girl + indi brew day

Invite me along to a brewery and I’m going to be a very happy girl, it’s really that simple.

Last Saturday I was at the Indian Ocean Brewery in Mindarie for their annual Indi Brew Day, a day offering brewery tours and tastings of the full Indi range with the brewer, Dave.

Invite me along to a brewery and I’m going to be a very happy girl, it’s really that simple.

Last Saturday I was at the Indian Ocean Brewery in Mindarie, invited along to their annual Indi Brew Day – a day offering brewery tours and tastings of the full Indi range with the brewer, Dave.

For those who don’t know the Indi it’s a brewpub in the Mindarie Marina. To get there just drive along freeway north until you can’t go any further, then go a little further. Soon you’ll see the signs to take you to the clear blue water of the marina where you’ll see plenty of boats belonging to far wealthier folk than me.

Mindarie Marina
Mindarie Marina – Photos by Danica Zuks, kindly provided by Mindarie Marina

I have to admit that it had been many, many years since I visited the Indi , mostly due to the distance required to drive there.

Now that I’ve been I have to say quite simply that if you like beer it’s well worth the trip

The Indi Brew Day was a great opportunity to catch up on all that was happening at the brewery, meet their brewer Dave Brough and, of course, taste the range of beers on offer.

I also did an interview with Dave that you can read here where Dave talks about his beers, being awarded WA’s best brewery at last years Perth Royal Beer Show and gives us a sneak peak into his beer for Melbourne’s Great Australasian Beer Spectapular (GABS) coming up in May.
Photo courtesy of Indian Ocean Brewing
Dave Brough, brewer at Indi – Photo courtesy of Indian Ocean Brewing

Dave took the group through his beers starting with the White Cap, a Belgian-style witbier and finishing things off with the Stout.

The White Cap is a great example of the style, showcasing big bubblegum aromas, rounded citrus flavours and just a hint of spice. It’s not hard to see why the beer took out a gold medal at the 2013 Perth Royal Beer Show.

Photos by Danica Zuks, kindly provided by Mindarie Marina
Photos by Danica Zuks, kindly provided by Mindarie Marina

Bohemian Pilsner: Generally speaking a more full bodied pilsner compared to German counterparts, it originated in Pilsen in the Czech Republic with Pilsner Urquell

Personally my favourites from the range were the Indi Pils and the Big Red.

It’s always nice to stick your nose into a glass of pilsner and get big interesting aromas. Dave’s Indi Pils is based on a bohemian style pilsner with light cereal malt aromas, some stone fruit aroma and flavour with a lingering bitterness. Well balanced and easily worthy of a pint or four.

The Big Red is an American style red ale with fresh tropical hop aromas, I got a lot of mango, that follows through in flavour with a little toasty malt to keep things balanced.

Photos by Danica Zuks, kindly provided by Mindarie Marina
Big Red – Photos by Danica Zuks, kindly provided by Mindarie Marina

It doesn’t matter how many brewery tours I go on I always learn something new and the tour with Dave through his brew house was no exception.

Good Beer Week is an annual ten day celebration of beer in Melbourne, happening this year May 17-25. GABS happens on the last weekend and showcases more than 100 new beers. Very exciting stuff!

Dave is the only brewer at Indi which, as he pointed out, there isn’t much room for anyone else anyway. “It’s a brewery shoehorned into a broom closest,” he said with a laugh at the start of the tour. He took the group through the brewing process and finish things off with a tasting straight from the fermentation tank of his Belgian Blonde, his entry to this years GABS – the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular (GABS) in Melbourne during Good Beer Week. Can’t wait to try the finished product in May!

Photos by Danica Zuks, kindly provided by Mindarie Marina
Belgian Blonde straight from the tank – Photos by Danica Zuks, kindly provided by Mindarie Marina

Big thanks to all involved in the Indi Brew Day and for inviting me along to take part!

Thank you Laura Moseley, social media & event consultant and passionate foodie for inviting me.

Thank you to Mindarie Marina, all the staff at Indi Ocean and a huge thank you to Dave for taking the time to talk through his beers and take us through the brewery.

girl + Indi Ocean Brewing

At the end of freeway north, what do you think you’ll find? A set of lights? Yes. The continuing WA coast line? Yes. A brewery with some damn fine beer? Yes, very much so.

At the end of freeway north, what do you think you’ll find? A set of lights? Yes. The continuing WA coast line? Yes. A brewery with some damn fine beer? Yes, very much so.

Indian Ocean Brewing is in Mindarie and whilst a fair distance for most Perth-ites it’s definitely worth the travel for those who love a good beer. The brewer is Dave Brough who’s brewing passion and extensive experience has resulted in beer that make drinkers stand up and take notice.

