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Victoria’s House of Malt is the latest malthouse to join in the supply of boutique craft malts to the Australian beer industry.

Founded by Drew Graham, formerly of Joe White, House of Malt has been operating commercially for six months. Having watched the growth of the boutique craft malt movement in the USA, Graham told Brews News that he’d decided there was a similar opportunity for such a movement in Australia.

“I started to get this idea that it would be a really interesting idea to start something along those lines,” Graham explained.

It wasn’t long after he made the decision to pursue House of Malt that Voyager Craft Malt opened in New South Wales.

“With Voyager being in New South Wales I thought there was a gap in the market here in Victoria,” he said.

“With the amount of breweries in Victoria, I felt that creating a malt house that was small and did small-batch stuff would really fit in with the ethos of the craft brewing community as a whole.

“The idea was mulling around in my brain for a while that I ended up leaving the larger malt house and started out on a journey to start up my own.”

Graham said that his approach has been to start very very small.

“I didn’t have a huge amount of money to put into it and I didn’t really want to go into a ridiculous amount of debt or take on too many investors or anything like that.

“We started off really small with the idea of building the brand and the identify, and hopefully being able to expand down the track.

“We haven’t spent a ridiculous amount of money but yeah, it’s certainly something we are managing.”

Located in Delacombe, Ballarat, House of Malt is a very small malthouse producing 500-kilogram batches. Graham told Brews News that he has chosen to combine the older technique of floor malting in conjunction with more modern steeping and kilning technology.

“One of the reasons I decided to go with floor malting was because floor-malted Maris Otter malt is available from some malt suppliers and it seems to be held as a bit of a premium.

“Some brewers see it as being superior to other malts and so it attracts that premium price.

“So, I wanted to fit into that kind of area as well as with that ethos of having something that’s more hand crafted than some of the more industrialised malts from the bigger companies.

“The other part of the reason is to save a little bit of money on the construction as well because a floor-malting bed is much cheaper that building a drum or a box with turners in it.”

A more labor-intensive process, Graham said that his one-man-show is certainly keeping him fit.

Floor malting does delay the three-step malting process, from steeping, to germination to kilning. However, Graham said that all up, his process only takes an extra day compared with regular matling.

House of Malt currently sources all of its barley from a small farm in Rupanyup, about two hours away from Ballarat.

Graham is currently producing Australian Ale, Munich, Amber, Aromatic and Light Crystal malts, with wheat and toasted malts soon to come. With plans to expand his portfolio down the track, Graham said that he will need to invest in some more specialised equipment.

“I want to look at doing roasted malts and smoked malts but I need some extra bit of equipment so it will be a little while until I go down the path of doing those kind of things.

“I wouldn’t mind doing a rye malt as well but rye is a little harder to get a hold of.

Graham said that he will explore other grains like oats but confirmed that he won’t be going down the gluten-free road because his system won’t be able to properly process gluten-free grains.

House of Malt is located at 12/422 Sutton Street, Delacombe Victoria 3356.

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Construction has finally started on BrewDog’s much-anticipated Brisbane brewery, six months after work was expected to begin.

Despite financial incentives provided by the Queensland Government and the close cooperation of Brisbane Marketing, the project appears to have been beset by project delays and departures of key staff.

The brewer’s plans were given Council approval in May 2018 and BrewDog immediately announced plans for a mid-July start to construction.

“Brisbane – we are locking in dates to start construction in mid-July,” a blog post advised.

“We’re super psyched that the authorities in Queensland have given their support to what we are planning for the people of Australia – their green light means we can now begin the six-month project to build a brewery on the banks of the Murarrie.

“With the timeline we are working to, we hope to have everything up and running in the first quarter of next year!”

With news that construction has finally started, Brews News contacted BrewDog for comment about the cause of the delays.

“Our original schedule was set back before we got into the full detail and scoping on the project and was the target that we hoped to achieve all going well,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“Once we began working on plans for our awesome Brewery and craft beer tap room it was clear that it would take longer than originally anticipated. However, there are no hold-ups currently and we are working as hard as we can to get BrewDog Brisbane up and making craft-beer as quickly as possible.”

Launching with a flurry of social media activity, the usually media-hungry BrewDog has been keeping a very low profile with regards to the start of construction. The brewer’s Facebook page has not been updated since May 22, 2018 when it announced the July start date.

