New South Wales
The Casella family, the people behind the Yellowtail wine brand, have moved into beer in a serious way, opening a substantial brewery at their winery at Yenda, near Griffith. A media launch was held on 14 June for the first product, Arvo Lager, which initially is available in two different versions, Brew 34 and Brew 51 (each six-pack cleverly contains three bottles of each). A consumer poll, which concludes on 1 September, will determine which of the two brews will be continued. The Casella Brewery is not a small one; the brew-house has a batch size of 80 hectolitres, and the owners are so confident of success that they already have plans to install a much larger 250hL plant. Arvo Lager is billed as a ‘premium’ beer, despite its distinctly Ocker name, which more readily conjures images of sweaty sportsmen chanting ‘I can feel a fourex coming on’.
Followers of the 3 Ravens Brewery will be saddened to hear of its recent closure. 3 Ravens began in 2003 as a sideline for the Zektin Group engineering consultancy, using a 300-litre brew-house at their premises at Thornbury, a northern suburb of Melbourne. New equipment was installed in 2005 to increase the brew-length to 1,200 litres. The sudden closure of this successful brewing business is a consequence of changes in its parent, Zektin Group, which was acquired in 2011 by international engineering and project management company AMEC PLC.
Brewcorp Pty Ltd, a joint venture between Nail Brewing Company and Feral Brewing Company, commissioned its new 50-hectolitre DME brew-house in May. Brewing began in June at the new facility, which it at Bassendean, a north-eastern suburb of Perth, and which will be shared by its co-owners and used to make their respective products. Nail’s founder and brewer, John Stallwood, who has been using the teaching brewery at Edith Cowan University since 2008, once again has a brewery of his own. Feral, which started brewing at Baskerville in the Swan Valley in 2002, long ago outgrew their original brewery. The new one will allow further growth, while the original will be retained and used for special brews and small batches.