Little Bang Brewing

Before Little Bang Brewing came into existence, Fil Kemp and Ryan Davidson tapped keys rather than kegs, developed video game characters rather than beer recipes, worked with code rather than Columbus. Then, in 2014, the avid homebrewers made the step from one industry where people – not least them – proudly wear the tag “geek” to one where, well, they could work on satisfying an altogether different type of geek†.

The move from making video games to Fil’s backyard shed was something of a gamble, not least because the pair wasn’t fully away as to what they’d gotten themselves into. But, with the Australian games industry having fallen apart, leading them to jobs as a refrigeration mechanic and beer rep respectively, scaling up their recipes and testing them on Adelaide’s beer drinking community seemed one worth taking. Worst case scenario? They’d have plenty of beer they wanted to drink on hand at a fraction of the cost of buying it.

For two years, armed with equipment made up of repurposed wine making gear, some homemade additions and a couple of new inventions, the shed was Little Bang’s home. But, with the South Australian public loving what they made, and beer running out frequently, this small backyard brewery could contain them no longer.

Fil was sick of Ryan’s sweaty body rubbing up against his as they moved around the shed; Ryan was sick of lifting long hoses; it was time for an upgrade. So, in 2015, Little Bang Brewing moved into a small warehouse that allowed them to add two new fermenters and a cellar door. The move not only allowed for increased capacity (and less physical proximity) but also enabled them to develop a local community following. A year later, another mash tun was purchased too, this time one intended for making beer rather than wine.

At the end of 2018, it was time to move again to a new space in Stepney. So, after thousands of beers, dozens of food truck visits, many a legendary party and good times galore, they took up residence in their biggest space yet – read about the plans here. As well as more space and more beer, look out for more live music and DJs, more food trucks and, well, more of everything you've come to know the Little Bangers for.

As for the beers, it’s fair to say little is off bounds. Sure, there’s regular releases such as hoppy steam ale Icon and American pale ale Beard Fiction but they’ve made their name as much through beers such as the Galactopus barley wine (with said Galactopus adorning one wall of the brewery) and Scratchy Vinyl black IPA, and they’re not averse to collaborations either. The naming, conception and artwork behind the beers tend to be shot through with lashings of off kilter humour – as you’d expect after five minutes in conversation with Fil and Ryan, two of the sharper and more thoughtful minds in the local industry. Just don’t be surprised if you have to ask for an explanation to get to the root of some of the multilayered jokes at play.

Up until late 2016, the beers were available in keg form only, and usually only around Adelaide, but they now package a number of the beers and kickstarted interstate distribution in 2017.

It’s been a pretty rapid ascent, particularly as it’s one that’s been made without compromise. But it doesn’t take long in their company to understand how seamlessly they’ve transitioned their passionate geekery from one industry to another.

We’re actually pretty sure the Venn Diagram showing video game designers and craft beer aficionados wouldn’t be too far off a perfect circle…

Matt King

Name
Little Bang Brewing
Address

25 Henry Street
Stepney
SA 5069

Phone
(08) 8362 7761
Website
Regular events

Thurs to Sun: Food trucks
Thursday: Quiz night

Hours

Thursday: 4pm to 10pm
Fri & Sat: midday to 10pm
Sunday: midday to 6pm

Tours

Yes! Get in touch for details

Little Bang Brewing Regulars

Little Bang Little Banger Super Session Ale

Tapped November 22nd, 2018
As they suggested in our feature on the rise of mid-strengths within the craft beer world, there’s been a gradually dawning realisation at Little Bang that it pays to have something lower in alcohol pouring at your brewery these days. That led to the development of Little Bang, a “super session ale” weighing in a just 3 percent ABV but with the bite of something rather bigger. It’s very pale, with just a little haze, and, for the most part, looks to give the drinker what they’d find in… Read more
Style
Session Ale
ABV
3.0%

Little Bang Brewing The Pinkening

Tapped May 8th, 2018
The prolific team at Little Bang can always take you in various directions via the taps lining the brewery bar. Hops various ways, booze levels from high to low, fruity, a little funky or deeply malty – and, should The Pinkening be pouring, colourful as all hell too. The name hints at what to expect, but they could as easily have got away with calling it The Bloody Bright Reddening. As with Little Banger, this beer came from a desire to have a light beer on tap but not get to that point by sacrificing… Read more
Style
Hibiscus Session Sour
ABV
3.0%
Bitterness
10 IBU

Little Bang Brewing Happyland

If you've ever visited the Little Bang Brewery, you'll know it's a place where happiness resides. Embedded in the beer and cider names and decals, plastered across customers' faces and radiating back into the street, it's a place where it's easy to turn one's frown upside down and in which this summer ale possesses arguably the most wantonly and daftly joyous name and artwork of the lot. Originally brewed when Adelaide was sweltering through a week of 40C days, it was a time when all the brewers… Read more
Style
Summer Ale
ABV
4.5%
Bitterness
28 IBU

