Many moons ago – pre-Crafty Pint – a trip along the Great Ocean Road turned up next to nothing in the way of craft beer. Prickly Moses (then perhaps known better as Otway Estate) had a beer or two in most towns but that, pretty much, was it. Today, you can plot an ever busier line of breweries cropping up from south of Geelong westwards.
Torquay is home to Blackman's, a little further west you'll find Rogue Wave in Airey's Inlet while the team behind Prickly Moses has a new venture towards the other end of the road and Forrest Brewery lies not too far inland from Lorne. What's more, pubs such as the Wye Beach Hotel, Odyssey Tavern and Frontbeach are all adding to the choice on offer.
To that list can now be added Crowes Nest, for now operating as a gypsy brewery but with plans to open a brewery in the next year or two. To date, the brothers behind Crowes Nest have brewed one beer, the Steam Train, and are set to launch number two at a series of dinners during Good Beer Week.
Crowes Nest Brewery
Who are you?
Mitch Costin & Andrew Costin – two brothers from close to Cape Otway on the Great Ocean Road.
Where do you brew?
Currently we've brewed batches on contracts at Otway Estate and Cavalier breweries, with plans to build our own brewery within the next couple of years.
What beers have you released to date?
We released our first beer, Steam Train, about six months ago, which is based loosely on a traditional Californian common beer, a Steam Ale. We are currently brewing test batches of a Pilsner and Stout, which we're really excited about…
Where can people find your beers?
Our beers are currently available in various locations, centred around Lavers Hill and throughout the Otways. We're currently working on plans to have a launch party in Melbourne to be followed by making our products available in some boutique bottleshops and restaurants throughout Melbourne and its surrounds.
What's the inspiration behind the brewery name?
In 2009, our family acquired the Lavers Hill Tavern with the dream of one day creating a microbrewery on the Great Ocean Road. The pub is located just 2km from Crowes, the last stop on the Old Beechy train line, and given its location on the shipwreck coast we thought Crowes Nest Brewery was a fitting tribute to both.
What beers are in your fridge right now?
Andrew: I've currently got a keg of Steam Train (obviously), and two different test batches of upcoming beers. And my last, lonely, bottle of Westvleteren No 8 that's just waiting to be drunk.
Mitch: A keg of Steam Train, a keg of a Pilsner test batch, and a six pack of Stone & Wood Pacific Ales.
And which beers are found most frequently in your fridge?
Andrew: The Kegerator usually has some test batches running through it, and is supplemented by a mix of different newly released brews and anything I pick up from my travels.
Mitch: My Kegerator usually runs Steam Train, and whatever test batch we're trying to get feedback on at the time. I also enjoy keeping a few new boutique beers I come across, along with a strange longtime favourite: imported Heinekens.
Thanks, guys. If you'd like to join them for the release of beer two, where they'll also be serving up several courses based around local produce, you can book Crowes Nest Paddock to Plate here.