The Year in Beer 2013: New South Wales & South Australia

December 31, 2013, by Crafty Pint

https://craftypint.s3.amazonaws.com/crafty/learn/Insight-icon-230620-122146-230706-154349.png
The Year in Beer 2013: New South Wales & South Australia

The second of our end of year roundups heads to New South Wales and South Australia, where the thoughts and hopes of Crafty Pint’s men in each state are joined by those of the folks behind Newcastle’s Warners at the Bay bottleshop, the Royal Albert Hotel, Young Henrys and the Earl of Leicester.

You can catch up on Queensland and Tassie here; look out for the final wraps from Victoria and WA later in the week.

NEW SOUTH WALES

Nick O AKA Crafty Pint NSW

What’s been your highlight of 2013?
Surviving. 2013 was remarkable in that it kept getting perpetually busier. But there’s a lot of love in the beer community that makes it a pleasure – especially hugs from brewers (first prize to Jeremy Good from Cowaramup at about 2am on a cold May night in Melbourne).

What has surprised you?
People have been waiting for Sydney to catch onto better beer for ages so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise, but how quickly it’s taking off probably has been. From waiting for it to arrive, now it feels like it’s got no brakes and you wonder how far it’s going to go.

What has delighted you?
Travelling the world, drinking some great beer, then coming back to Australia and properly realising how good some of the beer is here.

What would you most like to see in 2014?
More consumers supporting local breweries (see above), brewers keeping a close eye on quality and venues training staff about beer. Also, more milk stouts.

Your beer (or beers) of the year
Aside from the Auld Bulgin Boysterous Bicep… anything enjoyed in good company. Most regularly that’d be Riverside 44, Grifter Brewing’s Edward, 4 Pines Pale and Stone & Wood Pacific Ale. The latter straight off the bottling line, before the label had a chance to stick properly, was particularly special.

 

Nick-O-Bicep-mussels
Nick O counting out mussels for the Auld Bulgin' Boysterous Bicep

 

Other assorted 2013 favourites: Grifter’s Big Sur, Illawarra Apocalypso, Dennis Beer Co’s Mad Hatter, Murray’s Hell of the North and Thirsty Crow’s Road 2 Ruin (awesome in 2012 but even better with age). Special mention to Doctor’s Orders Cephalopod which looked like it was brewed at Chernobyl, tasted great and utterly destroyed the concept of drinking a beer with your eyes. Terrific stuff.

Favourite from outside NSW: Feral Barrique O'Karma. Love at first sip.


Mark Mead, Warners at the Bay Bottleshop, Newcastle

What’s been your highlight of 2013?
When my wife gets her new diary every Christmas she always asks: “When is your Melbourne trip?” She knows not to organise anything for me during Melbourne Good Beer Week.

I love how it attracts the industry heavy hitters from all over the world and I am lucky enough to have a beer with most of them. It just gets bigger and better every year and is a must do event for all levels of the hospitality industry.

What has surprised you?
I love how we are now able to source pretty much any beer we want from any Australian Brewery due the wonderful craft beer community. Whether it be by hard working distributors or breweries delivering each other’s beers and even other stores organising to get beer to us. Probably no surprise now as we are all working towards a similar goal of getting people drinking better not more. The level of co-operation has surprised me as this wasn’t the case a few years back.

What has delighted you?
The quality and general high standard of Australian craft beers entering the market in the past 12 months. I can’t recall a bad beer from BrewCult, Riverside, Six String, Ekim, Moon Dog plus many more of the new breweries entering the industry. But this is all due to the willingness of punters to try anything new and, believe me, if your beer is not up to scratch then they are not shy about telling the world. Thankfully not seen evidence of that this year.

What would you most like to see in 2014?
A resolution to our ridiculous beer excise laws and for someone to organise a national logistics company dedicated to craft beer. I know: slap me now and tell me to wake up to myself.

