East Gippsland is set to receive a unique beer/art collaboration in the form of a mini art exhibition/beer launch night on Friday 27th July with Red Bluff Brewers teaming up with 4 local East Gippsland artists in a beer project named Beer4Art18. The project sees 4 new limited release beer styles with 4 artists providing artwork for each bottle design. The beers are in addition to Red Bluff Brewers already 6 strong core range that they developed since they began brewing in November 2017.
Red Bluff Brewer, Damian Witham says “We always knew we’d need a core range. It’s what the local establishments have come to know and love, and we need to keep providing that. But being creative brewers, we also need to feed that part of our brewing drive, so we have come up with this project to not only share new beer recipes with locals who are discovering that beer can be more than just a swill on tap, but to also share some of the spotlight with our fantastic artist community. We have world-class artists living amongst us who have seen success here and abroad and this is just another way that their work can get into the hands of more people. It’s new and we want it to stay with a new batch of beers and artists every year.”
Silvertop – Kolsch
Dore Stockhausen – Silvertop – Kolsch
For the inaugural project there is a winter Kolsch titled Silvertop. It’s been paired to artist Dore Stockhausen, a German compatriot who has set up a studio in Nungurner. Dore’s painting technique involves layering paints and then pushing and scraping back to reveal what’s underneath. She then layers up paints again and combs, scraps and scratched until the desired effect is achieved. Dore spent time in the Colquhoun forests amongst the Silvertop Mountain Ash trees of Lakes Entrance to draw inspiration for her contribution to the project.
Dore Stockhausen – Adding Hops
The Silvertop Kolsch is a light, sweet styled beer with a bright white head that can be described as a silver top if you squint. It was cold conditioned for over 2 months which resulted in a super clear beer.
1924 – First Oil Dry Stout
Nephelle Watts – 1924 – First Oil Dry Stout
The dry stout in the pack is what a lot of Red Bluff fans have been asking for, for a long time. A dark beer. This one has a nice roasty taste with an all so subtle bitterness. A thick caramel head makes it reminiscent of it’s namesake, 1924 First Oil Stout. Australia’s very first oil discovery occurred in 1924, in a well just 530m from the Red Bluff Brewery. It’s a fitting name for their first stout and they hope to re-educate people with this little-known history lesson of Australian oil exploration.
Nephelle Watts Capping the Bottles
Providing artwork for 1924’s label is Lakes Entrance local girl Nephelle Watts. Nephelle creates unique designs using water and oils on handmade marine plyboard. Swirling liquids caught in time, each piece is unique in colour and form, yet unmistakably Nephelle’s work.
Snowy – Vanilla Cream Ale
Kye Jones – Snowy – Vanilla Cream Ale
The third beer in the project is a Vanilla Cream Ale titled ‘Snowy’. It’s a departure for the Red Bluff Brewers as it’s their first brew using additional ingredients for flavour and aroma, other than traditional malts and hops. The obvious addition in this one being vanilla. Vanilla pods sourced from Papua New Guinea were soaked in 80 proof vodka for 14 days, before adding to not only to the boil phase of the brew, but also after fermentation in the dry-hop phase. Other more unusual ingredients were added to give the beer a milky opaque finish. This beer is sure to polarise and please.
Kye Jones Taking a Gravity Reading
Drawing inspiration from the Snowy River and it’s sandy beaches, artist Kye Jones has created her swirling, colourful abstract piece that follows the river as it winds through East Gippsland and into the ocean at Marlo. In her Mt Taylor studio, Kye has an unusual technique in which she loosely, almost blindly, puts paint to canvas very quickly, then searches for shapes within to finesse and highlight by using colour and tone, ultimately tying her creation to the given theme.
Dusky – Red Bluff IPA
Jesse Kidd – Dusky – Red Bluff IPA
The last beer in the range is a very popular style at the moment. A Red IPA. The boys at the brewery are calling this one ‘Dusky Red Bluff IPA’. It’s a great opportunity to bring to attention the local landmark that the brewery is named after. The only local rock bottom surf break is very popular with surfers as when the swell hits, Red Bluff can produce both left and right hand waves. The beach is also a great place for walking, scavenging and exploring.
Dusky Red Bluff IPA uses the hop variety ‘Galaxy’ to produce a powerful aroma and taste that hop-heads are going to love. Jesse Kidd, hailing from Lake Tyers Beach, is the illustrator that was chosen to create the Dusky label. He uses black fineline pens to combine crosshatching and pointillism to effect. Scanning and final colouring is done with software. His illustration style is very appealing and his rendition of the Red Bluff point break will please all those who know of this area.
Where and When
The Beer4Art project is being packaged in 500ml bottles and boxed up as a commemorative 4 pack that the team are hoping will become a keepsake for not only art lovers but beer enthusiasts as well. The project is being launched at the newly reopened Kalimna Hotel on Friday night – 27th July. Tasting paddles, made with help from the Lakes Entrance Men’s Shed, of all 4 beers will be available so people can sample and discuss the flavours before purchasing their packs. An exhibition of the 4 artists involved will run alongside the launch and be open for the entire weekend. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see some local art and taste some local beers. Those interested can head up to Kalimna for a look or contact Red Bluff Brewers for more information.
Facebook Event Page
If you manage to get along to the launch, I would love to hear your thoughts on the beers in the comments below.
