couldn't keep up with demand. First the William Bull Brewery in Griffith began contract brewing some Mountain Goat beers, before all Steam Ale production, as well as packaged products, was moved to the Asahi brewery in Laverton in 2011.

This was the start of a productive relationship between Mountain Goat & Asahi, which eventually saw them buy out Mountain Goat in 2015. Whilst there was the inevitable backlash from elements of the craft beer community, the majority was supportive of the move that allowed a group of family & friends to see a massive return on the money they put in almost 20 years ago.

Very little changed at the operation, the Richmond brewery still opens on Wednesdays & Fridays, limited releases are still brewed in Richmond, whilst Steam Ale is still brewed at Laverton. The beer is still excellent and Dave's still around (Cam left in late-2017 to focus on other opportunities).

The brewery is in a large brick warehouse, in a quiet street in industrial Richmond. It's directly across from another craft beer institution in Melbourne, The Royston Hotel. You wouldn't be able to pick the brewery from the other warehouses if not for the small, aging sign above the roller door, featuring the brewery's goat head insignia.

Inside you're greeted to a large, high ceiling space. To your left is a long bar serving up a variety of core, limited releases & brewery specific Mountain Goat beers. Above the bar is the offices where the admin staff work, famously adorned with Mountain Goat slab boxes. You have good views of masses of stainless steel from almost anywhere in the brewery tap room, where you can enjoy a wide array of pizzas that are reportedly excellent!

The beer was always going to be a limited release & I could think of nothing better than to select their re-brew of Gypsy & The Goat for their GBW event. I voted for this beer from 2012 to come back at the Gala & I'm so happy it did! It's a Black IPA, originally brewed with famous gypsy brewer Mikkeller, which had a heap of pepperberries added. It's roasty, slightly spicy, has generous bitterness & a fruitiness, assumably, from the pepperberries. 

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

SEVILLE RIDGE BREWERY

2019: The Year of Local

STATS
  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: Yarra Valley
  • Tasting Room: No
  • Food: N/A
  • Price: Average
  • Websitehttp://sevilleridgebrewery.com.au/
Seville Ridge Brewery is located in Seville East, approximately an hour East of Melbourne in the Yarra Valley. This is about all I've been able to confirm about them; and even that was based on Liquor Licence records! It's very difficult when there is next to no information about them online & they don't answer emails or Facebook messages. Hopefully this post spurs them into action & I can give you guys a little more info down the track! If anyone knows anyone at Seville Ridge, please ask them to drop me a line!

I'm going to make a couple of assumptions to avoid this being one of the shortest posts in The Year of Local! Based on Untappd data I think the brewery started producing their beer commercially in 2013, although it could be as far back as 2010! I believe that this is a very small commercial brewery located in someones garage, based on the liquor licence address. Their website is a kit website, which I've seen used by a couple of the smaller breweries in Victoria, & provides no information!


When a brewery only produces one beer, it makes the beer selection far easier! The Seville Ridge Pale Ale is a well made English Pale Ale.The malt bill provides mostly caramel malt flavours. There's a touch of honey & apple, whilst there is also moderate herbal & citrus hop aroma. The bitterness is above average, but not overpowering, for the style.

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