Bruny Island Beer Co. started with a conversation between a cheese maker and a brewer. Nick Haddow, founder of Bruny Island Cheese Co., and Evan Hunter, formerly of Tasmanian stalwarts Seven Sheds, Moo Brew and Lark Distillery, designed the brewery around a shared enthusiasm for fermentation and regionally distinctive, artisan produce. The brewery was built behind the cheesery in Great Bay, Bruny Island and our first beer was released in February 2016.
The unique brewhouse has been built to Evan's specifications using recycled dairy equipment sourced from local farms. While we maximise the quality and consistency of our products with a mix of old and modern technology, we practise a simple approach to brewing - one that harks back to older methods of making and maturing beer. We brew slow beer in small batches, and lift, tip and stir everything by hand, knowing that quality is only attainable through determination and hard work.
Our beers are available on tap and in bottles throughout our Cellar Door on Bruny Island, our Hobart shop, through the Cheese Club and our online store as well as in good bars, restaurants and bottle shops throughout Tasmanian and elsewhere. Please contact us for you nearest retailer.
Farm Ale is a unique beer made entirely with grain and hops from Tasmanian farms. Our flagship session ale is hazy golden, with a big hop presence balanced by earthy grain sweetness.
All the grain for Farm Ale ripens in the Tasmanian summer sun. We use sweet Westminster barley grown on farms in the midlands, silky oats from Kindred Organics in the coastal hills of the North-West and earthy, tart red wheat from fields overlooking the D'Entercasteaux Channel just up the road from us on Bruny Island.
Generous amounts of Helga, Ella and Cascade hops grown in Tasmanian's Derwent Valley contribute tropical fruit and citrus notes and a refreshing bitterness. Dry hopping (steeping hops in the beer post-fermentation) gives Farm Ale its characteristic freshness.
Oxymoron is our signature dark ale - or is it a pale ale disguised as a dark ale? Does it matter if you drink it with your eyes closed? Either way, Oxymoron straddles the gulf between pale and dark as both a refreshing dark ale for summer and a rich 'pale' ale for winter.
Oxymoron is texturally rich, with spice and cocoa notes from a generous addition of malted rye. Malt characters are balanced by hop aromatics from large additions of Tasmanian-grown Willamette, Cascade, Enigma and Galaxy hops late in the brewing process and in dry hopping.
Cloudy Bay IPA honours the hop breeders of Hop Products Australia by featuring all six hop varieties currently available from Bushy Park Estates that have been developed in HPA's breeding program - Ella, Enigma, Galaxy, Helga, HPA-035 and Summer. As proprietary strains, these hops are grown only by HPA at its two Australian farms, with the largest acreage at Bushy Park Estates in Tasmania.
Generous amounts of these rare hops are used in seven separate additions during the brewing process, creating a heady blend of citrus, tropical fruit and herbal aromas. A restrained bitterness allows the earthy tartness of the Bruny Island red wheat to shine through, accentuating the tangy hop flavours.
Whey Stout is inspired by the medicinal 'milk' stouts of Victorian England – enriched with lactose (refined milk sugar), they were prescribed for a wide range of ailments. In our case, getting the lactose involves carrying nearly 400 litres of cow's milk whey left over from making Raw Milk C2 to the brew kettle, 50 metres from the cheesery. Our ale yeast cannot digest the whey's lactose, meaning that it remains in the beer after fermentation and adds texture and sweetness. Whey Stout has a full-bodied, creamy mouthfeel and tastes smooth and roasty, with a slightly sweet, milk chocolate finish and just a hint of bitterness.
Lighthouse Ale is named after the famous Cape Bruny Lighthouse, which has stood on the edge of the wild Southern Ocean since 1838. Chewy, biscuity malt flavours are balanced by firm bitterness, while late kettle additions of three Tasmanian aromatic hop varieties - Galaxy, Willamette and Cascade - deliver subtle fruity and floral notes. This is a beer lover's light beer, packed with flavour.
If you visit the village of Bushy Park in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley during March, it feels as if you’ve arrived unexpectedly in the middle of a vintage tractor convention. There is nothing quite like the sight of dozens of old farm vehicles rumbling in all directions along the town’s hedgerowed lanes, but their presence is entirely practical – they are busy ferrying trailer loads of hops to the enormous drying kilns of Australia’s largest and oldest hop farm.
For us, the hop harvest is a once-a-year opportunity to brew with fresh, unprocessed hops straight off the bine. This year’s vintage was brewed with 70 kilograms of Galaxy brought to Bruny Island immediately after picking and used later the same day. It also uses barley, wheat and oats grown on Bruny Island and harvested just a couple of months ago.
Our beer is a saison version of a hazy, juicy ‘New England IPA’, with a huge mango and citrus hop presence complemented by an undercurrent of pepper and fruit from a special Belgian yeast strain. We recommend consuming this ale immediately to experience the hop character at its freshest!
Second Breakfast commemorates Bruny Island Beer Co.’s second anniversary. It is another expression of the brett saison style we have been experimenting with lately, with yeast from Beautiful Ugly (see below) harvested and used to ferment this beer. This yeast blend contains two strains of Belgian saison brewer’s yeast as well as two strains of the less tame brettanomyces.
Second Breakfast uses Tasmanian organic oats and Bruny Island honey. The honey shines through the earthy, acidic brett flavours with strong floral notes, while the oats help balance the beer's extreme dryness with a silken texture.
Second Breakfast is presented in a corked, 750mL bottle. Overindulgence may lead to adventures and hairy feet.
Beautiful Ugly is a golden-coloured ale brewed with raw wheat and barley grown up the road from us on Bruny Island, as well as 100% Tasmanian grown and malted barley and three hop varieties from one of the world’s oldest hop gardens in southern Tasmania.
It is a mixed-fermentation beer, using two strains of Belgian brewer’s yeast as well as two strains of brettanomyces, and it is our first ever art beer, featuring an excerpt from a painting by Tasmanian artist Junko Go that was shown in her recent exhibition ‘Me and My Beautiful Ugly Cakes’.
The concept of ‘beautiful ugly’ as it relates to this beer, is that in modern brewing there is a binary view of micro-organisms that can be used in beer making that pits the ‘beautiful’, being domesticated yeasts of the genus saccharomyces, against the ‘ugly’ – bacteria and wild yeasts, including brettanomyces.
Presented in a corked 750mL bottle, Beautiful Ugly is deeply fruity, funky and a touch acidic, with barnyard, leather, citrus and pineapple notes that will continue to develop as the beer ages.
Braggot is an ancient style of honey and malted barley ale with its origins in the Celtic brewing cultures of the British Isles. We have chosen this style to commemorate our first anniversary of brewing in order to showcase the distinctive regional flavours of Tasmanian honey and barley.
Our First Anniversary braggot is made from equal parts Tasmanian pale malted Westminster barley and Meander Valley Clover honey from Wellington Apiary. Very lightly hopped, it is the same deep golden colour as the honey it is made from. Carbonation is low. Rich, floral honey aromas intertwine with bready malt.
Extended tank maturation and bottle conditioning prior to release have helped smooth out this exceptionally strong yet surprisingly easy drinking beer, with cellaring potential for many years to come. First Anniversary is best served at cellar temperature in a drinking horn.