Before starting life as a brewer, Mark Prior had been through quite the number of career changes. He'd worked in the military, the wine industry, been a private investigator (a job he describes as "really fucking boring") and driving trucks across the country.
But, once Mark entered the world of beer, he soon knew it was the place for him. Following years as an avid homebrewer, Mark talked his way into a job at Barossa Valley Brewing. That was more than a decade ago, back when the brewery was still at its original home in at the Chateau Yaldara in Lyndoch.
After many years brewing beer in the heart of wine country, Mark decided it was time to go it alone and launched One Barrel Brewing. Though he registered the company in 2015, it was in the middle of 2018 that he finally decided the time was right to launch – and did so with more than a dozen beers.
At Adelaide's Beer and BBQ Festival, he turned up with 18 different beers, among them the front loaded and the Brett-fermented.
Now One Barrel beers are starting to make their way across Adelaide in bottles (although not 18 all at once), we figured it was a good time to invite Mark and One Barrel Brewing to feature in our ongoing Who Brews..? series.
One Barrel Brewing
Who are you?
Mark Prior, head brewer and owner at One Barrel.
Where do you brew?
Andrews Farm. I make 400 litre batches in my 30 by 30 metre shed.
What beers have you released to date?
I debuted with keg beers in July at Adelaide’s Beer and BBQ Festival.
- Entry Level - Australian Ale
- The Silesian - Gose
- Brothers Brett - Dark Belgian with Brettanomyics
- Ali's Amber Brett Brew Day – Belgian/Lambic-style hybrid
- Chinoooookie Express - Amber Ale made with local Chinook hops
- Plausible Deniability – Abyssinian purple wheat and rye beer
- Double Barrel Saison
- Cumquat Double Barrel Saison - Saison with local cumquats
- Plum Double Barrel Saison – Saison with local plums
- We're Local and RAW - ale made with Barossa Valley craft malt and local hops
- Sintaklaus Kerstmis Bier – Christmas beer
- Tsars Tar – Russian Imperial Stout
- Land of the Long White Manuka Milk Stout – made using all Gladfield malt
- Guilty BaRD - (Beyond a Reasonable Doubt) - Peated robust porter
- Brace Yourself 10B - Bock
- Double EYEPA – IIPA
- Amarilloed Armadillo - Amber Ale
- Red Rye Saison
Fifteen were available at any one time via 13 taps and two hand pumps.
Of those, what's your personal favourite?
They’re all my babies so I love them all equally. But perhaps the most challenging to get the balance right on – and I believe it’s there now – is The Silesian Gose.
What’s the inspiration behind the brewery name?
Andrew Young – Youngy – was the master cooper at Seppeltsfield winery in the Barossa Valley. He gave me a hundred litre barrel made from 70-year-old Port barrel staves. It was the first of many barrels.
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
Back in the amateur brew club days, I’d always swamp the meetings with my creations so not sure there was just one beer. After spending months pestering Vaughan Heenan, the then manager of Barossa Valley Brewing, I got the call and given the opportunity to assist Stephen Nelsen with the brewing and that was it: The Moment.
What beers are in your fridge right now?
- Entry Level
- The Silesian
- Brothers Brett
- Ali's Amber Brett Brew Day
- Chinoooookie Express
- Plausible Deniability
- Land of the Long White Manuka Milk Stout
- Brace Yourself 10B
- Double EYEPA
- Were Local and RAW
What would be your desert island beer?
The Silesian Gose.
If your brewery was a band, who would it be?
Too Many Zooz. You could say both the beers I brew and I are a little left of centre.
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
I'd like it to have my own retail cellar door to provide a good local place to relax and enjoy a constantly rotating tap list of great brewers. And, of course, it would include plenty of live music.
Where can people find your beers?
We've just bottled the first three: Entry Level Australia Ale, 2Girls Amber Ale and The Silesian Gose. You can find them in Adelaide’s better craft bottleshops.
The fourth is about to join them too: Brigatine Journey, which is a bit of a blend between a classic English ale and an Australian ale.
You can keep track of what Mark's up to by heading to his Facebook page here or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can read other entries in our Who Brews? series by heading here.