South Gippsland has long been known for its rolling green hills, idyllic hiking and camping spots, bountiful produce and an impressive collection of wineries.
These days, it's also home to a growing band of local breweries, with one of Australia's oldest independent breweries – Mirboo North's Grand Ridge (which turns 30 this year) – joined by Loch Brewery & Distillery in 2014 and, more recently, Howler Brewing and Burra Brewing Co.
Since opening in August last year, Burra has not only brought local beer to Korumburra but has quickly become a popular local watering hole, not to mention a worthy pit stop for beer fans making their way between Melbourne and Wilsons Promontory.
Keen to know more? Well, so were we, so here's co-founder Phill Dempster to tell us more as part of our ongoing Who Brews? series.
Who are you?
Phill Dempster (pictured). The other two faces behind Burra Brewing are my brother Anthony Dempster and Luke Jones.
Where do you brew?
At our Korumburra home on 12 Commercial Street.
Why do you brew?
I love the process of making something and watching someone enjoy the end product. I've always brewed and it's always been a passion when I found the time, but now I work as the head brewer at Burra and I love it every day.
What beers have you released to date?
We opened with Golden, Dark, Summer and Pale Ales. Since opening, we've brewed quite a few more and are often coming out with new seasonals.
Of those, which have been your favourite?
Our pale ale. But I don't mind a drop of our Amarillo IPA – a single hop IPA that sits at 6 percent ABV.
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
When we first started to brew the Dark Ale: it's not my beer of choice, however Luke and Anthony love the style.
Many batches were put through the pilot system, not to tweak what we were making but more for enjoyment. The Dark on our pilot system is a direct match to what we produce today and it's awesome to watch non-beer drinkers try this one and keep coming back for more.
What’s the inspiration behind the brewery name?
We're located in Korumburra. We also grew up in Korumburra, or Burra.
The tree in our logo comes from a paddock just out of town with One Tree sitting right on top. It's an icon for people who grew up in Burra. Plus the simple image of a tree is clean and refreshing just like our ales.
What would your desert island beer be?
Burra Pale Ale is my pick right now. There are a couple of other pales in the market that I like getting when out – Pirate Life and Jetty Road being the main ones.
What beers are in your fridge at the moment?
I actually don't have any beer in my fridge at home. I spend a fair amount of my time at the brewery, working as the brewer and general manager of operations of the venue, so my time at home knocking one back doesn't happen.
When I am out and picking from a takeaway bottleshop I always go for something I haven't had, since the variety these days is awesome.
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
Right where it is right now. We would love to take the venue to its max capacity and we've plenty of ideas on how we can expand with our current equipment.
Ten years is a long term vision and we've planned for a few directions, but we need to review shorter term goals before we can see our next path. In general, we plan on plenty of beer being brewed and going out in cans, bottles and kegs, plus sold over our bar.
Where can people find your beers?
Our brewpub in Korumburra is the best place to try our range. We're also stocked at a few other local venues like the Wonthaggi Club, Fish Creek Hotel and our cans are appearing in more and more venues too.
You can check out what Burra Brewing are up to via their Facebook page or head into the brewery at 12 Commercial Street, Korumburra.