New South Wales
The Beekeepers Inn at Vittoria, on the Mitchell Highway between Orange and Bathurst, is home to one of the best-kept secrets among Australian small breweries. It is operated by Central Ranges Brewing Company under the name 1859 Brewery, after the year of establishment of the former coaching inn, and came into production around October last year. The brewing equipment, formerly used in the Hopping Mad Brewery at Orange (2003 to about 2007), was installed in its shed behind the inn at Vittoria in 2010, but there were delays in bringing it into production. This new venture has not been well publicised. Indeed, the Beekeepers Inn website still states that the brewery is ‘forthcoming’.
Also in central-western New South Wales is the newly-established Fish River Valley Brewery, at the village of Locksley, about 25km south of Bathurst. Fish River Valley beer first went on sale in March this year. The 16hL brewery is operated by Mick Hoban, who took up brewing after several years in the wine industry in the Bathurst area. Hoban had a stint as the inaugural brewer at the Old Dairy Brewery in Kent, England, before returning to Australia to start brewing for himself at the old public school building at Locksley.
Brewing was officially resumed at the King Street Brewhouse in Sydney in April 2013. The little brewery there closed in 2010 when the James Squire people severed their connection with the venue, originally established in 2004 as a James Squire Brewhouse, and took their brewing licence with them. A tentative recommencement of brewing was made in 2011. In 2012 the owner of the place, Graeme Thompson, launched his own beer brand, Red Tape Brewing Co., and had a range of beers made off-site. Now, with the brewing licence for the venue reinstated, Red Tape beers are being made at the King Street Wharf premises. Sam Clayman, formerly of Brewpack (Smeaton Grange), the Australian Brewery (Rouse Hill), and Paddy’s Brewery (Flemington), is the Red Tape brewer.
After initially taking the contract-brewing route through Southern Bay Brewing at Geelong, Matt Houghton of the Boatrocker Brewing Company has now established his own brewery in the south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Braeside. Houghton has installed a second-hand Newlands kit, and his first Braeside-brewed beer (Alpha Queen Highly Hopped Ale) went on sale late in April. Matt Inchley, formerly of 3 Ravens (Thornbury) and Mornington Peninsula breweries, is employed as head brewer at Boatrocker.
The new Clare Valley Brewing Co. has placed its first beer on sale. The first keg of King Kong Stout was delivered to the Gilbert Street Hotel in Adelaide on 31 July and tapped there on 1 August. The brewery is operated by Ben Jeanneret and Craig Harnett, and is situated at Ben’s winery (Jeanneret Wines) near Sevenhill in the Clare Valley wine district. The brewery utilises equipment intended for a major upgrade of the Port Dock Brewery at Port Adelaide in 2009, but never used for that purpose.
Wild Bull Brewery at Dardanup closed on 22 August after nearly six years in operation. The microbrewery (with a 10hl Brewmaster kit), restaurant and craft gallery was established in 2007 by Graeme Lamb, and has been owned and operated since 2010 by Paul and Michelle Bevin.