Friday Feed: Craft brewers are tapping into our love of a good beer

AUSTRALIANS love their beer so it is fitting that Sydney’s newest micro brewery is giving drinkers an authentic homegrown brew to sip on.

Endeavour Vintage Beer Co opened Endeavour Tap Rooms in The Rocks late last year and this week installed its on-site brewery. It will use only homegrown ingredients in its 10 beers, which range from a big hoppy IPA to an easy-drinking lager.

As a result of using local ingredients its recipes will change every year, giving drinkers a more varied experience, says Endeavour Vintage Beer Co owner Ben Kooyman, who has been making beer for six-and-a-half years but always wanted to open his own brewery.

“Our beers are wonderfully inconsistent. They’re always in the same house style, but we tweak it just like a wine. Veuve is always consistent but the vintage style is always tweaked,” Kooyman says.

“We visit the farms in Tasmania two to three times a year, see what they are growing, the new varieties of hops, what’s the best of the harvest and we tweak our recipes to suit it.

“Barley and hops come in at different specifications and we want
to give our fans a new experience every year.

“People are now cellaring different vintages. We get feedback every day on what people like, whether it’s the old or new harvest, which gives us scope to evolve our beers.”

Endeavour Vintage Beer Co will brew 1200 to 1500 litres a week at The Rocks site and gypsy brew 10,000 to 20,000 litres at other venues.

It is the latest to hit Sydney’s booming urban brewery scene, which offer drinkers
the chance to down a pale ale or pilsner while chatting to the brewer who made it.

Kooyman believes the interest in craft beer is a natural progression from consumer trends in food.

“Just as people know cheese is no longer Kraft singles, they have discovered how interesting beer can get. They want some flavour in their beer. There are now 450 beer companies in Australia, in 2010 there were only 100,” he says.

“We want to give people the experience to have beer from the tank to glass. It allows us to show people beer isn’t just from mega factories, it’s made by real people and there are real stories behind it.”

Sydney’s urban brewery pioneer Young Henry’s at Newtown only brewed its first beer in 2012 and co-founder Oscar McMahon admits he had no idea how it would pan out.

“The brewery was always the focus of our business idea, but I didn’t think that it would go so crazy. We didn’t realise people were so tired of the boring old beers they had been drinking. When something new started happening people got really excited and they got behind us,” he says.

Being the first of its kind had its challenges, from licensing issues to convincing publicans it was worth spending more on its products, but the Newtown brewery has spawned a hub, with four other venues within walking distance.

“The more people making good beer, the better,” McMahon says.

“Now you can walk into most pubs in greater Sydney and get excellent craft beers. In five years the hospitality game has really stepped up. The offering to the customer is now really exciting.”

RENATA GORTAN, The Daily Telegraph

February 24, 2017 12:00am

Pictures: Bob Baker