Few breweries have managed to spread the word about their beer as fast as McLaren Vale. Launched as a brewing company with just one beer - VALE/ALE - in 2008, it was soon on tap and in stores in multiple states, aided by a much debated top spot for VALE/ALE in the Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers of 2011 poll.
By that point, VALE/DRY - a lager - had been added to the roster, a roster that was steadily expanded further with the addition of a dark lager and a highly aromatic IPA plus a number of seasonal releases. The company had also taken up residence in McLaren Vale too, taking over the former Salopian Inn before the final piece of the jigsaw arrived in the middle of 2012 in the shape of their own brewery down the road images at Willunga. It had been a long time coming, with the site secured two years earlier and the 35 hectolitre brewhouse imported from Canada originally expected to be in place late in 2011. The Willunga site now produces all of Vale's draught beers under the stewardship of a very happy head brewer Jeff Wright.
Since firing up the new brewhouse, Jeff has been steadily developing a series of seasonal releases. Going under the EXP banner, the series was kickstarted with an Oatmeal Stout, with new beers following every few months. In 2012, a new lager, AKA LGR, replaced the DRY in their core range.
Vale also decided to move its whole operation to the brewery location in 2013, handing over the keys to the Salopian Inn and beginning the process of creating a cellar door and bar at Willunga. Watch this space for news on its opening.