We discovered a local brewing company today - actually we saw their name in some of the brochures, and being a beer fan, and having many friends who also like their beer, I thought I should check it out. We drove past Sunday afternoon to discover that the cellar door was open Monday to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday when they are there. This Sunday they weren't. We drove past again Monday, but were greeted by another sign, this time regretfully announcing that the cellar door wouldn't be open that day due to illness. We drove past again today, my last opportunity before leaving for Sydney tomorrow - and we got lucky. They were open. Just. Poor Kylie, one of the owner/operators, was really not well, but she managed to lead us through a tasting of their beers, and give us some history of their business.
The Little Brewing Company has been open for two years, is run by three people, and produces excellent beer. They use only the best ingredients, local as much as possible, but imported because only the best will do, and use very time intensive methods in order to produce beer they can be proud of.
The main label at the moment is Wicked Elf - Pilsner, Whitbier, Pale Ale - and they have another range called Abbot beer. I think my favourite was the Whitbier - a Belgian white beer which uses less hops and more spices. The aroma is delightful, and the taste just as good. It is a very easy beer to drink. The Pilsner is based on the Czechoslovakian style of pilsner, which Kylie says is the best. They therefore use Czecholslovakian hops in the brewing. It's also delightful, and this one was Mum and Dad's favourite. The Pale was an American style of pale, which mum and I both don't like as much Australian pales, being used to Coopers I guess. The Abbot one was to be drunk warmer, and with desserts and cheeses. Mum and I both like the idea of that!
The Abbot's beer is named because the method of brewing of this range derives from the Trapist monastery style of brewing. Because this company is not a monastery, they can't name this beer trapist, but it is an abbey style. It gives me pleasure to carry on the tradition of appreciating wine and beer as have religious communities and individuals throughout history!
We agree that we wouldn't drink these beers on a hot day as a cool drink. These beers are for appreciating, deliberating over, contemplating with. The Little Brewing Company have won many national and international awards for their beers over the past fourteen months, and there is no surprise there. With their dedication, and the integrity of their methods, the excellent water at Port Macquarie, and the excellent quality of the ingredients that go into the beer, it is well worth drinking if you want to drink beer for more than quenching a thirst. This is the connoisseur's beer. And it is well worth supporting an Australian company competing with bigger international companies, and winning!
They are available nationally through Dan Murphy's, and you can check them out yourself if you visit Port Macquarie, or on their website. I recommend it!