Lucky Bay Brewing was founded by Robyn Cail and Nigel Metz, who has a background in grains research and development.
Metz drew on his expertise to create Sandy Hook Barley Pale Ale, which was produced using 85 per cent raw barley from WA’s south east.
“I only know of two other beers in the world that use the barley like this,” he told Australian Brews News. “I’m pretty sure it’s the first in Australia.”
Metz confirmed the beer was ‘enzyme brewed’ using the Ondea Pro enzyme product released by biotechnology company Novozymes in 2009.
“Sandy Hook’s the only beer that we’re doing like that because it gives us that local connection. It’s unmistakably a beer that you can’t make anywhere else, it has provenance like a wine,” he said.
“That’s our ability as a small brewery, to customise our approach depending on what beer we want to make.”
Metz acknowledged enzyme brewing is “a very technical and modern approach” but dismissed the suggestion that it compromises the beer’s ability to be considered ‘craft’.
“It’s made by somebody that’s very small – we haven’t even sold 1000 litres of beer yet,” he said.
“To separate science and craft brewing is not possible, we rely on science to make a quality product… whether we’re brewing in the traditional style or the modern style.”
Metz said enzyme brewing requires a more complicated mashing protocol that took a long time to perfect, but he is very pleased with the resulting beer, which is “full-flavoured without being too heavy” and provides easy drinkability.
“That’s something that perhaps has been compromised by some of the craft brewers when they push a less flavour-attenuated beer,” he said.
Located 12km out of Esperance, Lucky Bay Brewing is a production-only facility comprised of a 10-hectolitre HGM brewhouse supplied by Integrated Brewing Solutions.
Also in its range are a mid-strength Scotch Ale and a Kolsch. The beers are currently keg only and will be distributed to local venues, starting with a launch event on Thursday December 17 at The Pier Hotel in Esperance.