Lachy and Taryn Mutton are no strangers to the Mount Gambier area. In fact, they were pretty well known locally even before Little Rippa became into existence.
For the last 21 years, the pair owned and operated popular Mount Gambian café, Sorrentos. Both chefs by trade, Lachy and Taryn are familiar with combining flavours and matching food with good booze, so when they wanted a local beer option to serve in their café, Lachy escalated his homebrewing hobby into the real deal and launched a beer brand.
At first, he'd started off where most do: using Coopers kits before slowly working his way up to all grain brewing. In 2019, Lachy ventured to Adelaide where he undertook the six week TAFE brewing course with local brewing legend Stephen Nelsen.
Subsequently, his 30 litre Grainfather became Little Rippa’s first brewing system before he, unsurprisingly, realised needed to expand, albeit keeping things slow and steady, buying two more G30s to triple his capacity to 90 litre batches.
Before too long, other local restaurants and bottleshops were also asking for his beers, leading him to bite the bullet and purchase a 1000 litre Spark kit from Melbourne, plus a new bottling machine, larger fermenters, some empty kegs, and even a second-hand canning line from Hop Nation.
At the time of writing, all this equipment is housed in Lachy and Taryn’s family home on their property on the outskirts of town. Very soon, however, it's set to be moved next door, where a million-dollar brewery and restaurant is being built set for a February 2022 completion.
The new venue won’t just house the brewery but also a fully-equipped commercial kitchen with a 150-person capacity. To help keep visiting kids entertained, Lachy and Taryn will host bottle-feeding sessions of the lambs and calves on their farm too.
The beers for now consist of Lightweight Lager, Postmasters Pale, Fat Snooza XPA, Red Dog Ale, Fully Lit Grapefruit IPA, Muntrie Summer Ale, Midnight Porter and an imperial stout called Stout Season, which was brewed in collaboration with mentor Stephen Nelsen.
As they close in on the opening of their venue, here's more from Lachy and Taryn as part of our long-running Who Brews...? series.
Little Rippa Brewing
Who are you?
We're both qualified chefs and owners of Sorrentos Café in Mount Gambier for the past 21 years. Brewing was a hobby for many years.
Where do you brew?
On our property five mins from Mount Gambier.
Why do you brew?
For the love of beer – it started as a hobby and grew from there.
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
Probably Little Creatures many years ago.
What’s the inspiration behind the brewery name?
Our name and beer names represent a fun play on Aussie slang.
What beer in your lineup best represents you and why?
Fat Snooza XPA. My wife suggested it as a beer name – I’m pretty sure it’s directed at me.
She says it's named after the cat.
If anyone drops in on brew day, what are they most likely to hear blasting from the speakers?
John Butler Trio.
What beers are in your fridge right now?
A selection of indie brews depending on what’s available.
Which local beers have blown your mind in recent weeks?
Theres not much local stuff in close proximity, but I do like beers from Lobethal Bierhaus, Mismatch and the occasional Moon Dog.
Where can people find your beers?
Our main outlet is our restaurant, Sorrentos Café in Mount Gambier, and we also have some other taps and packaged beers available across the Mount Gambier and Limestone Coast region.
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
We are currently building a venue on our property just out of Mount Gambier on a rural setting and would hope to have it well established next year and very refined in ten years time.
You'll find Little Rippa alongside hundreds of other breweries and good beer venues in the free Crafty Pint app, and other entries in the Who Brews...? series here.