Van Dieman

A few years back, Will Tatchell departed Tasmania to take up a brewing job at Guinness in Ireland. He never made it, the dream position dashed by an email that landed in his inbox while he travelled through Nepal with his dad telling him the job had gone. Undaunted, he continued on to the UK, sent emails to 100 breweries from the Orkneys in the north of Scotland to the south coast of England and landed a place at Milton, in the university city of Cambridge.

"Part of the job was to walk into these colleges with Harry Potter like dining halls and try to sell the brewery's beers," says Will. "The Aussie accent seemed to help!"

Within two weeks of starting, he was brewing by himself, immersing himself in the art of brewing real ales - and developing a love for British ales that he brought back with him to Australia in 2006. Faced with a choice of working for another brewery or starting his own, he chose the latter, installing a brewery on family land outside Evandale. It's a beautiful spot, with the brewery shed set among 100-year-old oak trees (the ones on Van Dieman's labels) in the rolling countryside just south of Launceston.

After 25 trial batches, Will finally released his first beers - a Pale, an Amber and a Stout based on beers he'd brewed in the UK - on Anzac Day in 2009. He continued with the British theme, producing ESBs, IPAs and a Hedgerow ale that uses berries from the farm, all of which either take their name from nearby landmarks or give a nod to their Tassie heritage, before exploring an interest in barrel-aged, sour and estate grown ales. The last of these refers to his mission to develop a beer in which every ingredient is grown or sourced on the farm.

Already, part of the farm has been dedicated to growing barley for his beers (which, at time of writing, was still be malted off-site) and, mid-2016, a coolship was installed. These are, essentially, wide open dishes in which brewers can leave beer open to the elements in order to allow microflora to start fermentation rather than pitching yeast; the idea is that they beer becomes part of the land on which it was brewed.

For now, Van Dieman's brewery remains a production facility – one that has been constantly expanding since opening – and one where Will's not just using family land. Head in on bottling days and you might find mum and dad lending a hand – and maybe even Will's kids on hand too. If you want to find his beers, chances are you'll have to head to Tassie as such is demand in his home state that Will sells 95 per cent of his beers there.

There is a cellar door, of sorts, too these days. Head to nearby nearby Josef Chromy Vineyard (the contemporary building in the slideshow above) and you'll find Ragged Jack on tap and the four core beers available to enjoy in the gardens or take home.

Name
Van Dieman
Address

537 White Hills Road
Evandale
TAS 7258

Phone
(03) 6391 9035
Website
Hours

Cellar door operates at nearby Josef Chromy Vineyard from 10am to 5pm daily

Tours

By arrangement only

Current Crafty Cabal offers

Two for One on tap from Van Dieman @ Josef Chromy Vineyard

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Van Dieman Regulars

Van Dieman Jacob's Ladder

A beer with plenty of dark caramel, chocolate - even roasty - charcters that takes its lead from English style amber ales, albeit with a higher carbonation. There's a hint of floral English hops, but little bitterness, in an ale that's all about the malt. ··· Read more
Style
Amber Ale
Strength
4.2%

Van Dieman Stacks Bluff

Taking its name from a local escarpment popular with hikers, this is Van Dieman's oatmeal stout, a beer that offers up bags of coffee backed up by some chocolate characters. The use of vanilla pods in the brew adds a subtle smooth vanilla touch too. ··· Read more
Style
Oatmeal Stout
Strength
5.0%

Van Dieman White Hills

A beer that's been tweaked and tweaked and tweaked by Will since its first launch, this is a Belgian witbier style complete with the addition of orange peel and coriander seed in the brewing process. Slightly cloudy, it's designed to be a refreshing quaffer, with light citrus and spicy aromas and a slightly sweet, fruity flavour and only the gentlest of bitterness. ··· Read more
Style
White Ale
Strength
5.0%

