Fixation Brewing Co

Around 2014, we'd often hear refrains along the lines of: "Everyone's got an IPA these days." Yet it didn't take much investigation to discover that, a few exceptions apart, this was far from the case. Sure, there were plenty of one-off or occasional draught only releases hitting taps, but in terms of breweries with an IPA as part of their core range? Not so much.

However, taking a lead once more from the States, it wasn't long before reality started catching up with the hype. Just as in the USA, where IPA has become the biggest selling style within the craft beer sector, more and more Aussie brewers are upping their orders with hop suppliers and creating their own contemporary updates of one of history's most storied beers: the India pale ales with origins in 19th century England.

If you were looking for confirmation of the increasingly central role such beers are playing in Australia, the arrival of Fixation Brewing Co in late 2015 was as good as any. A joint venture between the Stone & Wood Group and former Mountain Goat sales guy Tom Delmont, it not only launched with an IPA but announced plans to brew nothing other than variations on the style.

This was more than a case of canny operators looking at market trends and jumping in with both feet, however – of all the genesis stories we've come across in our time in the Aussie beer world, few have been as serendipitous as this.

Less than a fortnight before avowed IPA fanatic Tom was to learn that his then employer, Mountain Goat, had been sold to Asahi, thus abandoning the independence that was so important to him, he'd wandered into Stone & Wood's Byron Bay home. Not knowing his way around, he walked into the office rather than the public area and found two of Stone & Wood's founders, Jamie Cook and Ross Jurisich, there. They got chatting about beer, the local industry, trends and so on, before going their separate ways.

What he didn't know then was that, following a trip to the States in early 2015, Jamie, Ross and co-founder Brad Rogers had been discussing the potential for an IPA brand in Australia. Thus, the chat with Tom fresh in their minds, when news of the Goat sale reached them the pieces began to fall into place. Just weeks later, Tom and his family were in Byron Bay overseeing the first brew of Fixation's flagship IPA.

Tom continues to travel to northern New South Wales for brew days, working closely with the brewers on recipes, with the first bottles of the IPA hitting shelves in May 2016.

The original plan for this bit of hoppy serendipity was to go slow, ensure every keg was consumed soon after leaving the brewery and build an audience slowly. Within months, it was clear that not only were their suspicions for IPA's potential in Australia bang on but that a hop hungry audience was going to need them to speed things up. And fast.

As production increased, quality was maintained, with Fixation's beers all collecting gold medals and the brewing company itself winning trophies, including Champion Medium Craft Brewery at the 2017 Craft Beer Awards and the new Consistency In Excellence medal at the 2018 Australian International Beer Awards.

Then, in September 2018, the next stage – and potentially the most exciting – in the Fixation plan was revealed: a brewpub called The Incubator in Collingwood's Smith Street. It's a home for the brewery and also a place for its brewers to experiment on a 600 litre system with ten taps destined to pour all manner of IPAs, from the hazy to the high ABV and from the fruity to the rye.

Name
Fixation Brewing Co
Address

414 Smith Street
Collingwood
VIC 3066

Website

Fixation Brewing Co Regulars

Fixation Brewing Easey Street

One of the handful of beers likely to be a permanent pour at The Incubator is Fixation's mid-strength offering, another beer to tip its cap to its Collingwood home in name-checking the street two blocks to the south. And it's Easey by name, easy by nature, clocking in at a driver-friendly 3.7 percent ABV. With Citra and Mosaic at its core, this lightly haze pale ale serves up gentle citrus aromas and a pithy hop bitterness.… Read more
Style
Mid-Strength
ABV
3.7%
Bitterness
28 IBU

Fixation Brewing The 86 Hazy IPA

Tapped September 4th, 2018
They're not calling it a New England IPA as such, but one of the beers prepared for the launch of Fixation's brewpub, The Incubator, is a hazy IPA that sits closer to such beers than anything else they've released to date. Taking its name from the iconic tram line that runs past the venue's front door, it eschews the yeast strains typically found in NEIPAs for the ubiquitous and cleaner US-05, instead using plenty of oats and wheat to create the haze, as well as the beer's full and rounded body. It… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA
ABV
6.2%
Bitterness
48 IBU

Fixation Brewing Obsession Session IPA

Tapped December 6th, 2017
The mystery beer referred to in our most recent blind tasting write up? That was this, the latest addition to the Fixation lineup of IPAs. Slotting in as the little sibling to the brewing company's flagship IPA, Obsession is a session IPA (also referred to on the label as "where extra pale ale meets IPA") and gives Fixation fans a first sub-5 percent ABV beer. Aside from the fact they nailed the name, the beer itself continues the brewing company's mission to focus on hops above all. Pine/spruce… Read more
Style
Session IPA
ABV
4.6%
Stockists

