Philter Brewing

Few breweries have burst onto the craft beer scene quite as triumphantly as Philter. A mere four months into existence, with only two beers to its name, the brewing company took home one of the most coveted titles in Australian beer – Champion Pale Ale at the 2017 Craft Beer Awards. It turned out the fun, retro-style cans that had just begun appearing on bottleshop shelves (and which saw Philter collect a second, tongue-in-cheek, award on the night) actually had some serious stuff going on inside of them.

Perhaps that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering the brewer behind the beers is Samara “Sam” Füss. Over more than a decade and a half in the industry as one of Australia’s first female head brewers – and one of its most colourful characters, she’s held brewing positions across the country, including stints at Little Creatures in Fremantle and Young Henrys in Sydney and a couple of roles in Melbourne too.

It was Sam’s mates Michael Neil and Stefan Constantoulas who first proposed the idea of Philter over a few beers in a Marrickville backyard. Both men happened to be neighbours with a wealth of business and marketing knowledge accrued at large companies – Mick at surf lifestyle brand O’Neill and Stef at liquor giants Lion and Beam Suntory. They just needed a brewer to complete the story and, conveniently enough, they knew one.

Wanting to hit the ground running, the beer Sam pitched first was a sessionable, easy-drinking XPA. With the idea of the end product in mind, recipe development took place in Tasmania, shared equally between days in a mate’s 300 litre brewhouse and those spent fishing (beer needs time to ferment, after all). The trio was after something quaffable for a lazy afternoon, but also something of high enough quality that it could be professionally critiqued. In other words, they wanted a beer that could be deeply thought about, but didn’t have to be.

That ethos has held true through the rest of the beers in the Philter brand, which, although the name may suggest otherwise, are and always will be unfiltered. Rather, the name comes from an archaic name for a medieval elixir, like a love potion or aphrodisiac. Hence the brewery’s tagline that adorns every can: “Seductively Beer.”

Although the brick and mortar brewery proposed for Sydney’s inner west hasn’t yet come into existence, the heart and soul of the brand lies in Marrickville, the suburb in which it was born. It’s often Sam, Stef and Mick you’ll find hosting bar shouts at your local pub or bottleshop, helping break down the barriers between brewer and consumer and showing they’re just as laidback and fair dinkum Aussie as the people drinking their beer.

Marie Claire Jarratt

Philter Brewing Regulars

Philter IPA

Tapped October 25th, 2018
Philter set out from the start to make drinking beers. Sure, beers with flavour and character but, more than anything, that you'd want to put away then have another. A stack of awards would suggest they're doing a pretty good job of making such beers well and it's likely this IPA, the fourth addition to the core range, will see the brewing company headed by Sam Füss continue in that vein. It's a beer that does what it promises on the tin – passionfruit, grapefruit and orange aromas welcome you… Read more
Style
IPA
ABV
5.8%

Philter Lager

Before the launch of Philter’s third beer, the rumour around town was that this was going to be a “classic Aussie” kind of beer. The previous two can designs featured bands of blue and gold, then red and gold, so it seemed almost a given that this was going to be green and gold. What could be more Aussie than that? Instead, it was a totally new colour scheme, as if someone had put the XPA through the “inverse colour” option on MS Paint, featuring a thick gold band and a dark blue colour… Read more
Style
Lager
ABV
4.4%
Bitterness
30 IBU

Philter Red

The second beer to be released as part of Philter’s core range arrived just in time for winter 2017 and came in the form of a red ale. Although nothing could top the success of the XPA, the first batch of Red still managed to score two silvers at the same awards at which its older sibling took out Champion Pale Ale. The copper-hued Red displays its sessionability with just the right amount of crystal malt character. There’s enough to give it a bready profile – even touch of berry that lingers… Read more
Style
Red Ale
ABV
4.8%
Bitterness
35 IBU

Philter XPA

When a new brewery launches, they can only hope their first beer is one that helps them hit the ground running. It has to establish the ethos of the brand and stand out from the rest, both in terms of the quality of the beer and its appearance on the shelf. Safe to say, when Philter XPA launched in early 2017, it met those expectations. Like most first born children, it’s an overachiever, winning the coveted Champion Pale Ale title at the 2017 Craft Beer Awards at the tender age of four and a half… Read more
Style
XPA
ABV
4.2%
Bitterness
30 IBU

Philter Brewing Specials

Philter Caribbean Stout

Tapped May 15th, 2018
If you'd drawn one conclusion from the first 12 months of Philter, the Sydney based brewing company that snaffled a trophy for its XPA within months of launching, it's that here was an operation with a penchant for creating flavoursome beers in tight, approachable packets. (Alternatively, you might have looked at the cans and assumed they were NASCAR-following, Stuyvies-smoking bogans who just happened to love craft beer.) So the choice of beer to mark their first anniversary may have come as something… Read more
Style
Export Stout
ABV
7.0%
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