Van Dieman Ragged Jack

Ragged Jack is a mountain close to Evandale, the beer that takes its name a traditional English style pale ale. In keeping with the style, it's a copper-coloured affair with a floral, slightly honeyed aroma and a blend of honey and biscuit malt flavours backed up by an earthy, slightly spicy bitterness. ··· Read more
Style
English Pale Ale
Strength
4.2%

Van Dieman Specials

Van Dieman Motor Mouth IPA & Summer Berry Grisette

Tapped January 21st, 2016
With each passing year, it seems that Will Tatchell at Van Dieman is having more and more fun. He added a fine barley wine aged for a year in muscat barrels to his lineup late last year, is planning to create an "estate ale" featuring ingredients all sourced on his family's farm and is now embarking on a spot of blending at this summer's Tassie beer festivals. Making up part of those blends are two new releases which you can also enjoy as standalones. The first is Motormouth IPA, named ··· Read more
Style
IPA & Berry Grisette
Strength
5.5% & 3.4%
Stockists

And select other venues in TAS, ACT & NSW

Van Dieman Barley Wine

Tapped November 17th, 2015
For the most part, Will Tatchell spends his time in the brewery creating pretty traditional brews that wouldn't have been out of place in the small English breweries where he learnt his trade. Then, every now and then, he goes and pulls something a little outrageous out of the hat. Perhaps most notable in the rabbit-from-hat category is the Hedgerow, an annual release that started out as a soft, fruity, malty ale featuring various ingredients plucked from the hedgerows of his family's farm that has ··· Read more
Style
Barrel Aged Barley Wine
Strength
14.0%
Stockists

Josef Chromy Wines (Van Dieman's "cellar door")

Crafty Brew

Cool Wine, Hobart

Club Hotel, Burnie

Mill Providore, Launceston

Kings Meadows Hotel, Launceston

Edge of the Bay, Coles Bay

Stillwater, Launceston

More stockists...

Van Dieman Brewing Harvest Ales 2015

Tapped April 24th, 2015
For Tasmania's Van Dieman, brewing one beer to celebrate the recent hop harvest just wasn't enough. He's gone for a pair, each one showcasing different locally grown hops in two very different beers, both of which he's brewed in the past. One is the New Harvest White IPA, a hoppy, spicy pale Belgian style that looks to combine the spicy characters of a witbier with layer upon layer of fresh, fruity hops grown on the farm where he brews his beer. The hops doing the majority of the work on the flavour ··· Read more
Style
Harvest Ales
Strength
7.0% & 5.6%
Bitterness
65 IBU & 45 IBU
Stockists

Pyrmont Point Hotel

Saint John Craft Beer, Launceston

Preachers, Hobart

More stockists...

Van Dieman Giblin Imperial Stout & Enigma IPA

Tapped August 8th, 2014
Clearly Will Tatchell is something of a glutton for punishment - or has a team of eager beavers on hand come packaging day. Because having been inspired to follow the Belgian lead and painstakingly wrap the 2,500 bottles of his Hedgerow Sour in pretty paper, he's done the same with this year's release of his Giblin Imperial Stout. Given many of the imperial stouts coming out from Australian brewers these days tip the scales above 10 percent, this one is a pretty restrained affair; at 7.7 percent ··· Read more
Style
Imperial Stout & IPA
Strength
7.7% & other
Stockists

Saint John Craft Beer, Launceston

Crown Cellars

Mill Providore, Launceston

Alps & Amici, Launceston

Cool Wine, Hobart

Abbey Bottleshop, Hobart

Club Hotel, Burnie

Slowbeer

More stockists...

Van Dieman Hedgerow 2014

Tapped July 17th, 2014
Tasmanian brewer Van Dieman's Hedgerow has had an interesting development. Originally a soft, malt led annual release that made use of various pickings from around head brewer Will Tatchell's parents' farm, where there brewery is based, in 2012 he decided to place it into pinot barrels too. The result was a delightful, spritzy, fruity and delicate sour that ended up collecting gold at last year's Australian International Beer Awards. It's been a couple of years between Hedgerows and again there has ··· Read more
Style
Barrel-Aged Sour
Strength
6.6%
Stockists

Saint John Craft Beer, Launceston

Crown Cellars

Mill Providore, Launceston

Alps & Amici, Launceston

Cool Wine, Hobart

Abbey Bottleshop, Hobart

Club Hotel, Burnie

Slowbeer

More stockists...