Find it at good independent beer venues and retailers nationwide

Fixation Squish Citrus IPA (can)

Tapped July 20th, 2017
With so much attention focused on the haze craze surrounding New England style IPAs, one could forget another direction in which the increasingly broad IPA category has been heading: the addition of fruit and fruit juice. On a global scale, it's been San Diego's Ballast Point leading the way. Here, a brewing company whose co-owner was first really turned on to the wonders of West Coast IPA by a trip to San Diego back in 2010 (where Green Flash provided the epiphany of epiphanies) has been developing… Read more
Style
Citrus IPA
ABV
5.9%
Stockists

Midway Cellars

Saccharomyces Beer Cafe

And limited amounts of cans landing at other good beer venues

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Fixation Brewing IPA

Tapped May 3rd, 2016
Fixation's Tom Delmont was responsible for taking The Crafty Pint's founder to Mountain Goat shortly after he'd moved to Australia in 2008, so can claim at least partial blame for the slippery slope that led to this site. Since that fateful Friday evening, if there's one thing this long friendship has made more than apparent, it's that Tom loves and appreciates good beer more than pretty much anyone on the planet. Especially when it's an IPA. When he was still employed at Mountain Goat before their… Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
ABV
6.4%
Bitterness
64 IBU
Stockists

Camperdown Cellars (all stores)

Brewski

And select good beer stockists on the East Coast

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Fixation Brewing Co Specials

Fixation Brewing Rye IPA

Tapped September 4th, 2018
If you've reached this beer after working your way through some of the paler, lower ABV and more hop forward beers lining The Incubator taps, you could be forgiven for thinking they'd forgotten to add some of the hops to the Rye IPA. With plenty of rye and a fair bit of caramel malt in the mix, your hop-battered olfactory system is likely to be drawn to its rich and smooth caramel and toffee side. But, given time (for the beer to warm a little as well as your senses to recalibrate), the classic US… Read more
Style
Rye IPA
ABV
7.5%

Fixation Brewing Tropical IPA

Tapped September 4th, 2018
Every now and then, Aussie brewers deliver an IPA that we're pretty sure any beer loving expat from the UK of a certain age puts to their nose and finds their brain going: "Um Bongo, Um Bongo, they drink it in the Congo." To that list can be added the Tropical IPA from Fixation. It should come as little surprise, given the base beer was loaded up with mango, passionfruit and lime post-fermentation. With Enigma, Galaxy and Citra hops in the mix too, this is an IPA that was only ever going… Read more
Style
Tropical IPA
ABV
5.9%
Bitterness
44 IBU

Fixation Brewing The Fix (Bottles)

Tapped May 5th, 2017
It was while hosting a hop masterclass featuring various brewers, hop growers and sellers that we heard a panellist get straight to the point as to why American style IPAs have become so popular – and continue to grow in popularity. It's a pretty simple theory and one with which it's hard to argue: when done well and consumed fresh they're great beers that deliver a huge amount of drinking pleasure. Sure, we get loads of good beers of all shapes and sizes coming through Crafty Towers but (in part… Read more
Style
Double IPA
ABV
8.2%
Bitterness
70-plus IBU
Stockists

And other good beer outlets in SA, VIC, NSW & QLD

Fixation SQUISH Citrus IPA

Tapped March 8th, 2017
With its flagship IPA impressing beer judges and voters in the Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers in equal measure and a couple of batches of The Fix double IPA under the young brewing company's belt, where would IPA-only Fixation turn next? A session IPA? A different shade of IPA? Nope, they started playing around with fruit. In recent weeks, a smorgasbord of different fruit additions have been trialled by the brewing team and, for their first citrus IPA, SQUISH, it's white grapefruit and blood orange… Read more
Style
Citrus IPA
ABV
5.9%
Bitterness
50 IBU
Stockists

Crowbar, Brisbane, for Fixation's Brewsvegas event

Fixation Brewing The Fix

Tapped May 17th, 2016
When this new venture between Stone & Wood and former Mountain Goat rep Tom Delmont launched last year, it was with the aim of brewing nothing but IPAs. So, having already built a reputation on the back of their flagship IPA, they're sticking to their word and following up with this double IPA. It's only going to be an occasional release and for this and the second release they're only brewing pilot size batches. Which means that, taking into account the tank samples staff at the Byron Bay brewery… Read more
Style
Double IPA
ABV
8.2%
Bitterness
80-plus IBU
Stockists

Up in Smoke

Old Bar

Bangalow Hotel

Mill on Constance

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