As anticipated in my last, the launch of the new Noisy Minor Brewing Company was held in Brisbane recently, on Saturday 23 March. Rather than descend upon the company’s manufacturing premises at Eagle Heights (the former Eagle Heights Brewery), participants were treated to a bus tour of four of Brisbane’s top beer joints, where eight of the company’s brews were sampled (two at each of the Scratch Bar, Tippler’s Tap, Bitter Suite, and Archive). I must point out that the mis-spelling of Noisy Miner is intentional; the company will be small (minor) but conspicuous (as is its raucous feathered namesake). Noisy Minor’s more sedate sibling, Fortitude Brewing Company, launched its first beer, Original Golden Ale, in Brisbane on 3 May.
New South Wales
I mentioned in a previous Update (January 2013) that Six String Brewing Company at Erina had received its licences in December 2012 and was ready to start brewing, but I neglected to include further details in my last. For the record, brewing commenced at Six String in late January, and the doors opened on 27 February for tastings and growler fills. Owners Chris Benson and Adam Klasterka have plans to open an eatery on the premises later in the year.
Farther north, at Uralla in the New England district, the New England Brewing Company has opened for business. Brewing commenced in February and the first two beers (pale ale and brown ale) were launched on 3 April. The partners in the business, Ben Rylands and Andrew Tracey-Smith, have established their brewery in a former wool store using surplus equipment from Bridge Road Brewers at Beechworth in Victoria.
The new Uralla mob ruffled a few feathers by claiming that their brewery was the first to operate in New England for a hundred years. In fact, wine-maker Stephen Dobson has been brewing quietly at his Eastview Estate, a short distance down the road at Kentucky, since 2011. Dobson’s Brewery uses a 50-litre Braumeister kit and produces a range of all-grain beers for sale at the winery.
At Dubbo, also in the north of the state, another winery has jumped on the brewing bandwagon. Red Earth Estate has recently installed a small brewery (100-litre batch size), and on the recent Easter weekend it released its first two beers under the Dubbo Brewery label. They are the creations of Dubbo apiarist Kieren Sunderland, who has taken on the additional role of brewer at Red Earth Estate.
Myponga Brewery has been around for quite a few years now, since it opened as Lovely Valley Beverage Factory in 2004, so it doesn’t qualify as a ‘new brewery’ in the sense in which the term is generally used in this Update. Nevertheless, it merits inclusion because of some significant changes that it is presently undergoing. The brewery was taken over in November 2012, and its new owners, husband and wife Simon Dunstone and Kate Henning, are upgrading the extract brewery to an all-grain system. They plan to have their new 10hL brewhouse installed and operational by the middle of this year, and to launch an entirely new range of beers under a new name—Smiling Samoyed Brewery.