How brewers on the South Coast Ale Trail are crafting unique beers

Nestled along the picturesque South Coast of New South Wales a growing craft beer movement is gaining recognition for its unique ability to brew using local ingredients. Breweries that are part of the South Coast Ale Trail are harnessing the flavours of local suppliers of the 3 key ingredients in beer Malt, Hops and Yeast.  Ryefield Hops, Mogwai Labs, and Voyager Craft Malt have managed to create a unique tapestry of tastes that encapsulates the very essence of the region.

Ryefield Hops, situated in the idyllic Bemboka countryside, plays a pivotal role in the creation of beers that boast distinct flavours. The region's microclimate, characterised by cool nights and warm days, provides an ideal environment for hop cultivation. Local brewers have seized the opportunity to infuse their beers with unique floral, citrus, and resinous notes by sourcing their hops directly from Ryefield. This commitment to using fresh, high-quality hops not only supports local farmers but also imparts a sense of terroir, reflecting the specific characteristics of the South Coast.

Karen Taylor from Ryefield Hops says “Our philosophy is to focus on the experience from garden to glass, fostering regionality, terrior and beers made where the consumer can taste the story and know where the ingredients were grown. We grow a range of popular hop varieties with sustainability at its core, using organic practices and regenerative agriculture principles.”

The foundation of any exceptional beer lies in its malts, and Voyager Craft Malt, situated in the nearby Riverina region, provides the building blocks for outstanding brews on the South Coast. Known for its dedication to quality and sustainability, Voyager Craft Malt produces malt from locally grown barley, showcasing the rich agricultural heritage of the area.

South Coast brewers turn to Voyager Craft Malt for its diverse range of malt varieties, from pale malts forming the backbone of many beers to specialty malts that add colour, sweetness, and complexity. The use of locally malted grains not only supports Australian agriculture but also imparts a unique regional character to the beers, creating a connection between the land and the pint glass.

In the intricate dance of brewing, yeast plays a crucial role in transforming sugars into alcohol while contributing a myriad of flavours and aromas. Along the South Coast, brewers turn to Mogwai Yeast, a local yeast supplier from Wollongong, to unlock the full potential of their creations. Mogwai Yeast offers an array of yeast strains, each bringing its unique profile to the brewing process. From fruity and estery to spicy and phenolic, the yeast varieties from Mogwai Yeast add complexity and depth to South Coast brews. Using locally sourced yeast not only supports a regional business but also allows brewers to experiment with innovative fermentation profiles, capturing the spirit of the South Coast in every sip.

Mogwai Labs is the brainchild of Joshua Allen, experienced scientist and brewer. Josh brings his expertise in fermentation solutions and yeast production through university qualifications and over 10 years of experience in the field. Josh says “We have actively worked in the Australian craft beer scene for years. We have accumulated knowledge of beer, its heritage and its relationship to a region, including the foraging and use of wild yeast and spontaneous fermentation practices. Through these experiences we found a better understanding and appreciation for yeast, and its importance in producing quality, unique products.”

The South Coast of NSW serves as a testament to a thriving craft beer culture taking root in Australia. Breweries along this picturesque stretch of coastline have embraced the essence of their surroundings by incorporating local ingredients like Ryefield Hops, Mogwai Yeast, and Voyager Craft Malt into their brewing processes.

This commitment to regional flavours not only produces beers of exceptional quality but also fosters a sense of community and sustainability that resonates with both locals and visitors alike.

So, the next time you savour a pint from the South Coast, remember that you're not just tasting beer; you're experiencing the unique terroir and craftsmanship, that define this vibrant and distinctive brewing region.