The Tassie Beer Trail
‘Embrace the locals who embrace the island’
Tasmania is exploding with fresh produce, passionate suppliers and epic craft beers!
When I was a teenage dirtbag growing up in Tasmania’s open air zoo like outer suburb of Glenorchy we only had Cascade beer. If you drank Cascade Pale Ale instead of Draught then that was the absolute height of fancy. Sure we had James Boags on the Launceston side but people from Hobart didn’t drink that as it was from Launceston and made from dirt* and therefore we only drank Cascade.
*James Boags is not made from dirt – that was to illustrate the opinion of me as a teenager in Tasmania – It’s a friendly rivalry as shown in 1967 when the Cascade brewery burnt down in the 1967 bushfires and Boag’s Brewery helped out by brewing some of its rival’s beers up north.
As Australia’s leading producer of Hops (the green flower which makes beer taste better than most things) we should be leading the way in frothy ales, particularly as the wine, cider and whiskey scene gets noticed on an international scale (Tasmanian distillery Sullivan’s Cove was awarded the world’s best single malt whisky at the World Whiskies Award)
These wonderfully hop saturated days we are proud to say that we have more than 20 breweries producing some truly amazing beers- which is approximately one brewery per 25 thousand people, or 12,500 beers per head.
Learn more about Tassie Beer History at http://tasbeertrail.com/history/
Andys Tassie Trails Tours include a variety of local breweries and craft beer experiences.
- Australia’s oldest brewery. Set in the foothills of an ongoing debate about cable cars – the Cascade Brewery has been helping Tasmanians do bugger all since 1824. In true local spirit Cascade produces a range of beers only viable in Tasmania. Cascade has beer tours as well as an actual beer school where you can learn about food matching and pouring the perfect beer. Did you know: Cascade Pale Ale is Australia’s longest continuously brewed beer
- Tasmania’s other brewery. James Boags Brewery founded in 1883 on the edge of the Eskerine river, North Tasmania’s famous brewery. Boags was founded by James Boags the second and his son, James Boags the third – because the Boags family had too many important things to do rather than think of new names. Did you know: James Boags Premium is made from people who said they prefer Cascade?
- The Place with the wall of plaster woman parts. As much as the current “Lord Mayor” Ron Christie would like it to just fade away – Mona is showcasing Tasmania on a global scale and Mona’s MOO BREW beers have been blessing Tasmania since 2005. Moo Brew’s original brewery was founded at Moorilla Estate, now Mona (Museum of Old and New Art), which is where you will find the Moo Brew Cellar Door. David Walsh is the Tasmanian millionaire overlord/saviour who launched Moo brew and the Dark Disneyland MONA. Did you know: MONA Museum offers an unusual membership program called “Eternity Membership”, which earns members the right to be cremated and their remains housed in the MONA Cemetery.
- Van Dieman Brewing. established in 2009, located on a family farm in Northern Tasmania these guys are neck deep In the holistic on-farm approach – meaning that their farmhouse style ales are brewed with whatever ingredients are on hand at the family farm. Did you know: Van Dieman’s founder Will was en-route to brew at the world famous (overrated) Guiness factory before finding out mid way through Nepal that some other Irish bastard had taken the job, lucky for us it resulted in the Tasmanian Brewery we have today.
- Willie Simpsons Pride and Joy. Willie Simpson (not to be confused with Groundskeeper Willy or The Tasmanian Cider Willie Smith) is craft beer pedigree – as Australias leading beer writer he put his money where his mouth was and built Seven Sheds Brewery in 2008 with his partner Catherine Stark (not to be confused with Catelyn Stark who came back in the books but not in the tv show). Seven Sheds is distinguished by their artisanal, “hands-on” approach and small-batch brewing methods. Did you know: Seven Sheds produces beer with ingredients as diverse as oatmeal, foraged pepperberries, raspberries, quinoa, sour cherries and peated malt
Willie Simpsons Apprentice was a young man named Evan Hunter who was Seven Sheds First Employee, he is now the head brewer for Bruny Island Beer Co. Bruny Island Beer Co is as Tasmanian as Errol Flynn, they use traditional brewing methods, collaborate with locals all year round and believe strongly in supporting local. Bruny Island Beer Co released it’s first beer in February 2016 and as one of the newer players in Tasmania is producing some epic short experimental releases (as well as the core range). Did you know: Groundskeeper Willie was once originally called “Groundskeeper Louie”
- Iron House is a brewery, a distillery, a restaurant, a tasting room with some wines and accommodation to boot. Located on the East Coast and looking over its own private wild coast line this epic venue has been brewing Tasmanian frothys since 2007 under the watchful eye of Michael Briggs. Did you know: That Tim Warren commented on Facebook “God dam yeeeesss!!!” Upon finding out the Iron house Pale was now in cans?
- The Winston Brewing Co was launched in 2015 by, you guessed it, the Winston Craft Beer pub. Kris Miles and Caroline Kihne’s epic craft beer venue is a must see for any craft beer enthusiast visiting the apple isle showcasing an outstanding range of local craft beers – make sure to try their own ales which can be anything from a Winston Black Rye IPA to a Winston Chocolate Stout. Did you know: If you say VB three times inside the Winston everyones beards disappear.
- Dave’s house (Tasmanian backyard party’s) In a time when the Tasmanian harvest trails were but a speck in David Walsh’s eye and our local produce was limited to canned fish – if you weren’t into rampant roundhouses by a drunk bloke with tattoos of 6 girls names on his neck then the Tasmanian nightlife scene was pretty disappointing. If you rented a house to anyone under 25 in Hobart during that time then you deserved to reap the outcome. Grab the local Uni’s sound gear, which is loud enough to talk to Melbourne, string some chickenfeed fairy lights up around the backyard and convert that old shopping trolley into an eski – Backyard parties were the stuff of legends where like minded thespians could enjoy long necks with roughians from Cosgrove. Since then Tasmanians discovered they could make better stuff than the mainland and soon after the mainland started taking notice.