You really need to be prepared to back up your words with actions, particularly when your first media release starts out by saying, “unlike multitude of other Sydney-based microbreweries, the beer is not brewed under contract by 3rd parties.” However, brewer Gerard Meares certainly has the brewing chops to back it up.
Although Pinchgut is currently brewing at St Peter’s Brewery, the distinction for the brewery would seem to be that Gerard is hands-on in brewing the 800 litre batches he produces there.
“It’s very convenient as I have been working there with Matt Donelan for the past two years,” Gerard said, “but we are looking at our own plant at the moment which will be put together somewhere here in Sydney.”
“Our Pilzner runs the exact same hopping schedule that is used at Urquell, which means Czech Saaz the whole way through.
“It’s expensive when compared to bittering with something like Super Alpha and throwing some Saaz in late, but the result is worth it.”
Though small, Gerard says that his is able to supply interstate venues and has approached a few so far and will see how it goes.
He won’t be diving into brewing Australia’s most popular craft beer style though.
“At this stage we are looking at just the two brews, the last thing the world needs is another Pale Ale!” he said.
“There will be a new brew which we start doing some test brews for soon and that will be out in time for the SpecTapular at The Local, which I think is early next year, close to the Good Beer Week.”
The beers are currently available at Harts Pub in the Rocks and the Riverview Hotel in Balmain. More information about the brewery in the release below.
August 2011: Pinchgut Brewing Company is a new boutique brewery based in Sydney. Unlike the multitude of other Sydney-based microbreweries, the beer is not brewed under contract by 3rd parties, thereby producing a truly hand-crafted boutique product. No corners are cut to meet contract brewing schedules, and every small batch is brewed and matured to reach customers in peak condition.
Pinchgut Brewing Company is the result of a very passionate craft brewer biting the bullet and going out on his own.
Head Brewer Gerard Meares has a proven track record producing award-winning Pilzners and dark beers for a number of different microbreweries over the past seven years, including Paddy’s (NSW), theMacquarie Hotel (NSW) and founding brewer at The Flying Horse (VIC). A recent stint working at Pilsner Urquell in the Czech Republic has cemented his skill-base in producing great tasting Czech lagers.
Pinchgut Brewing Company currently brews two lagers – a traditional Czech Pilzner (PILZNER) and an intriguing Black Pilzner (BLK PLZ). Ingredients are sourced both locally and from Europe to produce beers that are true to their historic Czech origins. The beers use all-malt recipes, and are unpasteurised to maintain the true flavour of the style.
Pinchgut PILZNER is a classic pilsner style lager – highly hopped, crisp and golden – true to the style first brewed circa 1842 in Plzen, Czech Republic. It is a moreish lager, well-suited to spicy foods or salty bar snacks.
The BLK PLZ is a more complex offering. Great to drink on its own but also a perfect accompaniment to hearty meat dishes, a great steak, rich chocolately desserts and even cheese platters. It’s no secret in craft beer circles that Gerard Meares has a penchant for boldly-flavoured dark beers.
So why Pinchgut? It depends on which syllabus your high school history teacher followed, but Pinchgut refers to the iconic island landmark in Sydney Harbour, also known as Fort Denison. It is an old nautical reference for the point where a stream channel narrows.
When the First Fleet arrived in 1788, Fort Denison was a steep, rocky island popular amongst local tribes of Aboriginal people as a good fishing place. Admiral John Hunter, who later became the Governor of NSW, named the island “Pinchgut” as convicts who had committed secondary crimes were charged and confined in leg irons on the island, with rations of bread and water. Back then, the place was little more than a desolate rocky outcrop in the Harbour and hardly renowned as a pleasant island getaway!
It’s an iconic Sydney reference to Sydney’s newest brewery. Pinchgut Brewing Company provides draught beer to a number of Sydney’s prestigious pubs, including Harts Pub in the Rocks and the Riverview Hotel in Balmain.