Can there be a brewery in Australia with a more beautiful location than IronHouse? Midway along Tasmania’s east coast, the brewery forms part of the White Sands resort, looking out over its own private beach (complete with the whitest of white sand, of course) across the ocean.
Originally situated in a shed, the resort went through a major renovation 18 months ago and the brewery moved into its new home. It now takes centre stage in White Sands' impressive main building, which also houses a restaurant, bar, shop, kids' play area and terrace, with an outdoor swimming pool completing the picture. Under the stewardship of Michael Briggs, IronHouse produces a range of traditional beers, from a quaffable lager through to a rich porter, that’s embellished with the odd limited release, such as “The Hoff”, a highly hopped IPA inspired by Mr Hasselhoff himself.
Stood at the bar, you can see straight though to the brewery, from where the draught beers are all poured direct from the tanks. There’s a selection of quality imported beers in bottle in the fridges too, alongside mainly Tassie wines in a list that will soon be augmented by IronHouse’s own vintages – a vineyard is set to open nearby in 2013.
Accommodation consists of cottages boasting views along the coast, while there are two onsite dining options – the casual Brewhaus and Le Blanc fine dining restaurant. Whichever one you opt for, bear in mind that some of Australia’s best oysters are harvested just down the road – perfect for accompanying a beer or three on the terrace at sundown.
There are no specials
The beer on in the IronHouse lineup designed to appease the crowd that has grown up on Tassie’s bigger brewery’s beers. It’s a clear, light golden beer with plenty of sweet Munich malt flavour, some gentle hopping with Tassie Cascade and not too much in the way of bitterness, so as not to scare off newcomers to microbrewed beer.
Style: German lager
IronHouse Pale Ale
A US style pale ale brewed with aroma hops Amarillo and Cascade that deliver a punchy citrus nose with a touch of honey, backed up by nutty, biscuity malts and some grapefruit like hop flavours. Packs a solid bitterness too.
Style: US Pale Ale
IronHouse Wheat Beer
The IronHouse take on the Bavarian hefeweizen style comes with bags of big, sweet malty flavours alongside touches of the banana and cloves you expect from the style. Highly carbonated and with a creamy mouthfeel, it’s a fruity and refreshing drop.
A big, rich, welcoming beer, the IronHouse Porter comes crammed with malts from Australia, Germany and the UK that deliver layers of dark chocolate, caramel and the faintest touch of roastiness. Velvety in the mouth, it would make for a cracking dessert beer.