Akasha Brewing Co.
10-12 Spencer Street, Five Dock, NSW, 2046
We take 5 minutes with one of the best in the biz - Dave Padden, Owner and Head Brewer of Akasha Brewing Company..
Evan: Owner and Head Brewer Dave Padden is taking on a real leadership role in terms of using his knowledge and experience to develop and mentor brewers ( including Ben Miller of from Ben, Grace Fowler at Reckless Brewing as well as the Pro, Protege & Hack podcast amongst many others) and grow the industry in general, can you tell us about your work and passion in this area?
Dave: Over the last 10 years as a professional brewer, and many years as a homebrewer before that I have learned so many things from other brewers all round the world. Our industry is one of the few where true collaboration exists and most people are willing to share their experiences. I try my best to continue this trend where I can. The way I do things is not necessarily the only way or always the best, but I am always happy to give my perspective on most things. I also had the privilege to serve on the board of the Independent Brewers Association a couple of years ago. This allowed me to use my brewery experience along with my business skills from my former career to help improve the industry as a whole.
Evan : Akasha are loved for their hop forward beers so we have a feeling you may be on the forefront of what hops are available or on the horizon - what are the favourites in terms of hops to use and what exciting new hops have you come across?
Dave: We definitely love our hops and most of ours come from the United States, especially the Pacific Northwest. We love the classics like Centennial, Cascade, Simcoe, Amarillo and Mosaic but are also always on the lookout for newer varieties that work well in hop forward American style beers. We are all in love with Sabro at the moment and tempted to put it in all our new beers! We are also playing around with a few new experimental hops that don't even have names yet which you might see in a few of our limited release beers later this year.
Evan : If you could brew any beer with no regard for cost, production or sales what would it be?
Dave: When we started Akasha, we always had the intention of brewing the beers we wanted to drink and this still stands today. So I guess you could say we already are! Some of the higher ABV Hazy IPA's are really pushing the boundaries of how many hops we can squeeze into a beer, and our accountant often shakes his head when he looks at the cost!
Bondi Brewing Co.
Hastings Parade, Bondi, NSW, 2026
Once upon a time in a little garage on the headland of North Bondi Beach lived a nano brewery known locally as the Ben Buckler Brewery. All types of non-commercial craft beers have been brewing in secret for the many years by home brewer Paul. The dream became real once he teamed up with his mate Brendan and THE BONDI BREWING CO. was formed. Beach Beer Bondi, our flagship release, gave Bondi Beach it's first craft beer during the summer of 2018 which made it to number #46 in the gabs.
Evan caught up with Paul - Owner, Brewer, Director of Froth in his funky garage setup.
E: Tell us about yourself and your brewing background - it feels as if you have just burst onto the scene with your GABS result last year but I’m sure there has been a lot of grind leading up to that..
P: I kind of created a bit of a hangout joint with a great vibe in the garage where I have been brewing the last few years, making beer for friends and neighbours. My mate Brendan saw what I was doing on the gram and pushed me to get it off the ground which was the catalyst to the company being formed. We had strong local support front the get go and Bondi took the beer under its wing and called it its own. We are in 99% of venues in Bondi. It is now a full time passion and the grind has seen out products reach over 200 outlets this year.
E: You couldn’t pick many better places to base a brewery - you’ve currently got a lager and an xpa keeping the people of Bondi happy - what other beers are on the horizon for you?
P: We have a core range release next week. Cant say any more.....Shhhhhh and we have a limited on the 17th of July that is a colab with the Coffee company Will &Co. The Beer Droppers - please note we will get our hands on these 2 new products as soon as possible and will include them in our packs!
E: If you could brew any beer without regard for cost, production or sales, what would it be and why?
P: I would make something as close to the Heady Topper DIPA(The Alchemist Stowe). That is my favorite all time beer.
One Drop Brewing Co.
5 Erith St, Botany, NSW, 2019
Inner West, Sydney, NSW
Evan chats to the Reckless Brewing trio of Grace, Alice & Jarrod..
Tell us about that trip to America in 2012 that got you into craft beer and started you on the path to starting your own brewery.