Van Dieman Harvest Ale 2014

Tapped March 22nd, 2014
Recently, we were lucky enough to sample again the last vintage of Van Dieman's barrel-aged sour take on their Hedgerow Ale, a beer that was great when it was straight, utterly wonderful soured, and seemingly getting better with age. Hopefully, there will be a new release soon, but in the meantime Will Tatchell has been keeping busy, with the latest cab off the rank a rather unique Harvest Ale. It's a 7.1 percent ABV white IPA brewed with fresh hops grown on the brewery farm in Evandale and added ··· Read more
Style
White IPA
Strength
7.1%
Bitterness
55IBU
Stockists

Keg only release around Tasmania

First keg at Saint John Craft beer ' March 22

Van Dieman Dubbel Shot

Tapped July 3rd, 2013
This is the first beer of what Van Dieman brewer Will Tatchell hopes to be a series of beers under the Mash Up moniker. The idea is to hook up with as many of his local primary producers in Tasmania to create collaborations that celebrate the colourful nature of the land. First up is this collaboration with Evandale roasters Ritual Coffee that first saw the light at this year's GABS and has since been bottled and sent out around the state. The base beer is a Belgian Dubbel so Will didn't want anything ··· Read more
Style
Coffee Dubbel
Strength
6.6%
Stockists

Keg

Jack Greene, Hobart

Preachers Bar, Hobart

New Sydney Hotel, Hobart

Alchemy Bar, Hobart

Bottle

Cool Wine, Hobart

The Abbey, Hobart

More stockists...

Van Dieman Geronimo

Tapped January 18th, 2013
Tasmania's Van Dieman Brewing is releasing an extremely short run beer this weekend. Created in conjunction with Meander Valley Berries, the beer is based upon a Belgian wheat beer style, with the intention being to provide a summer refresher as well as showcasing as much of the fruit flavour as possible. A rather sizeable 120kg of fresh strawberries were added to the beer, where they spent 14 days in the tank. At that point, the beer was transferred to another vessel along with a further 80kg of ··· Read more
Style
Fruit Wheat Beer
Strength
4.3%
Stockists

Tamar Valley Beer Festival

Festivale

Van Dieman Hedgerow Autumn Ale 2012

Tapped April 13th, 2012
Anyone that's enjoyed the previous edition of Van Dieman's take on harvest ales - using harvested rose hips, hawthorn and sloe berries from around the family farm rather than freshly harvest hops - will be in for something of a surprise this time around. Whereas in the past, there was the addition of a subtle forest fruits like character to a soft, malt-led English style ale, in 2012 it's all about the funk. Instead of racking the beer over the farm pickings for six weeks, brewer Will racked them ··· Read more
Style
Barrel-Aged Sour Ale
Strength
6.1%
Stockists

Crown Cellars ' Launceston

Alps & Amici ' Launceston

Crown Hotel ' Burnie

Cool Wine ' Hobart

On tap:

Preachers Bar ' Hobart

New Sydney Hotel

More stockists...

Van Dieman Hedgerow

Tapped November 1st, 2011
An annual release from Van Dieman that makes full use of the brewery's farm location. Each year just after the first winter frosts, Will heads around the land collecting berries and fruits from the hedgerows and adds them to this rich, malty ale. The beer spends six weeks maturing on sloes, rose hips and hawthorn berries before bottle conditioning for six months. The process adds a layer of forest fruits to the beer, complementing its spicy, earthy hop character well in our pick of the brewery's ··· Read more
Style
Fruit Ale
Strength
5.8%
Stockists

Van Dieman

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