Little Bang Brewing Super Lucky Golden Extra Apple Happy Fun Time

The Super Lucky Golden Extra Apple Happy Fun Time cider was designed with the aim of making a cider that was dry yet retained plenty of fruit character. To achieve the goal, Ryan and Fil enlisted the help of The Hills Cider Company and ended up with both the cider with the longest name in history† and one that has a cloudy, straw like appearance. An orchard's worth of apples can be found in the aroma, followed by a little sweetness, a slight tartness and then more juicy apples. It's low in carbonation,… Read more
Style
Apple Cider
ABV
5.0%

Little Bang Brewing Naked Objector

Tapped September 20th, 2017
There's usually a story behind all of Little Bang's beers – or at least the artwork or names that accompany them – and often stories it's a wise idea to take in accompanied by a beer or two. One of the more colourful ones relates to Adelaide beer bar Nola who, when they were looking to launch their venue, had to put in place some additional blinds due to an objection from a chap who liked to wander nude around his neighbouring apartment. Thus the Naked Objector was born. We're not sure how the… Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
ABV
6.5%
Bitterness
90 IBU

Little Bang Brewing Icon

Icon was one of the first beers ever released commercially by the Little Bang duo when they launched from a garage back in 2014 and soon found a spot in our Best New SA Beers list for that year. Originally inspired by a desire to create an Australian lager that possessed a lot of flavour, it became a hybrid of sorts, an filtered and highly hopped steam ale designed as their almost entry level craft beer. Pale and hazy, lively and fruity, lean and refreshingly bitter, it went off like a rocket from… Read more
Style
Hoppy Steam Ale
ABV
5.0%
Bitterness
85 IBU

Little Bang Brewing Specials

Little Bang Brewing sNEIPA

Tapped December 14th, 2018
Having been invited to brew a new beer for Carwyn Cellars' 2018 Canvent Calendar, the Little Bang crew figured they needed to stand out from the crowd, because, let’s be honest, the calendar was always likely to feature a fair whack of NEIPAS. So, for their entry, two styles converge, with the ubiquitous NEIPA colliding with a sour base beer. According to head brewer Fil Kemp: “There is a lot going on in there,” and he's right, with the sNEIPA messing with the drinker’s mind… and taste… Read more
Style
Sour NEIPA
ABV
6.0%
Bitterness
15 IBU

Little Bang Galactopus Barleywine

Tapped August 14th, 2018
They may have Little as part of their brewery name, but it was with a rather large bang that Ryan and Fil launched Little Bang back in 2014. It was a 10 percent ABV bang that's returned for just the second time in cans for winter 2018. And it's name is Galactopus, the creature that adorns one wall at their Stepney brewery. The beer is a barleywine and first impressions will have you expecting the sort of high octane, malt forward beer that originated in England. But it doesn't take long, once liquid… Read more
Style
American Barleywine
ABV
10.1%
Stockists

And other good beer retailers in SA, VIC & NSW

Little Bang Ira

Tapped August 14th, 2018
There might be debate as to whether the Little Bang duo, a pair that moved from designing video game characters to beers, are nerds or geeks, but a desire to put Ira on a can suggests they know where they sit. According to the label, the bespectacled redhead "doesn't go for sports, he's not interested in the school disco, but you should see his collection of vintage Spiderman." It's their inimitable way of saying an India red ale might not be the coolest beer style around, "but beyond… Read more
Style
India Red Ale
ABV
6.0%
Stockists

And other good beer retailers in SA, VIC & NSW

Little Bang & Rio Coffee Breakfast At Stepney

Tapped June 13th, 2018
Coffee visits in the morning, beer visits in the afternoon. This same pattern repeated over and over. Little Bang owners Ryan and Fil would buy coffee around the corner at Rio Coffee in the morning and the folk at Rio Coffee would drink beer at Stepney’s only brewery in the afternoon. Eventually, the inevitable happened and the two beverages merged into one, with a load of cold brew coffee added to a oatmeal stout. The name worked itself out: let’s have breakfast at Stepney. Initially a seasonal… Read more
Style
Coffee Oatmeal Stout
ABV
6.0%
Stockists

This is Little Bang's winter 2018 can release

Little Bang Brewing Exoplanet

Tapped April 30th, 2018
Ryan Davidson and Fil Kemp have out-nerded themselves with their latest New World pilsner, Exoplanet. Paying homage to three of their favourite newly discovered planets, 55 Cancri e, HD 189733b and Kepler 10-b, they've created a trio of different decals outlining the features of each planet; one is a mildly sweat-inducing 2000 degrees Celsius, experiences gravity 2.1 times that of Earth and is made of diamond, for example. So how does a brewer translate such things into beer form? Through the use… Read more
Style
New World Pilsner
ABV
5.0%
Bitterness
48 IBU