Photo courtesy of Indian Ocean Brewing
Brewer Dave – Photo courtesy of Indian Ocean Brewing

Dave kindly gave me his time to participate in an interview for girl+beer and I also got to meet him over the weekend during Indian Ocean’s “Indi Brew Day”, an annual event inviting people to taste the beer and tour the brewery with Dave.

Without further delay here’s my interview with Dave about brewing at Indi, his GABS beer and reflections on taking out WA’s Best Brewery award at last year’s Perth Royal Beer Show …

What were you doing before joining Indian Ocean Brewing?

My career in the brewing industry spans almost 20 years. I have built, managed and brewed in facilities here in Australia, the south pacific and Europe. …Bit of a vagabond brewer. Prior to this position I ran an iconic brewery in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne.

What was the allure to moving to WA?

The job sounded like a challenge – which is my specialist brewing field, “cometh the hour, cometh the pom”

What was the biggest challenge you faced coming into Indian Ocean Brewing?

I had a lot of maintenance work to do and needed to change most of the beer recipes, so really it was like starting from scratch, but the results have proved to be worth the effort.

What were you most looking forward to when you joined Indian Ocean Brewing?

Getting my hands dirty – I was previously in an admistrative position at my former brewery. All brewers love to play around in the brewhouse – even the ones with flattened backsides from sitting at a desk too long!

Photo by Danica Zuks, kindly provided by Mindarie Marina
What is your brewing philosophy behind Indi’s core range of beers?

Excellence! Plus a broad appeal, we have a beer for everyone, almost, we aim to deliver quality WA beer to challenge the local palate.

Which is your favourite beer style to brew and why?

Lager, as they are the most unforgiving of beer styles as any flaw in the beer stands out. thus you have to get it right every time.

How did you feel winning Best WA Brewery at last years Perth Royal Beer Show?

Just reward for all my endeavours here & elated at being recognised for producing great beers, it is a fantastic accolade for the Indi, particularly given it’s position of obscurity 20 months ago. I hope that people will come and try the beer for themselves – taste the best in the west!

What do you think makes Indian Ocean beers unique?

They are true to style – you get what is stated on the tap, not an approximation to the style. A feature of many of my beers is the malt -my preferred characteristic in a beer – thus their maltiness may distinguish the beers as being mine, and therefore from the Indi.

What process do you go through when developing a new beer?

That’s the brewers art: knowing what you want and how to get it – understanding your raw materials, your processes and how that translates to your ‘brief’ or target product. Oh yes, there is also a bit of maths involved.

Which beer of yours do you think is the ‘sleeping giant’, the one just waiting to be discovered by the masses?

Big Red – it’s an American style red ale ,but quite confronting as it has a hefty malt and hop character, not to mention 5.4% Alc/Vol. It’s certainly a challenging beer for the Mindarie palate, but on the other hand is a beer that gets rave reviews in iconic beer halls & festivals!

Photo by Danica Zuks, kindly provided by Mindarie Marina
Big Red with staff member Paul in the background. Photo by Danica Zuks, kindly provided by Mindarie Marina
Is there anything new coming up for the brewery?

A pale ale (Aussie) is about to be released –light on the malt, light on the hop.. a summer/autumn quaffer basically. 4.2%. Then the GABS beer…A belgian blonde of 6% with a big, sweet phenolic aroma, malty (surprise surprise) but light body and a touch of alcoholic warmth in the finish. A great beer for the fall!

What is the inspiration behind the Indi Brew Day event?

It’s the second year of this event – Sarah [Marketing Manager for the Mindarie Marina complex] can enlighten you as to the philosophy behind it:

‘It’s All about the Beer’ – to re-connect people with the fact that they have their own Brewery and Pub right on their doorstep. In this day and age of multi-nationals and conglomerates, where you do not know where something is made, who owns the company and who is making the profits we want to show that we are a WA owned and operated business, employing local Australians to produce award winning beer that is up there with the best in the world…..made right here in Mindarie! We want to show that what we do is REAL, it is traditional, it is local and it takes skill and knowledge, we want to show our customers that we care about what we sell and where it comes from and that they can be involved and have a say in what we do! [Thanks to Sarah!]

Will you be brewing a beer for this years GABS* festival?

Yes, A Belgian Blonde..(which gentlemen prefer). Similar to a Leffe Blonde (the defining beer of the style). Soft, slightly sweet with distinctive phenolics on the nose (see above).

*Great Australasian Beer Spectapular in Melbourne, May 23-25 featuring 115 specially brewed beers

Finish this sentence: The WA craft beer scene needs more …

Lager.

Thanks so much to Dave for his time both with this interview and at the Indi Brew Day last Saturday which I’ll feature in my next post … stay tuned!