“Will you have a beer?”
“Yep, a YEPP, please.”
Even with the sheer number of Australian brewing companies now operating, sometimes you come across a brewery name that just feels perfect.
YEPP Brewing Co is one such name, with the moniker not just making the act of ordering beer even easier but also intrinsically connecting the fledgling brewery to their locale of Yeppoon.
Located north of Rockhampton, the coastal town on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast is known for its splendid beaches and as a gateway to the Keppel Islands on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Among the many to be lured in by such conditions are YEPP Brewing's founders, Tanya and Justin Adams, who moved to live by the beach a couple of years ago.
While Justin had grown up in central Queensland and visited Yeppoon as a kid, it was on more recent holidays from their home in Ipswich that the town really captured their imagination. Tanya says it was clearly a town that was changing: new restaurants and places to stay were opening, but they felt one thing was missing.
“We’d come here to visit friends and there were some restaurants and bars but no brewery or that much for young people,” she says.
Before they’d even made the move, the couple had talked about launching a brewery but felt Ipswich and Brisbane nearby were already well supplied, not least by their own local, 4 Hearts Brewing, which was a regular haunt for the pair.
They moved north just as the pandemic hit, timing that encouraged them to do their own thing and led them to start work on YEPP in earnest towards the start of last year.
“We moved here and COVID happened and [Justin] was pretty fed up with working in mining and working away all the time,” Tanya says.
Located in an industrial pocket a little way inland from the coast, Tanya says the Hidden Valley area of Yeppoon they’re part of is a new but fast-growing and set to be surrounded by homes in coming years (indeed, it's so new their street, Macadamia Drive, didn't appear on Google Maps at the time of writing – talk about fresh).
With ten taps and 400-litre batch sizes, visitors to the taproom will have a wide selection of styles to choose from once doors open in February or March; to date, the interest from locals has been widespread. They opened for growler fills over Christmas and New Year's Eve only to soon sell out with local businesses keen to say yes to YEPP too.
“We haven’t actually approached anybody yet to sell our beer,” Tanya says. “But we’ve had enquiries from quite a few local venues wanting to stock our beers, probably four or five restaurants just in Yeppoon, and bars plus [mobile bar hire] Kombi Keg.”
Ahead of their taproom opening, we invited Tanya and Justin to join us as part of our long-running Who Brews...? series.
YEPP BREWING CO
Who are you?
Justin and Tanya Adams – a married couple from Yeppoon. Justin previously worked as a mechanical engineer and Tanya is an emergency department doctor in the local hospital.
Where do you brew?
In our new brewery in Hidden Valley, Yeppoon.
Why do you brew?
We love craft beer and enjoy the process of new and interesting beers and trying to perfect them. We also love the whole craft beer scene and spend a lot of time visiting other breweries and trying new beers.
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
About ten years ago Justin tried Little Creatures Pale Ale and fell in love with craft beer and has been brewing ever since. It moved from a hobby to a career as he spent more time researching brewing and developing recipes than he did working on his degree.
What’s the inspiration behind the brewery name?
We wanted a name synonymous with our region that was catchy and YEPP was the obvious choice.
What beer in your lineup best represents you and why?
Our pale ale is our favourite – it’s an easy-drinking beer for the endless Queensland summertime. We love to be outdoors enjoying our beautiful beaches and relaxing with friends; this beer represents that for us.
If you could have any person in the world join you on a brew day, who would it be, and why?
Justin: Anyone with good fishing coordinates as I seem to be the only man in Yeppoon who can’t catch a decent fish.
Tanya: A cleaner!
If anyone drops in on brew day, what are they most likely to hear blasting from the speakers?
Anything from 90s punk like NOFX and Lagwagon to Pearl Jam and Pink Floyd.
What would be your desert island beer of choice?
4 Hearts Red IPA – absolutely love that beer and could drink it all day!
Which local beers have blown your mind in recent weeks?
We are the only local brewery so would have to say our pale ale haha!
Is there a particular style, ingredient, or trend in beer you'd like to explore further?
We’d love to start a barrel-aged beer programme experimenting with porters and stouts to explore new flavour profiles.
Where can people find your beers?
They will be available from some local bars and restaurants in the coming weeks, and from our taproom as soon as it opens in late February or early March.
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
We hope to have expanded with a much bigger volume in production and have a second taproom close to the beach. We also would like to be distributing throughout Queensland and interstate.
When their taproom is open, you can drop in to see Tanya and Justin at 6 Macadamia Drive, Yeppoon. Once Google Maps sorts itself out, you'll find it and hundreds of other good beer venues in the free Crafty Pint app.
For other entries in the Who Brews...? series, head here.