Little Bang Schwang Tangerine Sour

Tapped April 27th, 2018
Maybe it's the power of suggestion, but it really is the sort of word that comes to mind after your first sip of this Little Bang beer: schwang. A little like a Derren Brown experiment, the lead in to the beer's launch saw random images released daily on Facebook accompanied by slogans along the lines of: “everybody, every Schwang,” “for a hard earned Schwang,” and “when there is nothing left to Schwang… choose Schwang.” As for the schwang in the glass, copious amounts of American tangerine… Read more
Style
Tangerine Sour
ABV
3.0%

Little Bang Brewing Geezer Pleaser ESB

Tapped April 25th, 2018
Walk into the Little Bang cellar door and eight taps greet your presence. To the left of those taps sits a hand pump, resting high on the bar. Yet, despite its permanence, it's rare you'll find a beer deemed worthy of pouring from it. In the past, it's been graced by a 12 percent imperial stout named Sludgebeast and a 10 percent barley wine name Galactopus; now, for autumn 2018, they're joined by a rather more traditional inhabitant of such tools: an ESB called Geezer Pleaser. It pours a rich, slightly… Read more
Style
ESB
ABV
5.5%

Little Bang Brewing Fancy

Tapped December 18th, 2017
The beer geeks of Stepney went all upper class with their very first barrel creation, Fancy. A farmhouse style ale that was co-fermented with cabernet sauvignon grapes, the bottled version even comes with its own wine like label complete with some typically Little Bang descriptors such as: "That sounds like a complete and utter toss. But admit it, you’re intrigued, aren’t you?" and "Farmhouse, that could mean bloody anything. Was it made on a farm? Was it made FROM a farm? Does… Read more
Style
Farmhouse Ale With Grapes
ABV
7.4%
Bitterness
8 IBU

Little Bang Brewing May Contain Traces Of Panther

With a name inspired by Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy, it's hard not to come at this beer with a smile. Unlike the cologne Sex Panther – and despite the name – this beer is not made with elements of real panther and neither is it illegal in nine countries. Instead, May Contain Traces of Panther is something of a hybrid, an English porter given a bit of a New World spin on the hop front. Pouring brown with a slight amber hue, you'll find plenty to delight in this hearty 6.5 percent beer… Read more
Style
Chocolate Porter
ABV
6.5%
Bitterness
32 IBU

Little Bang Brewing Chateau De Meau Faux

Originally destined to become the first Little Bang/Moon Dog collaboration, where the intention was to throw all sorts of essences into the mix, things didn't go quite as planned. The brewers decided the base beer tasted too damn good to play around with so left it as it was. Copper in colour, with the barest of heads, it's a Belgian inspired beer for which the word "huge" seems rather appropriate. It's thick and syrupy on the palate, possessing a booziness that almost hits double figures… Read more
Style
Belgian Strong Ale
ABV
9.9%

Little Bang Brewing 50 Dalrymples

The Little Bang crew has formed quite the community in Stepney, making many friends that help out along the way. One of those is Iain Dalrymple, of Iain Takes Pictures, a close friend to Ryan and Fil who, as his business names suggests, takes sweet beertography. He also likes bitter beers and, as their long time brewing buddy, has been referred to by the name Iain "I think it could use a little more bitterness" Dalrymple. So the beer that bears his name (and image), 50 Dalrymples – or… Read more
Style
Double IPA
ABV
8.5 percent ABV
Bitterness
79 IBU

Little Bang Brewing Little Banger

A pocket rocket is generally defined as a person who's small in stature but makes up for it with their exuberance and charisma. The Little Banger looks to recreate such a character in beer form. It's a pale ale weighing in at a mere 3 percent ABV and pouring an explosive pale gold with a bright white head. Just because it's small in stature doesn't mean it holds back on the hops; indeed, it brings a fruit basket to the table, with pineapple, melon and other tropical fruit characters joined by something… Read more
Style
Hoppy Session Ale
ABV
3.0%
Bitterness
18 IBU

Little Bang Brewing Sturt Street Saison

The folk over at Sturt Street Cellars support only South Australian booze and products in their bottleshop so, when they wanted their own beer, Little Bang put their hands up and offered to give them one. They agreed up an easy drinking saison and the result is one that's uber pale and light in colour, with a yeast-derived cloudiness. Said yeast does its thing on the nose, creating a first impression that initially takes in zesty lemon followed by peppery, citrusy esters and bread like grain characters,… Read more
Style
Saison
ABV
4.5%
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