Our America trip was back in 2011/2012 and was a uni holiday’s break for a group of friends, and for a lot of us, it was our first big overseas trip - some of us saved for years just to get there! As (relatively broke) uni students, drinking bud light in our hotel room before going out was the norm (just like we pre-drank jugs of Toohey’s New at the uni bar because it was the cheapest). So while we went out a lot, most of the places we went were standard mainstream bars, and while we tried a few local beers, they were nothing special. Then we got to Portland. If you’ve never been to the US before, one thing that stands out is that it is a country of extremes. So where the mainstream beers were made for dull drinking (but lots of it), Portland opened our eyes to the other extreme in the US beer world - there were no standard beers, each bar had its own nano-brewery, and suddenly there were 10 beers at each place that we had never heard of before. We quickly found that IPA was something we had to have every time (and every bar/brewery’s take on it was different!), and we found ourselves seeking out a new bar just to try all the new styles we had never seen before.
Once we had found this scene, we realised it was in every city, so as we continued our trip, we stopped going to cheap sports bars and found ourselves checking out more dive bars and breweries to try something new. It opened our eyes to how complex and delicious beer can be. This changed our entire beer experience and started the bug that eventually became Reckless Brewing Co.
Your team started as a mix of brewing experience, science & numbers smarts - how was the experience opening a brewery with friends that had skills to complement each other and what challenges did you find along the way?
Having the experience of Brewing, Science and Finance went a long way to giving us the confidence to start Reckless Brewing Co. The biggest challenge was understanding that there were still many facets of small business ownership that we knew nothing about. For all of us, this is our first business we have started (and hopefully our last!). Understanding our strengths was one thing, but understanding our weaknesses was, and is, going to be critical in our on-going success. Confirmation bias is a killer within a group of people, so seeking outside advice when it came to branding, marketing and sales really confirmed that we have a lot to keep learning but that the help is out there to complement our goals for Reckless.
The biggest on-going challenge we face, and this isn’t unique to us, is that we are reliant on a huge number of suppliers, service providers, and government departments. We underestimated the amount of red tape, time lost in back and forth, and supplier difficulties/shortages. But every set back is a lesson learnt. Thankfully, starting a business with friends means that you always have each others backs, and we all have the same dream for Reckless, so no challenge has been too big yet!
If you could brew any beer with no regard for cost, production or sales what would it be and why?
Jarrod: 24-month Barrel Aged Cherry Sour Beer. I’ve had the pleasure to try a few barrel aged sour beers around the world over the years, and the closest I found to perfection was Kings County Brewing Collective (KCBC) in Brooklyn, New York. They had a boysenberry and a raspberry barrel aged sour, and they were delightful. I believe Grace, given the time and equipment, will nail this style, I just have to be patient.
Alice: I’ve been really digging the nitro beers right now with the creamier mouthful. When done well, they feel super luxurious. And given the weather right now, I’d have to say something along the lines of a nitro porter. Definitely wouldn’t say no to one of those on a winter’s night!
Grace: Like Jarrod, I love sour beers, and my mouth waters at the idea of a 24 month aged sour, but I also love a Gose. There are several good Gose's out there, and blood orange seems to be one of the most popular additions. But I think there is a lot more potential and I have some ideas on some fruit combinations that I think will be complementary to the Gose style. Watch this space...
White Bay Beer Co
26c Mansfield Street, Rozelle, NSW, 2039
White Bay Beer Co. is the genesis of four blokes who live, breathe and love the brewing industry with over 65 years of brewing, beverage sales, pub and industry experience.
White Bay Beer Co. is an emerging independent craft brewery in Sydney’s white bay, the gateway to the Balmain peninsula. the 1,400m2 purpose-built brewery houses a state of the art brewhouse including in-house canning and kegging facility that gives us capacity to ensure we can supply the peninsula, Sydney and beyond...
Brewed on the Balmain peninsula
White Bay Beer co. Is the first brewery on the Balmain peninsula. Our brewery has capacity to look after our beloved locals as well as greater Sydney and beyond.
White Bay has launched with two core range beers, Sunny Pale and Union Lager as well as an ever-changing IPA Series where Head Brewer Dennis gets to create something new for the market every 6-8 weeks.
White Bay’s founders read like a who’s who of the industry. Tim Fishwick is formerly of heavyweights Balter and Little Creatures while his partners are McLaren Vale Beer Company creator Adam Trippe-Smith, who now runs the keg rental business Konvoy, and well-known Sydney publican Tim Condon, owner of Balmain pub The Cricketers Arms. The head brewer is American Dennis de Boer, best known for his influential time at Modus Operandi. He’s joined by his partner Jess Walker who was one of the first brewers at Pirate Life in Adelaide.
Willie the Boatman
Precinct 75 Suite 601, 75 Mary St, St Peters, NSW, 2044
75A Burrows Road, Alexandria, NSW, 2015