Co-founder James Watt made an announcement at an investors Q&A in October that a sod-turning ceremony had taken place last October, and enquiries at the time to the Queensland Government were referred to BrewDog’s Brisbane communication person.

The spokesperson advised that construction had not then commenced.

It is understood that a ceremony was planned take place in January, following the start to construction, to coincide with an Australian visit by co-founder Martin Dickie, though the ceremony didn’t eventuate.

Staff Turnover

Until recently BrewDog employed three Australian staff, Director Zarah Prior, Marketing and Community Manager Mimmi Hetorp, and a sales manager. Brews News understands that all three staff left BrewDog in the final quarter of 2018 and have not been replaced.

A BrewDog spokesperson advised that nothing should be read into the departures, saying the staff had left to pursue other career opportunities.

“We are going to be looking at recruiting and getting a new team up and running in the next few months, probably waiting until March and then start building the team there so they can really start doing a lot more engagement once there’s more progress made on the site,” the spokesperson advised.

The former staff were not available for comment on their departures.

A Head of Production role for the brewery was advertised in March 2018 and Brews News understands that while some candidates were interviewed, the position was not filled.

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Media Release

Articles published under the media release byline are news produced by the relevant business and remain unedited by Brews News.

IBD AP Section announces newly appointed Executive Manager

The Board of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling Asia Pacific is pleased to announce the appointment of Kerstin Wahlqvist to the role of Executive Manager of the Asia Pacific Section.

IBD AP Section Executive Manager Kerstin

Kerstin brings more than 20 years’ experience in business and industry with specific experience in business improvement, education and people development. Kerstin is a qualified lawyer with an MBA and early in her career found herself in the challenging area of corporate affairs (Communications) for Myer before taking the plunge and starting her own business which, she ran for two years.

Kerstin has a unique perspective on the challenges faced by both large companies and the challenges of owning your own business as an entrepreneur.

In 2013 Kerstin joined CEB International (now Gartner) where she was the Director of Forums where she had many enjoyable years researching, designing and leading various membership forums and peer groups focussed in education, personal and business improvement, and enjoyed most the opportunities to help develop people.

Kerstin was successful in the Executive Manager role after an exhaustive external search and is well suited to take our Section’s strategy forward. The appointment is a departure from traditional internal industry appointments as the Board looked for a highly qualified executive who can bring innovative thought for the benefit of our membership. Kerstin brings a refreshing new perspective and leadership to our Section.

The Board is looking forward to working with Kerstin on our renewed approach to meet the education needs of brewers, distillers, maltsters and allied industry groups in our region. Kerstin will commence in January 2019 and immediately begin to introduce herself to people in the distilling and brewing industries.

The IBD Board will also be working with Kerstin in the coming months to revisit the region’s strategic plan and priorities for the ensuing years, while supporting her as she takes over secretarial duties associated with the role.

At this point I would also like to recognise the wonderful work of Rob Greenway (current Secretary) who has brought amazing passion and energy to our Section in a career in brewing that spans an incredible 52 years! We will be sure to recognise Rob in due course for his extensive skill and contribution to our Section.

Rob is helping with Kerstin’s transition over the next few months before retiring from the role of Secretary. There will be more news regarding Rob’s farewell from this role available soon.

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As Waitangi Day approaches, representatives from the New Zealand beer community last week sent out a message advising the beer industry and its followers to be aware of cultural appropriation in Australia.

The message comes after several breweries in the UK and New Zealand released beers with culturally insensitive and offensive depictions of, and slogans pertaining to Māoris.

Beer writer Denise Garland last year wrote an article for SOBA publication Pursuit of Hoppiness. Re-published in kiwi online media brand The Spinoff, Garland has a firm message for brewers everywhere.

As Kiwi ingredients become increasingly popular with markets overseas, Garland writes that “some of the beers being produced have crossed the line”.

While many of the breweries cited in her article reportedly apologised and pulled the offending designs, Garland highlights that there is cultural ignorance within the industry.

Māori cultural adviser Karaitiana Taiuru has also spoken out, explaining to New Zealand’s island friends that Tā Moko is sacred in Māori culture.

“It is specific to an individual and is a graphical representation of a person’s genealogy and life’s achievements,” Taiuru said.

“Having the Tā Moko on a beverage or in association with alcohol and its promotion, is being disrespectful to the person’s whole genealogy and also to Māori culture.

