Kooinda Brewing Co has established itself as a solid player in the craft beer community and underlined its growing popularity by taking The People’s Choice Award for their Hop Transfusion at this year’s Ballarat Beer Festival.
Kooinda is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘happy place’ and seems to fit nicely with the attitude these blokes adopt when it comes to developing, brewing, pouring and talking about their beers. From now legendary beginnings in a suburban backyard using the pool water to cool the wort to their new larger home and bar operation, Kooinda has grown without losing sight of their chief aim – making good beer for good people.
A regular feature at beer festivals, Microbrewery Showcases and other events, Kooinda are generous with their time and this is reflected in a reputation which continues to grow with the drinking public. Always willing to appear on seminar panels to have a chat about beer and brewing (well, Mick tends to offer his services most times as he is rarely short of a word!) the lads realise the importance of face-to-face contact with potential consumers.
During the Ballarat Beer Festival there was never a stage when it was easy to get to the Kooinda stall, such was the buzz it generated. Helped by the inclusion of Booze Bins, a terrific modular and easy-to-assemble bar/bench/tap system, Kooinda creates a truly welcoming and approachable front to the public. And isn’t that what good beer is all about?
Kooinda have changed little since those humble backyard beginnings and their attitude to brewing beer has remained firmly grounded in an attitude of “Why not?” rather than “Why?” Willing to experiment with new styles and interesting ingredients like the Karakaberry (a cross-bred raspberry/blueberry) in their Witbier or the challenging dark bitterness of the Full Nelson Black IPA the brewer’s craft is explored. At the same time, they are happy to re-work a more ‘garden variety’ style like their Pilsner to attract a new audience to good beer in the same way that their ‘big’ beers reward the experienced.
The Ballarat Beer Festival patrons recognised the down-to-earth and friendly style of the Kooinda crew and their brews and the People’s Choice award was a well deserved one. The Kooinda brewery bar is now open on Friday afternoons and is well worth the trip out to 28 Culverlands Street Heidelberg West not far from the city.
And tell Mick; “Prof said you should shout me a beer for coming all the way out here!” That’s a happy place.