On a side note… I would love to see the Craft Beer Capital of NSW that is Newcastle continue its love affair with craft beer that thankfully keeps me employed.

Your beer (or beers) of the year
I hate being asked this question because it reminds me of how much I actually drink… Honourable mentions to the following: BrewCult Supa Fly, Nail Summer Ale and Killer Sprocket Amber Ale but the standout was Feral Barrique O'Karma.


Richard Adamson, Young Henrys

What’s been your highlight of 2013?
Our highlight would have to be the release of Brew Am I coinciding with You Am I’s national tour. It was the furthest our beer has gone around the country, the biggest stage our beer has appeared on, the coolest looking squealer our beer has been in, a hell of a lot of fun and best I’ve heard You Am I sound in many years.

What has surprised you?
We’ve been (pleasantly) surprised by the number of Sydney publicans who have turned their back on the old ways of doing business with breweries by forgetting about tacky POS, promo girls and rebates and focusing on giving their customers what they want in the form of a quality, diverse, local and engaging beer.

 

YAI-BAI_Glasses
Young Henrys' Brew Am I

 

What has delighted you?
The support of the community for Young Henrys. Whether it be by turning up to our crazy events, working with us on collaborative projects or just drinking the beer – thank you.

What would you most like to see in 2014?
More of the same please. More small bars spreading their way North, South and West. More small breweries springing up with the support of their local area. More pubs with great beer and great food with less TABs and Pokies. More loud guitars, fat beats and crashing cymbals. More unusual ingredients, methods and brewing techniques. More Fun!

Your beer (or beers) of the year
So many to choose from! Of ours, I loved our OkTOBYfest and A Few Of My Favourite Things. The Grifter’s Big Sur is awesome.

I also really enjoyed finally drinking Wayward’s Charmer after Peter (The Shank)’s trials and tribulations in getting going.


Mick Bain, owner of the Royal Albert Hotel

What’s been your highlight of 2013?
RAH Feral tap takeover and doing over 150 unique beers on tap in one year.

What has surprised you?
Girls now enjoying craft beer, especially the darker beers.

What has delighted you?
Changing to 100 per cent craft beer and increasing trade by 20 per cent.

What would you most like to see in 2014?
More sours and some more big tap takeovers.

Your beer (or beers) of the year
Riverside 44 Amber and Thirsty Crow Vanilla Milk Stout.


SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Nathan Carter, owner of the Earl of Leicester, Adelaide

What’s been your highlight of 2013?
Would be having my first child and going up to Beard and Brau (who have moved from SA to Queensland) and making my IPA with them. The IMA went down well.

What has surprised you?
Having a couple of breweries open up in Adelaide this year and have there beer tasting really good on their first batch: Smiling Samoyed & Clare Valley Brewing.

What has delighted you?
I still have to say Garage Project Pernicious Weed – I fell in love with it at Beervana 2012.

What would you most like to see in 2014?
*More people getting into craft beer. More breweries opening up. And getting back to Beervana.

Your beer (or beers) of the year
To Øl Black Malts & Body Salts Black Coffee IIPA


Matt Carty, brewer at Campus Brewery

What’s been your highlight of 2013?
2013 has been an amazing year for me in the beer and brewing world. In June I enrolled in a short Mash Brewing course at TAFESA Campus Brewery. The course covered a lot of information that took my home brewing to a new level. From this course I was able to get on board with Campus Brewery and undertake a Certificate II in Food Processing (Brewing) that is taught only through industry at Coopers. It also meant I had the chance to spend three to four days a week at TAFESA assisting Brewing Lecturer Stephen Nelsen. My brewing knowledge has increased beyond what I could have hoped for in such a short tie and I am now confident to brew on commercial kit at a larger scale.

Through Stephen’s business Nelsen Brewing supplies I have also been able to gain experience brewing at Clare Valley Brewing Company, which included brewing their Bulls Eye APA and Ranga Tang Red Ale as well as the first beer Clare Valley winery Paulett Wines has released, an ESB called ‘Last Minute’.

