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Australian Small Brewery Update

January 3, 2011

New South Wales

The small and unassuming Black Duck Brewery at Herons Creek near Port Macquarie came into production in mid-2010. Owners Al and Kate Owen are presently selling their only product, Proper Bitter, through a small but growing number of outlets in their local area. The brewery has a 400-litre brew length, and a capacity of 800 litres per week, but according to Al the business at this early stage is really ‘an advanced hobby’ and a brew is put through only every two or three weeks. Proper Bitter, which is in the style of an English bitter, is available only on tap at present. Bottles will be released soon, along with some new products.

Underground Brewing is a new micro-brewery which commenced operations in early December next door to, and in association with, Gottie’s Woodfired Pizzeria and Restaurant in the Erskine Park Shopping Centre at Erskine Park in western Sydney.

Also in western Sydney, brewing has commenced and beer is now available at the new Australian Hotel and Brewery at Rouse Hill, introduced in my last update. Four styles are being produced: a ‘Mexican lager’, a low-carb mid-strength beer, a pale ale (featuring Australian Galaxy hops), and a dark lager.

Happy Goblin, which kicked off in late 2006 at Mount Kuring-gai in northern Sydney, has recently been scaled up. A new 250-litre brewhouse has been installed by Ekim Brewing Company, a new Sydney-based beer company whose products are being brewed, packaged and distributed under licence by Happy Goblin. Ekim’s beers are Viking IPA and After Battle Pale.


Forrest Brewing Company at Forrest (the northern gateway to the Great Otways National Park) near Colac in southern Victoria quietly opened for business on the Melbourne Cup weekend in November. The 600-litre in-house brewery hadn’t then been fired up, but several craft beers were available from some local small-scale producers, namely Flying Horse (Warrnambool), Red Duck (Camperdown) and Beacon (Geelong) breweries. Forrest Brewing Company owners, brother and sister Matt and Sharon Bradshaw, have established their brewery and cafe in a former service station and general store, with the aid of funding from the Federal Government’s TQUAL (Tourism Quality) Grants scheme, and using the brewery which for several years decorated the Three Degrees Brewery, Bar, and Brasserie in the Melbourne CBD. The Bradshaws hoped to have their own beer available by the end of 2010.

In Melbourne, the James Squire Brewhouse at Waterfront City closed suddenly and without warning in mid-September. The closure was brought about by the landlord locking out his tenants over a rent dispute. The place re-opened at the beginning of December, under new management, and after a thorough makeover, and with the intention of recommencing brewing in the in-house microbrewery after Christmas.

Western Australia

Eagle Bay Brewing Company opened early in December near Eagle Bay in the south-west of the state, between the town of Dunsborough and the tourist-attracting Cape Naturaliste lighthouse. This brewery and eatery was established by the d’Espeissis family on their rural property. Sydneysiders will know that one of the family, Nick, was a founding partner and brewer at the 4 Pines Brewery, which opened at Manly in 2008.

Brett Stubbs, 1 January 2011


Black Duck Brewery


Underground Brewing
Gottie’s Woodfired Pizzeria and Restaurant,
Erskine Park Shopping Centre,
Swallow Drive,
Erskine Park, NSW, 2759
ph. 02 9670 1800

Australian Hotel and Brewery
350 Annangrove Road,
Rouse Hill, NSW, 2155
ph. 02 9679 4555

[email protected]


Happy Goblin Brewery
11/1 Marina Close
Mt Kuring-gai, NSW, 2080


Forrest Brewing Company
Forrest–Apollo Bay Road,
Forrest, V, 3236
ph. 03. 5236 6170

[email protected]


James Squire Brewhouse at Waterfront City
16–17, 439 DocklandsDrive,
Waterfront City,
Docklands, V, 3008
ph. 03. 9606 0644

[email protected]


Eagle Bay Brewing Company
Lot 143, 236 Eagle Bay Road,
Naturaliste, WA, 6281
ph. 08 9755 3554

[email protected]


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3 Responses to Australian Small Brewery Update

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ThreepFeed, AustralianBrewsNews. AustralianBrewsNews said: Latest on Brews News:: Australian Small Brewery Update http://bit.ly/eAO16k […]

  2. Craig Wealands on January 3, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Don’t forget about Thirsty Crow in Wagga Wagga… Brewing our fourth batch today and hope to be open Jan 31!

  3. Chris Allen on January 3, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Where can we try their beers ?

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