Home brewers move into the trade

Increasing consumption of premium beers has been accompanied by a rise in home brewing. It’s been a major force in USA for decades. But in Australia, until recently, home brewing was probably perceived more as an underground, nerdy activity.

It might also have been seen as a neat way to save money – and easy, too, with a Coopers, or similar, home-brewing kit. But saving money appears to be less of a motivation to modern home brewers than the desire to make great beer.

Judging last year at Canberra’s home brewing competition was sufficient proof of that – as the best domestic brewers are thoroughly across all the major beer styles, from wheat ales, to barley wine to lager to stout.

And for some what starts as a hobby becomes a career as we’ve seen with Richard Watkins, brewer for the Wig & Pen, Christoph Zierholz of Zierholz Premium Brewery and now Dan Rayner, archaeologist.
Dan won last year’s home brewing comp, but he’s increasingly well known around town as the guy behind Plonk’s push into premium beers.

Plonk, now located at Fyshwick markets, has quickly carved a niche for itself as Canberra’s beer specialist. We’ll have a closer look at what it offers next week.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2008

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