 

tall-poppy-shower
Matt hard at work

 

On the media side of things, I have been happily writing my own beer blog, The Self Obsessed Beer Snob, which led to the opportunity to become the SA writer for The Crafty Pint. That was definitely a highlight!

As far as consumer highlights are concerned, the second annual Good Beer Wheaty was amazing and featured another excellent lineup of events, over four days. In particular the ‘Our Anchovia’ anchovy stout brew day with Leo Di Vicenzo of Birra del Borgo on The Wheaty’s pilot brew system was brilliant: a small group of beer loving brew geeks hanging out in the back shed of The Wheaty and knocking out a home brew sized batch of stout with one of the greatest brewers in the world was incredible.

What has surprised you?
My newly found love for lagers and pilsners! I have had a lot of bias against pilsners and lagers for a long time and over the past six months I am finding myself enjoying a number of well made lagers, including the McLaren Vale Brewing Company New World Lager and Campus Brewery Old School Pils among others.

What has delighted you?
Seeing Big Shed Brewery receive and install their kit and become so close to opening up for production has made me very excited. These guy will be opening up for their own production but will also provide a local option for brewers looking to make use of a contract brewing facility. Not only will current contract brewers be able to produce beer on a more regular and cost effective basis, it will open the door for many other folks dreaming of getting their own beer label up and running on a part time contract basis.

What would you most like to see in 2014?
A craft beer festival in SA! It pains me that the land of XXXX has a festival and we don’t.

On top of that I am thrilled to see the next wave of breweries and brewers take off in SA, especially with Big Shed Brewing Concern being an affordable local option for brew under contract brewers. It will be great to see what comes out of SA in the next twelve months.

On a personal level I hope to be able to break into the industry as a brewer and score a full time job for a brewery here in SA. The current growth is very exciting for those of us who want to work for a brewery but love living in SA. If I could get a full time job while staying in my home state, that would be awesome.

Your beer (or beers) of the year
Everything by Jester King! All of their beers have blown me away, I drank way too much of their Farmhouse IPA at this year’s Good Beer Wheaty. The Brooklyn Brewery Silver Anniversary Lager was brilliant as well as the Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet Black IPA.

On the local stage the Clare Valley Brewing Company Bulls Eye APA has taken equal first place with Birbeck’s Brewing Four Brothers Australian Pale Ale as my favourite SA made pale ale. Ewan Brewerton released his first beer under the Mismatch Brewing Company label called Archie’s Red Ale. I am biased towards this as hoppy red ales are my favourite style but this definitely is a brilliant example. The addition of a good dose of rye malt makes this beer stand out from other hoppy reds I have tried.

I guess I have to shamelessly plug my own beer, the Smoked Pumpkin Ale brewed under the Campus Brewery label with fellow student Andrew Colley and supervised by Stephen Nelsen, as well as the Paulett Wines Last Minute ESB that Nelsen Brewing Services and I made. The ESB is a cross between Fuller’s Pride and Fuller’s IPA, a great session beer full of Maris Otter flavour and English noble hops. The Smoked Pumpkin Ale has the initial smokiness from the German Rauchmalt followed up by the balancing pumpkin sweetness.


You can pick up a copy of the latest James Halliday’s Wine Companion Magazine for The Crafty Pint founder’s look back on 2013 and pick of 50 of the year’s best beers. Out now!

https://craftypint.s3.amazonaws.com/crafty/learn/Insight-icon-230620-122146-230706-154349.png

Discover more Insight & Analysis articles

If you enjoy The Crafty Pint, you can become a supporter of our independent journalism.

You can make a donation or sign up for our beer club, The Crafty Cabal, and gain access to exclusive events, giveaways and special deals.

Canberra Fest 2024 B
Frigid Cloud 2 B
Cryer E
Bintani- Updated Behind The Brew- E