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 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.
We craft beers that are inspired by Tasmania's people, places and produce. Locally grown ingredients and an eye towards Tasmania’s seasons and sensibilities guide us down an unconventional path. Our goal is to create intrinsically Tasmanian flavours, and the rare opportunities for collaboration offered by a brewery and cheesery operating right next to each other are explored in the production of both the beers and cheeses.
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 product 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 in small batches and lift, tip and stir everything by hand.
All our beers are open fermented, bottle conditioned and free from preservatives.The best place to sample our beer, cheese and woodfired sourdough bread is sitting in the gentle sea breeze on the deck under the trees at our cellar door in Great Bay, Bruny Island.
FARM ALE – Tasmanian session ale
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
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'Entrecasteaux
Channel just up the road from us on Bruny Island.
Generous amounts of Helga, Ella and Cascade hops grown in Tasmania’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 – dark pale ale
Oxymoron is our signature dark ale – or is it a pale ale disguised as a dark? 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 fullsome ‘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 – raw wheat IPA
Cloudy Bay IPA is our ‘Tasmanianised’ expression of the hop forward beer style, India Pale
Ale. The grain bill is simple – just Tasmanian Westminster pale malted barley and Bruny
Island red wheat.
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 red wheat to shine through,
accentuating the tangy hop flavours.
WHEY STOUT – milk stout made with whey
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
LIGHTHOUSE ALE – session red ale
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.
99 OYSTERS – kettle soured, dry hopped, raw wheat, oyster gose
5.8% a/v LIMITED RELEASE
Nobody knows exactly who first brewed a beer with oysters or why they did it. What is
certain is that oysters have been a classic pairing with certain types of beer, as well as an
occasional ingredient, for a very long time.
In our first ever collaboration with Bucket Boys Craft Beer Co. from Sydney and Get
Shucked, our neighbouring oyster farmers on Bruny Island, we have brewed an
unconventional ‘gose’ – a sour wheat beer originally hailing from Saxony – with a few
’99 Oysters’ was brewed over two days, allowing lactobacillus bacteria to work overnight
and produce an acidic tang in the sweet wort extracted from our Tasmanian barley and
Bruny Island wheat.
On the second day we boiled the wort with hops, coriander seed and Tasmanian sea salt.
When the boil was done, we added the star ingredient – 99 fresh, unshucked oysters
grown 500 metres from the brewery out in Great Bay. Poaching in the hot liquid
encouraged the oysters to open and release their briny goodness.
99 Oysters is pale and hazy with proteins from the substantial amount of wheat. Salty and
citrusy on the nose, with a tangy, savoury and maritime flavour, this beer finishes dry and
refreshing. Dry hopping the young beer in the fermenter with Tasmanian Galaxy and
Cascade has enhanced the citrus notes present from the lactic acid and coriander seed.
Best enjoyed with – you guessed it – oysters; as fresh as you can get them.
SAISON D’ENTRECASTEAUX – farmhouse ale
6.5% a/v LIMITED RELEASE
Bruny Island is separated from mainland Tasmania by a narrow body of water called the
D’Entrecasteaux Channel (pronounced ‘don-tra-KAS-toe); both are named after the
French explorer, Admiral Bruni D’Entrecasteaux, whose expedition charted the area in
1792. ‘Saison’ (meaning ‘season’) is a style of farmhouse ale originally from the Flanders
region of France and Belgium.
Our saison uses raw barley and wheat grown in fields overlooking the Channel on North
Bruny, as well as our usual Tasmanian base malt. It has been hopped for bitterness and
aroma with Helga, Willamette and HPA-035, all grown at one of the world’s oldest hop
farms in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley.
All these locally farmed ingredients (along with unadulterated Bruny Island spring water)
were used to feed three distinctive strains of yeast. There is a French brewer’s yeast as well
as two strains of brettanomyces, a yeast species commonly associated with natural or
‘wild’ fermentations. The use of multiple strains of yeast, as well as a lengthy secondary
fermentation and bottle/keg conditioning, has created a beer of stunning balance and
complexity that pairs delectably with many styles of cheese.
This hazy golden ale is earthy, with citrus, pear and spicy barnyard funk leaping out from
the glass. It is bone-dry without seeming thin, and displays a leathery, refreshing acidity
from the extended brettanomyces fermentation.
2017 METRIC STOUT – post-imperial stout
10% a/v LIMITED RELEASE
The days are short and cold this far south in winter. The good news is that this doesn’t
matter if you have a merry fire at your back and a Metric Stout in hand.
This year’s vintage presents jet-black, with a dense tan head of foam providing lacing all
the way down the glass. Rich malty aromas with hints of raisins, chocolate, ristretto and
campfire ash mingle with an edge of citrusy Cascade and woody Willamette hops. A
complex layering of mocha, roasted malts, caramelised fig and dark fruits coats the
mouth, finishing with a firm and balanced hop bitterness.
Metric Stout is made once per year and only 999 bottles of the 2017 vintage were
FIRST ANNIVERSARY – braggot
11.4% a/v LIMITED RELEASE
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, like honey smeared on a warm
loaf straight out of the oven.
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, preferably in front of an open fire with some pungent cheese.