Brew & A: The Kooinda Crew

October 11, 2010, by Crafty Pint
Brew & A: The Kooinda Crew

When they started out in 2008, the Kooinda team’s tale was the epitome of the craft beer dream: four families pulling together to find the time and money to build a tiny brewery in a suburban backyard. On this small system, cooled by water from the backyard pool, they produced a fantastically full-flavoured American Pale Ale that put them on the Victorian beer map as much as their grass roots approach.

In the past few weeks, with a fifth family now on board, they’ve taken the next step, moving their operation to a factory site a few kms from their original shed. There, they’re stepping up production, have started putting their beer into kegs for the first time and, we hope, will have a second beer soon.

If anyone’s ever met the brewers at one of their tastings or in a pub, you’ll know they’re as good a bunch of blokes as you could wish to meet. So, we’re delighted to have them as the latest Crafty Pint Brew & A. Take it away, guys…

Favourite Australian beer (other than your own)?
Mick – Endeavour Pale Ale
Trav – Murrays Icon 2IPA
Fenton – Hargreaves Hill ESB (tap version)
Jamie – Little Creatures Pale Ale
Rob – Little Creatures Pale Ale

Epiphany beer – the one that set you on the road to becoming a brewer?
Mick – My first Wanders Premium kit beer
Trav – Little Creatures Pale Ale
Fenton – one of Dave’s (Greensborough Homebrew Supplies) American Pale Ales
Jamie – Little Creatures Pale Ale
Rob – Bug Ocean

Desert island beer – the one to keep you going if you were stranded for the rest of your days?
Mick – Hoegaarden
Trav – Brewdog 5am Saint
Fenton – Bairds Brewery Teikoku IPA
Jamie – Little Creatures Pale Ale
Rob – Bug Ocean




Favourite beer and food match?
Mick – Kooinda Pale ale and a hot curry
Trav – Goat basted in American Porter or Young’s Chocolate Stout with Banana Cake
Fenton – Little Creatures Single Batch Brown Ale with the pork belly they serve at the Little Creatures Dining Hall in Melb… you know you want it!
Jamie – Kooinda and a big Roast
Rob – Bug Ocean and Pepper Steak

What are we likely to hear cranking from the stereo on brew days?
Mick – Bob Marley
Trav – Pearl Jam
Fenton – Any Hip Hop or Drum and Bass
Jamie – Hilltop Hoods
Rob – Tom Jones

Favourite place to enjoy a drink?
Mick – Belgium Beer Cafe
Trav – Around a campfire with mates
Fenton – Warrandyte Creek on a hot day with mates and supplies!
Jamie – At the soccer watching Melb Victory get up
Rob – At home with kids and wife

If you were a beer style, what would you be?
Mick – Double Hopped IPA (massive grain bill but really just as smooth as anyone else)
Trav – A Kolsch due to my amazing mind and delicate apperance (hahahahahahahaha yea right)
Fenton – 100+ IBU Pale Ale (simple grain bill who loves his green hops!)
Jamie – Irish Red Ale (can drink like an Irishman and sports a ranga)
Rob – Porter (simple and does what its says on the label)


Inside the new brewery


The best thing you’ve ever traded for beer?
Mick – Insults
Trav – Money… and meat from a butcher once
Fenton – What havent i traded? (My soul!)
Jamie – A close relative to hops
Rob – Money

When you’re not making or drinking beer, we’ll find you…
Mick – Sleeping
Trav – Teaching Grade 6 kids or at home with wife and three kids
Fenton – Working two other jobs (don’t let anyone tell you brewing makes you rich)
Jamie – Working or at the soccer
Rob – Working or sleeping

Your hope for beer in Australia?
Mick – Beer in vending machines
Trav – That we follow the US craft beer scene
Fenton – I want 15 different breweries within a 5km walk of my house (don’t ask for much do I?)
Jamie – For people to open up their tastes in regards to different beers
Rob – All of the above

Now, if that hasn’t made you chuckle, we don’t know what will. So get behind the guys and hunt down their beer. Now they’re making loads more, they need us to drink it!

NB – the child in the above photo is not the fifth member of the Kooinda brewing team…! Jamie wasn’t there on that particular day.

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