Sydney’s inner west recently welcomed a new craft beer brand. Inspired by neither NEIPA nor brut IPA, Nine Fingers Brew was born of a love for darker-style beers.
Co-founded by David and Kate Anderson, Nine Fingers Brew is a part-time gypsy brewing operation with hopes of scaling up and settling into its own site in the not-too-distant future.
The name was inspired by David, who lost his finger in a workplace accident about 15 years ago. He has been working as a licenced builder for 20 years while also developing a passion for homebrewing.
Anderson said that he got into homebrewing all those years ago because of his love for darker-style beers.
“I got into homebrewing initially because I loved dark beer, stouts, porters, black IPAs, Dunkels, you know if it’s dark I’ll drink it,” he told Brews News.
“I found a severe lacking of that in the marketplace, we’re talking 20 years ago up until recently.
“So that’s what got me into it.”
After winning several homebrewing competitions, Anderson entered the invitation-only Brewers Unearthed 2018 competition at which he also took out first prize.
As the winner, Anderson was given the opportunity to brew his winning smoked porter on a commercial scale and, with the help of BWS, was able to distribute the beer into venues around Australia.
Since then, Anderson said that he decided to “jump in head first” and try his hand in the brewing industry.
A purely gypsy brewing operation, Anderson has been brewing out of Sydney-based Yulli’s Brews and Frenchies Bistro and Brewery. He said that while Nine Fingers is at the brand building stage, he has engaged a real estate agent to help in the search for an inner west location.
With regular on- and off-premises customers, Anderson is currently brewing a 25hL batch every two months. He has also managed to send his beers overseas to New Zealand, Canada, Belgium and to the UK.
Nine Fingers will have four core range beers. Currently available are an Australian pilsner and an American pale ale for those not as enamoured by the dark as Anderson is. His award-winning smoked porter is also available. Soon-to-be-released to coincide with GABS is Anderson’s fourth beer, which is said to be the only Australian Black IPA exhibited this year.
Anderson said that he wanted his Black IPA to be a sessionable beer and not just a one-off.
“We used basically the recent popularity of the XPA-style and we’ve taken that heavy-handed low alcohol type beer and basically made a black version of it and called it the world’s first XBA, extra black ale,” he explained.
Anderson told Brews News that East Coast Canning has only just equipped themselves with the technology to can with nitrogen adding that Nine Fingers Smoke on the Porter will soon be available in nitro as well.
Brewery openings are presented by Spark Breweries and Distilleries.
Read more: How to start a brewing company: Part One.