“It is also offensive to Māori to have Tā Moko or any aspect of the head associated with food and beverages, more so when associated with alcohol.”

New Zealand-based educator and certified Cicerone Stephanie Coutts says that by learning about the diversity of the cultures and communities in New Zealand and around the world, it will be easier to make simple changes to the way individuals and businesses include them.

“It’s not about being PC or a snowflake, it’s about being a human being that shows respect to all others,” Coutts said.

Waitangi Day is the national day of New Zealand, and commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on February 6, 1840.

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Media Release

Articles published under the media release byline are news produced by the relevant business and remain unedited by Brews News.

The Good Beer Week Gala Showcase returns with more sessions in March Tickets on sale Thursday 24th January

March’s annual sell-out event, The Good Beer Week Gala Showcase, is back again at The Atrium Federation Square with more sessions available for eager beer drinkers.

Tickets go on sale on Thursday 24th January at 9am for this year’s Gala, which will run over three sessions: Friday March 15 from 5pm to 9pm, Saturday March 16 between 12pm to 4pm and Saturday March 16 from 5pm to 9pm.

The Gala will feature over 30 breweries from around Australia pouring over 100 different beers, as well as food vendors and masterclasses. A Gala Showcase ticket includes 20 taster tokens, a food voucher and a Good Beer Week branded Rastal glass to take home.

Get to know some of the new breweries taking part this year, including Collingwood’s Molly Rose Brewing, Queensland’s Balter Brewing and new gluten free brewery, TWØBAYS Brewing Co from the Mornington Peninsula. All participating breweries are listed below.

As well as great new beer, the Gala also serves as the official launch of the Good Beer Week 2019 program, with the main event taking place over ten days from May 10 – 19. Visitors to the Gala Showcase will be able to get their hands on a free 2019 printed program and plan out their events at Australia’s premier beer festival.

Good Beer Week Gala Showcase 2019 | Friday 15 March and Saturday 16 March | $50pp, + booking fee | The Atrium Federation Square

Ticket price includes:

  • 20 x 60ml beer tastings from a choice of more than 100 beers
  • $10 food voucher to spend with participating vendors
  • RASTAL tasting glass, RRP $15

Sessions:

  • Friday, 15 March 2019 5pm – 9pm: Tasting Session 1 and Free Masterclasses
  • Saturday, 16 March 2019 12pm – 4pm: Tasting Session 2 and Free Masterclasses
  • Saturday, 16 March 2019 5pm – 9pm: Tasting Session 3 and Free Masterclasses

Good Beer Week, the biggest beer festival in the Southern Hemisphere, is an independent and not-for-profit festival that celebrates and promotes the renaissance that craft beer is enjoying globally. Since the festival’s inception in 2011, its central aim is to promote good beer and the community and culture that surround it.

Good Beer Week Gala Showcase 2019 Participating Breweries:

  • Boatrocker Brewers & Distillers
  • Bridge Road Brewers
  • Modus Operandi
  • Balter
  • 3 Ravens
  • Bad Shepherd Brewing Company
  • BentSpoke Brewing Company
  • Blackman’s Brewery
  • Brewmanity
  • CoConspirator’s Brewing Company
  • Exit Brewing
  • Fixation Brewing
  • Forrest Brewery
  • Fury & Son Brewing
  • Green Beacon Brewing Company
  • Hawkers Beer
  • Holgate Brewhouse
  • Hop Nation Brewing Company
  • Molly Rose Brewing
  • Moon Dog Brewery
  • Mountain Goat Beer
  • Mr Banks Brewing Company
  • Little Creatures
  • Pirate Life
  • Sailors Grave Brewing
  • Stomping Ground
  • Stone & Wood
  • Tallboy & Moose
  • Two Birds Brewing
  • TWØBAYS Brewing Co.
  • Wolf of the Willows
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Articles published under the media release byline are news produced by the relevant business and remain unedited by Brews News.

Felons Brewing Co Invite Brisbane Locals to Raise a Glass at their First Official Open Day

Brisbane’s newest brewery, Felons Brewing Co. is inviting the Brisbane community down to the Howard Smith Wharves this weekend (Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 Jan) to raise a glass in celebration of their first official Brewery Open Day.

Co-owner and director of Howard Smith Wharves, Adam Flaskas, says the Brewery Open Day is in tribute to the Brisbane public:

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support received from people far and wide and this event is going to be the ultimate party to say thank you. We plan to deliver a full day of entertainment for the whole family, even your four-legged friends, so want to invite everyone and anyone down to check out the venue and see what we’re all about.”