When the news first broke that Burra Brewing Co was going to be opening in Korumburra I was excited, I have been closely following their progress on their facebook page ever since I saw an article about the opening earlier in the year.
I grew up in East Gippsland where I spent the first 26 years of my life before moving to the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I’m a country boy at heart so the one thing I really miss the most is rural Victoria in all its glory. The absence of living in an area I love has given me a soft spot for small independent breweries in regional Victoria where their focus is to support local communities and using local produce wherever possible.
This week I contacted Burra Brewing Co and this is some of what they had to say.
The Idea of Opening a Brewery
On a blokes golf weekend, 2 brothers and a mate come up with an idea of opening a brewery. How many of you could honestly say this same conversation has happened with your mates whether it be on the golf course, at the pub or anywhere beer is involved, I know this has happened with me many times. Over many beers, on this weekend Phill Dempster, Anthony Dempster and Luke Jones come up with a very rough plan to which Phill said: “It all seemed like a pipe dream”. After this weekend the guys started meeting up to discuss ideas on a venue, style, beers and how they would pull investments together to make the brewery dream a reality.
Burra Brewing Co consists of 3 owners.
Phill is the head brewer and has been crafting beers for well over 20 years, he brewed his first batch of beer when he was only 17. Phills brewing journey has been pretty typical as far as the homebrewing world goes. Starting out with a Coopers homebrew kit extract brewing, then moving on to adding addition hops, before moving on to all grain brewing 50-litre batches from scratch. He refined his skills by focusing largely on the water chemistry and temperatures before completing a Master Brewers Course with Vince Costanzo.
Phill is perfectly complemented by his business partners. Both Anthony and Luke have lived and travelled all through Europe discovering a vast array of the different beers that are on offer. Anthony owns an engineering and sheet metal business but also has worked in the hospitality industry. Luke is a financial planner who has a background of being a financial controller of some large hotel groups.
Through drive, resilience and mateship these three guys pulled off every bloke’s dream, to own a brewery. Their backgrounds combined should mean promising things to come from this brewery and I’m really looking forward to sampling some of their beers. Phill mentioned to me that, “we needed to get our wives involved and they’re all on board just as much as us”. They are definitely living the dream.
The owners of The Burra Brewing Co and their supporting wives. From Left. Phill and Ange, Anthony and Kim, Luke and Narelle.
A word from the Owners
Tell me a little bit about the venue?
At one stage we were looking to build in the 100 year heritage-listed train station, this wasn’t going to work with too many hoops to jump through. We found a few other buildings in town but nothing suits us better than what we’re in now. We started some small works on the building back in mid-2017 but the real construction didn’t start until Feb 2018. We had a big vision for the building and its all come together now but it hasn’t been light work. We’ve pulled about 180T of rock, concrete and dirt from the site, and poured countless loads of rock and concrete back in. We’ve worked with all local trades to make this old building we all know come back into life.
The Site Before Major Work Began
Why in Korumburra?
It was always intended for Korumburra, we are passionate about all things South Gippsland and the ever-growing list of producers of fine foods and wines/beverages. Korumburra is right in the sweet spot, its 1 1/2 from Melbourne CBD (45min from the outskirts) and its only 30min from the bass coast. (Inverloch).
What beer will be the inaugural brew?
Our Golden Ale for sure, it’s an easy drinking 3.4% lightly hopped beer. People are always asking if I am going to make a mid-strength beer and its something you don’t have to be a massive craft fan to enjoy.
What sort of beer do we expect to see first up?
Ales are what we will open with, and nothing over the top. We’ve plenty of time to present the “out there” beers to the public. I expect to open with our Golden, Dark, IPA, Pale and Summer Ales. We’ve some cool beers to follow them up with, and some we’ll use local produce to bring the extra pop to the beer.
Explain a bit about your equipment, capacities of new technologies etc.
Our equipment has been supplied by Spark Breweries and Distilleries. We looked at many options when it came to equipment. Very early in the process, we decided to brew on quality gear and not build a system. Sourcing a supplier is a process in itself, and Spark became a real standout with quality gear and friendly service. Our system is a 15hL 3 vessel brewhouse, with 90hL of fermentation space (2x 15hL and 2x 30hL) The fermentation tanks and brewhouse will allow for double batching larger volumes when the demand is right.
Burra Brewing Co Brewhouse
How has the experience been so far setting up the brewery?
The experience has been demanding but worth every moment, getting out of bed in the morning is much easier when its all about your own dreams. The industry is open and transparent when it comes to help and ideas. Suppliers are always happy to help and work with you when they know its a brewery.
When do we expect to see the brewery open and what have you got planned for when you do?
Not a day goes by without me being asked this very question “When are you opening….Have you got a date yet”
Many plans have gone into our opening, it’s a staggered opening with us bringing the beer to the public first. The second stage we will open our kitchen up and over a period of time this will increase on what its got to offer. Our opening date hasn’t been set yet, we’ve made that mistake way too many times. It’s about making sure everything is right for when we open. That being said we tell people mid-year, this gives us a couple of months from now to make it happen.
Making progress on the venue.
Where Can I Find Burra Brewing Co
12 Commercial St Korumburra
Social Media:Facebook & Instagram
I can’t wait until Burra Brewing Co opens thier doors so I can take the drive down to foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges and see what they have to offer.
The brewery will be open to the public on 11th August. If you get down there I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.