When we published our series of Best New Beers features for 2017, there was one thing missing: an entry for the Northern Territory. But, with Beaver Brewery set to open in Darwin in the coming months, joining the state's original craft brewery, One Mile, the 26-tap brewpub Six Tanks and the Purple Mango Café in Marrakai, it means 2018 may be the year in which there will be enough beers brewed there to able to include all six states and both territories in our end of year roundups.
For now, however, we figured the best way to find out what's happening on the beer front in NT was to ask the guys at One Mile Brewery. The brewery was established by Stu Brown and Bardy Bayram in 2012. Back then, they brewed in Stu's shed; now they've expanded, started bottling and operate a tasting bar too.
Here they are with their thoughts on the beer scene in and around Darwin.
What's the beer scene like in NT these days?
Stu: It's improving; there are more venues offering a greater range of beer styles, both Australian and international breweries. It’s still limited when compared to other parts of Australia, but good to see the change.
We are also getting access to more products via bottleshops and have seen an increase in the number of homebrewers (all grain) in the NT, which is great.
Is craft beer gaining more of a foothold in venues? If so, who's doing it best?
In the last 12 to 18 months we have seen a larger range of beer available in limited venues, some of which have only opened recently. There seems to be more interest in craft beer, but it’s not yet translating to more options in all venues.
If you are looking for craft beer in Darwin venues, the following would have to be on your list of places to visit (in no order of preference): The Precinct, Lola's, Stone House and Six Tanks.
How is life at One Mile now you've been going a few years?
It's been busy but good, as we are growing each year and looking forward to 2018.
We recently moved into a new premise and expanded our capacity. We started bottling (in-house) our range of beers – 4:21, RDO, Otto’s – and cider (Pink Lady) at the end of 2017, and have opened our own venue (tasting bar) at our new premises in Winnellie.
What are you looking forward to beer wise in 2018?
We are excited about getting the new tanks in and commissioned in early 2018. This will give us the opportunity to create new beers and bring back some of our original beers, something we had to put on hold due to tank capacity.
We are excited to see growth of craft beer in Darwin. Other breweries like Purple Mango and Six Tanks are getting people drinking and talking about craft beer – it's good for all beer lovers, with the potential of other breweries looking to opening in the Darwin market.
We look forward to seeing more Australian craft beers on tap and in fridges around the NT, no particular preference just more options would be great.
We are also looking forward to being part of the Northern Territory tourism industry and giving people the opportunity to experience local beers made for the Tropics. This will also give us the chance to showcase what the Darwin market has to offer and put Darwin on the Australian beer map.
One Mile Brewery's tasting bar is found at 8/111 Coonawarra Road, Winnellie.