Two new breweries have commenced operations in Queensland in the past two months. The smaller of them is Brewbake, based in the markets building at the famous Big Pineapple tourist attraction at Woombye in the Sunshine Coast district. Brewbake is the brainchild of former Blue Sky (Cairns) brewer, Hayden Mokoraka, and combines the sale of freshly baked pies and freshly brewed draught beer. Three beers (wheat, porter and pale ale) are presently produced in the 50-litre batch-size on-site brewery, which was first licensed and commenced production in mid-May. Brewbake opened for retail sales on 19 June.
Brewing began early in June at All Inn Brewing Company’s new establishment at Banyo, in Brisbane’s north-eastern suburbs. Brewer Harley Goodacre, lately of the Sunshine Coast Brewery, and formerly of Stewart Brewing of Loanhead, near Edinburgh, Scotland, has developed a starting range of five beers, comprising a ‘session ale’, pale ale, amber ale, porter, and American IPA. All Inn Brewing will be officially launched at the Scratch Bar, Brisbane, on Sunday afternoon 7 July.
The Fortitude Brewing Company, which launched its first beers under its subsidiary Noisy Minor Brewing Company name in March this year (see May 2013 Update), has launched its first beer under the Fortitude brand. Fortitude Original Golden Ale was unveiled at the Pig N Whistle pub at Brisbane’s Riverside precinct on 3 May. Fortitude and Noisy Minor beers are brewed at the former Eagle Heights Brewery in the Gold Coast hinterland.
New South Wales
There are several new breweries under development in New South Wales, but none seem to have started production in the last couple of months. Among those to look out for in the second half of this year are Rocks Brewing Company and Iron Awe Brewbar, whose breweries are presently under construction in inner-suburban Sydney, and Casey’s Brewery near Penrith in western Sydney.
The beer drinkers of Victoria lost one of their newest and most beloved small breweries in April when Temple Brewing Company Pty Ltd went into voluntary liquidation, a consequence of a disagreement between the partners in the business. Expressions of interest were invited in May for the purchase of the plant and equipment and other assets of the company. The brewery’s founders, Ron and Renata Feruglio, have stated that they are committed to buying back the business, the brewery and the brand. The Temple Brewery and Brasserie opened to the public in December 2011 at East Brunswick.
On the positive side, Victoria has gained a brewery with the establishment of Brookes Beer Pty Ltd, which operates a 25hL brewhouse in part of a former abattoir building in the Mayfair Park industrial estate in East Bendigo. Brookes Beer, owned by Doug Brooke, started brewing in May, and at the time of writing four beers (American Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Bohemian Lager and Brown Ale) had just been released at a few venues in Bendigo. This is the first brewery to operate at Bendigo since brewing ceased at the Rifle Brigade Hotel about six years ago.
Brewing also commenced in May at the new Little Creatures Brewery, which occupies the former Valley Mill complex at East Geelong. Little World Beverages purchased this historic woollen milling property in 2010 for the purpose of establishing a beer production facility for the eastern states, and construction work started on the site late in 2011. During the construction process, Little World Beverages was the subject of a takeover by Japanese beverage giant Kirin Holdings, through its Australian subsidiary Lion.
A new brewery opened at the historic Byramine Homestead towards the end of 2012, but it escaped my notice until recently. The National Trust classified homestead is situated near the Murray River, between Cobram and Yarrawonga in north-eastern Victoria. It has its own vineyard and now a brewery, and is surrounded by an enormous commercial vegetable farm. The proprietors of the homestead are Wade and Nicole McPherson, of whom Wade runs the brewery, turning out several styles in 50-litres batches.
Rehn Bier of South Australia is another new brewery that has slipped in under my radar. Brenton Rehn and his family have run this small commercial operation from their home in Angaston, in the Barossa Valley, since late 2012. Four styles are produced (English XSB and Extra Stout, German Weizen, and Belgian Tripel). Rehn’s stout and tripel both won bronze awards at the recent Australian International Beer Awards.