The two-day free event will kick off each day at 11am and consists of hourly brewery tours and beer tastings, as well as live entertainment from 12pm, face painting for the kids, pooch pampering and a much more.

Felons will also be activating the lawn outside the brewery’s Fish n Chip outlet with a Beer Truck pouring Felons beer and a Sonny Cider 3-wheel Ape serving their signature drinks, Sonny Cider + Spritz.

For more information and to book your one-on-one tour, head to the Felons website.

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Australian Brews News by Radio Brews News - 2d ago

Matt and Pete are back to discuss the news of the week including:

Brews News Week is Proudly presented by Cryer Malt. With over 25 years in the field, Cryer Malt have been bringing you the world’s best local and imported malts. Your premium brewing partner and proud supporters of Brews News.

We thank Rallings Labels and Stickers for sponsoring this podcast. Call Rallings on 1300 852 235 to discover a more efficient way to get your small batch canning labels done.

If you like what we do at Radio Brews News you can help us out by:

All letter writers will receive a brews news bottle opener and go into the draw to win a mixed six-pack thanks to our good friends at Beer Cartel who sponsor our letter for the week.

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Articles published under the media release byline are news produced by the relevant business and remain unedited by Brews News.

The Taphouse Team Expand to the Inner West with Oxford Tavern Acquisition

Brothers James and Josh Thorpe of Darlinghurst’s award-winning craft beer pub, The Taphouse, have added a second venue to their portfolio, with the acquisition of The Oxford Tavern in Sydney’s Petersham. The beloved Inner West pub is an opportunity for the team to inject their love and knowledge of beer into another community institution.

James Thorpe, Co-Founder of Thorpe Hospitality Group, said: “The Oxford Tavern has been one of our favourite Inner West venues for a long time. The pub has a rich and colourful history in the area, and whilst we will be refreshing certain elements, it is really important to us that the pub retains its incredible charm”.

The Thorpe’s are incredibly passionate about local, independent beer and breweries, so it is no surprise that they will launching a brewing label, with the ultimate goal of installing a brewery in the venue. “We’d love to brew our own beer for the pub – ridiculous, commercially unviable beers that are tasty and a lot of fun. Everything from hazy to barrel aged, sour and even smoked”, says Thorpe.

To celebrate the venue takeover, the team have brewed their own New England IPA with their friends at Capital Brewing Co. The Oxford Brewing Racket x Capital Brewing Co. “Hi-Vis” Neipa with Mango and Tumeric will be launched in venue on Australia Day (event details below).

Given its location in the heart of Sydney breweries, the pub will be focusing exclusively on locally owned, independent breweries on tap and will also introduce a wide range of craft options, with a particular focus on ‘hyper-local’ (breweries within a 5km radius of the pub).

The Oxford Tavern is famous for its smoker BBQ, so there will be a big focus on restoring it to its former glory. The Taphouse’s much-loved and awarded Sunday roast will also make an appearance, but with a BBQ twist. Think smoked brisket or pork belly, lashings of gravy, roast potatoes, carrots, broccoli and a Yorkshire pudding to match.

“We really want The Oxford Tavern to be inclusive and open to all. The new Tavern will be a venue that doesn’t take itself too seriously – a fun, relaxing environment with fresh, local beer, great food and all-round good times for everyone”, says Thorpe.

The team will kick off their new tenure with two exciting events across the Australia Day long weekend:

Drain the Swamp Tap Extravaganza “$5 Schooeys/Cans – Friday 25 January from 5pm “We are super into local, independent beer. For this reason, we need to make a shedload of tap space to bring you all the tasty brews we have in store. We are putting up $5 schooners and $5 cans of pretty much everything on site to make this happen!”

Oxford Brewing Racket x Capital Brewing Co ‘HI-VIS’ Neipa launch party – Saturday 26 January from 12pm “We are proud as punch to announce our new brewing label “The Oxford Brewing Racket”. To celebrate, we have brewed a beer in collaboration with our friends at Capital Brewing Co called ‘HI-VIS’ NEIPA, a mango and turmeric New England IPA. Be sure to wear your HI-VIS!”

The acquisition comes fresh from the launch of Odd Culture, the group’s new first of its kind wild ale and natural wine bar. Located on the second level of The Taphouse, Odd Culture offers a constantly rotating menu of twenty beers on tap, twelve wines, and the largest bottle list of wild ales and sour beers in Australia.

