For most people, being in the wettest part of Victoria would be cause for complaint. Not Luke Scott, head brewer at the Otway Estate Brewery, who has an impressive water harvesting system and a pair of 150,000l tanks at his disposal to capture the rain. This pure water is used to brew his beers, ensuring they are truly a product of the Otways.
Brought in to start a brewery alongside the existing Otway Estate Winery, Luke has taken a two-pronged approach: a standard range of approachable beers under the Prickly Moses label, ranging from a pilsner through to a stout and the "Otway Trilogy" of French and Belgian Farmhouse Ales available in longnecks - plus occasional short run specials.
When Otway Estate's owners decided to build the brewery, it was seen as something that would complement their wine production. Three years on, with its beers playing their part in Australia's craft beer revolution, the brewery is taking the lead. The Prickly Moses label is found in pubs all along the Great Ocean Road, as well as in Melbourne and further afield, with the Otway Organic Lager and a cider made with apples grown on the estate helping win a new audience.
The brewery, which takes its name from a native plant local to the area, is well worth a visit. Sat on the edge of the beautiful Otway Ranges National Park and less than 50km from the Surf Coast, it has three holiday cottages onsite with views over the rolling countryside as well as a brewery cellar door. If you want to go a step further, you can sign up for residential beer courses and learn to brew hands on. And if you head to many of Australia's beer festivals, look out for the Prickly Moses bus...