The Year In Beer: SA

December 27, 2011, by Crafty Pint
The Year In Beer: SA

As the end of the year draws ever closer, time for another look back on 2011, this time in the company of some of the movers and shakers in the South Australian craft beer scene.

First up is Al Turnbull, founder and head brewer at Lobethal Bierhaus, the Adelaide Hills brewery that this year picked up a swag of awards at the inaugural Royal Adelaide Beer Show. 

Then there’s Jade Flavell, one of the women behind The Wheaty, the Adelaide venue that’s among the very best in the country.

And, last but not least, Craig Jessup, one half of Palais Imports, who have spent the year bringing some of the very best beers from overseas into Australia. Over to you, guys…

Al Turnbull, Lobethal Bierhaus

How was 2011 for you?
In short Rosie and I have had a great year – some pleasing results for us at the AIBAs [Australian International Beer Awards], great results in the inaugural Royal Adelaide Beer Show after tweeking some of our recipes based on AIBA feedback, invites to participate in Good Beer Week over in Melbourne and some good solid growth in our business generally with a number of excellent new customers / relationships built.

On the other hand we lost a very dear friend to us both, Hazel – she will be forever on my mind.

What was the highlight of the year?
I am afraid no one specific event immediately springs to my mind – having the brewery can be a tad challenging at times (particularly with the more recent association politics that seem to be strangely similar to those in the banking world I thought I had left behind!) but I absolutely love being around the beer and the opportunity to meet heaps of great people to enjoy it with.

Anything that surprised you?
Doing as well as we did in our local Adelaide beer awards; an event which, full marks to the organisers, we had to be virtually dragged in to enter – we never went into this venture with the intention of trying to win awards but when anyone in any forum lets us know they like what we do it still thrills us to bits.




The best beer you tasted all year.
It would have to be a little bottle of homebrew one of our local customers brought in – it was in my mind the perfect example of a British Bitter, a style I love when it done correctly and boy was this one. I always love beers made true to style; although having said that I have also developed somewhat of a hop addiction in more recent years no doubt largely due to one of SA's most micro supportive groups of publicans: Jade, Liz and Emily, and all of their staff, at the Wheaty.

What would you most like to see in 2012?
Fingers crossed our little business will survive another year so that the fun can continue!*

Jade Flavell, The Wheaty

How was 2011 for you?
2011 was a craft beer frenzy of a year – seemed as if every week something new was coming online: new beer, new brewery, new import(er), new venue, new media, new festival, new national association(s)! There was a lot of really good stuff going on all round the country and the brewers, beer merchants and punters seemed more willing and engaged than ever before. Is it too melodramatic to view 2011 as a watershed year? The year the craft beer community became a Movement?

Call it the tipping point, call it critical mass, the Craft Beer Revolution is here and accelerating at a rate of pots (!) – it's an exciting time to be involved with beer!

Closer to home, the local breweries nailed some excellent new releases and are fast gaining a foothold in the minds and the mouths of drinkers – punters know and expect to be able to drink local craft (even the beers that are brewed here ;]).

Wheaty-wise, 2011 was the thirstiest and most exciting in our eight or so years of craft beer.

What was the highlight of the year?
In addition to the accelerated Craft Beer Revolution (though in no small part related), Good Beer Week was a beery love-in of excellent proportions, the repercussions of which will be felt for years to come!

Wheaty-wise, our "Tap Beer; 3-ways" sessions (Handpump, Glasshopper and Regular Tap) were a lot of fun, especially when it came to Moo Stout poured through Indonesian Kopi Luwak – in "Poo Moo" we created a monster.

Punters embracing sours – in a really big and slightly obsessive way. (Whisky) Punters embracing Rex Attitude – likewise.

Anything that surprised you?
Poo Moo. And Rex Attitude.

The best beer you tasted all year.
SA: Lobethal Bierhaus Double Hopped IPA & Brewboys Galactic Pale.
Oz: Mountain Goat Thorny Goat Black IPA.
Overseas: 8 Wired Batch #18 Imp Stout & Epic Flying Nun Pale.

What would you most like to see in 2012?
The momentum and rage of 2011 maintained.

More local pubs, restaurants and bars having the sense and courage to take craft beer seriously, sour as the new bitter, session as the new hop bomb and craft as the new cans!

Craig Jessup, Palais Imports

How was 2011 for you?
Amazing! So many great beers getting out into so many great venues, both new and old. For us, it was our biggest yet in seven years of trading.




What was the highlight of the year?
Finally welcoming Brooklyn Brewery into our portfolio, closely followed by going to the Great American Beer Fest in Denver for the first time.

Anything that surprised you?
The Sydney beer scene has just boomed out of nowhere, thanks in no small part to the guys at Shady Pines Saloon. It shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon either.

The best beer you tasted all year.
Brooklyn Sorachi Ace Saison and 8 Wired Hopwired.

What would you most like to see in 2012?
I would like to see the SA government scap their plans to charge an annual fee for each beer brand registered with the EPA for bottle deposit by end of 2012. This year they already introduced for the first time an administration fee for each new beer registered. Beer in SA is already more expensive because of the 10c bottle deposit (not required for wine bottles). These new fees threaten to raise the prices even further and will likely reduce the selection of beers coming into SA.

(Photo at top courtesy of I’m Here For The Hops)

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