Good Beer Week, Day 4
Thursday 18 May
Friends of mine who work in the booze industry had organised to tour through Colonial Brewing and Starward Distillery, both in Port Melbourne and a stones throw, if you have a really, really good arm, from each other. Luckily they didn’t seem to mind if I tagged along and so my fourth day at Good Beer Week started pretty damn well!
Checking out Colonial Brewing
Colonial’s Port Melbourne site, previously occupied by Matilda Bay, is home to a 25 hectolitre brew kit and though that’s the same size as the one at their Margaret River brewery, they have triple the number of tanks. The brewery is currently running with six brewers doing triple brews every day resulting in more than a million of litres of beer per year.
The canning line is equally busy, pushing through 100 cans per minute and there’s room to grow, in fact the machine could accommodate up to three times the work load it’s currently doing.
The canning line isn’t just fast, it’s also fantastic for quality control, for instance it weighs each can and if it’s not the correct weight, the machine removes it from the line.
Thanks heaps to Stiv, Georgia, Joel and Margaret for the tour, the t-shirt and a couple of cheeky tastings too!
Checking out Starward Distillery
Starward moved into this location from Essendon in December. Production runs seven days a week doing three distillations every day plus opening the bar from Friday to Sunday.
A 1,000 tonne grist in the mash yields 5,000 litres after which fermentation then distillation happens and then the waiting game, aging.
Thanks to Paul, Starward Brand Ambassador, for the tour and tasting!
The 25th annual Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA)
This is THE night for the Australian craft beer industry and between this and Good Beer Week it makes Melbourne an irresistible time for hundreds across the country.
Returning from last year, the evening was hosted by Kirrily “The Beer Diva” Waldron and Pete “Prof Pilsner” Mitcham. The food was by Adam D’Sylva from two Melbourne restaurants, Coda and Tonka.
As is always the trend, the awards received a record number of entries. WA breweries were awarded 88 medals in total with 15 of those being gold. Colonial Brewing took home a trophy for the can design on their Pale Ale and The Beer Farm got a trophy for Best International Lager for their India Pale Lager.
Full results can be found here.
Queensland breweries Green Beacon and Balter Brewing were awarded trophies for Champion Small Australian Brewery and Champion Medium Australian Brewery respectively. In addition, Balter were also awarded Best New Exhibitor.
Over in the media section I was stoked to see my name in the top three, for the second year running, alongside Australian Brews News editor James Atkinson and Crafty Pint‘s Kerry McBride. James Atkinson was awarded the media trophy for his excellent work.