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After a year of construction Tribe Breweries’ new Goulburn production facility will soon be mashing in its first beers.

Located 195 kilometres south west of Sydney, the $35 million brewing and packaging facility sits on a 50,000-square-metre block, of which 20,000-square-metres is under roof.

An annual output of 70-million-litres is projected for the site.

Tribe Breweries co-founder and CEO Anton Szpitalak told Brews News that the concept behind the Goulburn facility is to grow independent beer consistently and steadily for many years to come.

“We wanted independent beer to be able to have a home far into the future and in order to make that a feasible equation we had to go big from the very beginning,” he explained.

“One of the things about brewing that has kept a lot of medium sized participants in the beer market from growing substantially is the very big barrier to entry when it comes to capital infrastructure.

“The challenge is that [breweries] have to outlay a significant amount of money in order to get into the game regardless of how they scale and I’m talking about beyond a certain number of litres.”

Szpitalak said Goulbourn was better suited for long-term expansion than staying closer to Sydney.

“The challenge around real estate where we were in Sydney was that we couldn’t actually find a site with enough growing room that our fantasies could get realised without having to reinvent again another infrastructure set,” Szpitalak said.

“We’ve got plenty of growing room for the next 20 years.”

He said that the investment is a sensible one, not only for its size but also for its infrastructure capacity.

Szpitalak explained that if Tribe had decided on a site closer to and within the scope of its current production facility in Smeaton Grange, the company would have had to invest again, several times over before it could produce anything close to 70 million litres. Smeaton Grange currently produces just over 8 million litres per annum.

While he admits that the projected numbers for the site are staggering, Szpitalak said that the outlay will guarantee the company stability and longevity, “so it doesn’t matter if reaching 70 million litres takes time”.

At its inception in 2012, the business then known as Brewpack, set itself apart from many industry operators by positioning itself as a contract or partner brewing operation.

“If you wind the clock forward five years, despite the fact that we now have four brand portfolios that are under our control, the partner brewing aspect remains the core proposition in our business and allows us to amortise those investments that would otherwise be difficult for us to achieve across a much larger literage set.”

Beer, he said, is a challenging business to get right.

“I think a lot of people misunderstand the economics of beer, even at a larger scale. The reality is, you’ve got to get a lot of things right to have a stake in the game.”

After five or so years, Szpitalak said that Tribe has managed to get the formula right.

“Typically there is a tradeoff between scale and flexibility, but for us we’ve focused the entire footprint on being the most flexible operation that we can and to be the most high tech.”

“We’ve made all of those decisions not just by making one beer across our entire production portfolio but by keeping that in mind across our flexibility set and that’s a very unique concept.”

“A much larger brewery might do say, the same number of SKUs out of one facility, but they will do that at 100 times the scale.”

Szpitalak told Brews News that Tribe’s success will be driven as much by the consumer’s decision to choose new and better products as it is the company’s commercial ability to execute.

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Australian Brews News by Megan Sahli - 5d ago

Urban Alley Brewery ‘Summer Kiwi Sour’

Australia is once again borrowing from its neighbours across the pond, with this latest beer from Melbourne’s Urban Alley Brewery.

Its Summer Kiwi Sour is a ‘green and gold’ kettle sour brewed with classic noble hops and German ale yeast. Summer Kiwi Sour comes in at 3.5% ABV and is a light bodied brew exhibiting notes of kiwi and pear.

Sauce Brewing Co ‘Trubble & Squeak’

Sydney’s Sauce Brewing Co last week relaunched its Trubble & Squeak mango double NEIPA, which the brewery said was its biggest hit in 2018.

Originally brewed for GABS 2018, Sauce has taken the brew and beefed it up to 9% ABV and also adding a big dose of real mango. The Sauce crew are calling this beer “super smooth, juicy, fluffy and dangerously drinkable”.

Nail Brewing ‘Red Ale’ 

Western Australian brewery Nail Brewing has today re-released its Red Ale. Debuted in 2014 as the fourth beer in Nails’ Brew Log Collection, the American-inspired Red Ale now has a whole new look in cans.

Red Ale has been dry hopped with US hop Citra, lending it a fruity aroma, smooth mouthfeel and a hint of caramel towards the end. This brew comes in at 6% ABV.

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