It's not uncommon among Australia's craft brewers to find those with former careers that have been abandoned in favour of chasing beery dreams. It is uncommon, however, to find one with quite as many strings to their bow as Warwick Little, who founded Little Brewing with wife Kylie in 2007. Try time spent as a paramedic and dabbling with radiography, physics, chemistry and microbiology, as well as several years studying wine science, and you've got a pretty colourful past.
Nothing, however, seems to have sparked the same passion as the brewing of beer, much to the delight of Kylie, a former marketer who had developed a taste for English and Belgian ales while living in the UK in the late 80s and early 90s. Serial award winners, their beers under both the Wicked Elf and Mad Abbot labels have found favour with judges and beer lovers alike.
It's just as well, as in Port Macquarie, where their immaculately maintained brewery is based (complete with the largest collection of brewing accoutrements we've ever seen!), big brewery contracts have meant that, until late 2011 when The Town Green Inn took their beer, they couldn't secure a single tap in any of the town's hotels. Instead, you'll find them on tap and bottleshop shelves in the the better beer venues along the east coast from Brisbane to Melbourne - and occasionally further afield, especially since they expanded capacity in 2013. New tanks arrived as well as a large shipment of kegs, allowing the Littles to hunt down more tap points than ever before, assisted by an on-road Elfmobile servicing their East Coast customers.
Having sold everything they owned to get the brewery up and running, the Littles don't hold back with any of their beers, all of which are typified by bold flavours and plenty of body. As Warwick says: "We brew beers without compromise, yet fervently true to style."
In 2017, new owners took over to inject fresh funds into the business, keeping Warwick and Kylie on board so the Little Brewing Company remains Little at heart while looking to become rather larger.