Category Archive: Beerducation

Converting VB Drinkers to Craft Beer

CraigVB drinkers are probably the last people that you would expect to like Craft Beer, but guess what?  Some of them actually like it !

Meet Craig Windred. He is a genuine Aussie Bloke who is a factory work and hails from the Central Coast in NSW . Up until about 8 months ago Craig was a VB drinker, but then one of our members Daniel Pankhurst introduced him to Craft Beer.

I meet Craig at one of our recent Meetups in Sydney for Craft Beer Week and we got talking. Out of the 20 or so people that were there, most of them were Craft Beer “nuts” like myself and whilst I really enjoy talking about beer with these people, I just loved listening to Craig talk about his (short) beer journey.

I asked him about some of the beers he had tried and he said ” I tried that Hop Hog, that’s not bad and the Nail Stout was pretty good”. He went on to mention an amazing range of beers which spanned across a surprisingly wide range of styles. He must have rattled of about 20 of my favourite beers from great Aussie brewers like the Bridge Road Pale Ale, Big Shed F-Yeah, Pirate Life IIPA, Riverside 777, Feral Karma Citra and even some from new comer berwers like Akasha. What was even better, was that he had also started sharing them with his dad, who had also been a VB drinker most of his life, and his dad had taken a liking to them as well.

Quite apart from this great range of beers that he had been trying, he had gathered some great knowledge about beer along the way, often dropping casual remarks like “That stout was good, but it got better as it warmed up.” He could identify flavours that he liked in beers like “coffee and chocolate” or “citrusy tastes” in hop heavy beers. Now to most of us Craft Beer lovers, this is all common knowledge but to hear this guy talking about craft beer like a pro, was amazing considering his short journey and where he had come from.

It was really exciting to hear his enthusiasm and I wanted to video him, but I probably would have spent a lot of time editing out all the F Bombs and other banter we were having. The best part of it was it reminded me why I started this group and it wasn’t just to talk to other “beer nerds” like myself. It was to help other people discover that there is something better out there than what they are drinking and to help educate them about Craft Beer. As we all know, it’s a journey and that journey has to start with an introduction, and as Craft Beer lovers we all should be trying to introduce new people to the journey.

Of course we don’t want to go to far and become the Craft Beer Wanker that won’t shut up about it and tells everyone he meets, that VB is shit, or Corona is “cats piss” (even if it is). You need to take a more subtle approach and introduce them to it gradually. Don’t start them of with a RIS, get them to try a Gateway Beer  like a Pale Ale or Wheat Beer and let them work up to it from there. If they don’t like strong hops flavours, give them a Lager or a Malty Brown, or if they are a coffee lover maybe give them a Porter to try after dinner. The main thing here is we need to remember to keep encouraging them to experiment, because they aren’t going to like every beer they try.

As you know there are plenty of Beer Festivals on around the country and these are great places to take newbies, because they can try a wide variety of beers, in smaller quantities, which make sense especially if you don’t like them. One such festival is the Bitter and Twisted festival in Maitland and in the lead up to this, The Commercial Hotel pub manager Matt Dickman, conducted an experiment with 2 other VB loving larrikins at the Morpeth Brewery. So what happened? Well watch and see, but all I can say is that I hope these guys are talking like Craig in 8 months too. Hopefully we can convert all the VB drinkers to Craft, one lost soul at a time.

Cheers in Beer !


The history of the IPA style of beer

This is a story of commercial treachery, imperialism and an arduous journey that would cross the equator twice.

No other beer has had such an impact on the craft beer industry as IPA’s have. It seems you can’t be called a true craft brewery without having at least one IPA on your tap list with most having more. The big bold flavours and in-your-face bitterness are what brings people back for more every time. Tropical, citrus, pine, and even gunja are just some of the aroma and flavours you’ll find in this “pet” of the craft beer industry. Without doubt IPA’s have been a driving force behind the boom in craft beer over the last twenty or so years, but like most popular beers of today IPA’s have their roots solidly set in history and the style is far from new or revolutionary. So with that said, lets delve into some IPA history without getting too caught up in the myth busting that has plagued this style recently.

Jumping into the Alechemist “DeLorean” essentially just a 1979 TD Holden Gemini covered in home brand Alfoil with a digitally controlled mash tun in the back seat. I’m going to set the Brew-Flux Capacitor (the mash tun) for the early 18th century or 66.4 degrees Celsius, and our destination? The mother country “England.”

IPA’s much like the Alechemist are around 170 years old, the Pale in ‘India Pale Ale’ is much older. Although not pale as we know them today they were somewhat less roasty than the popular Porter style of the day. They were usually called Bitter’s to differentiate them from other beers. By the mid-18th century most breweries were using malt that was kilned using coke, this new process produced less smoke and was easier to control the heat, producing a much lighter malt and a true Pale beer.

East India CompanyIn 1757 the battle of Plassey was won, with this started the British rule in the Indian sub-continent and by the 19th century most of India was under British rule. The East India Company had originally been set up for trade with…… well the East indies although they mainly traded with China. The trade mostly consisted of commodity’s such as Tea, Coffee, Silk, Cotton and above all “Opium”, yep Opium! The East India Company probably still holds the record for being the biggest drug mules in history. With this new lucrative market in British India the company set their focus on the fact the British in India wanted beer and the British breweries had beer to freight. The first brewer in London to send beer to India was George Hodgson of Hodgson’s Brewery in Bow. The brewery itself was close to the East India Company’s port and so became the beer of choice to send to the thirsty Brit’s away from home.

The beer being sent by Hodgson was an October beer or old beer but dubbed India Pale Ale for the new market, it typically aged in oak barrels for a number of years. When it arrived in India it was met with great approval and became instantly popular. By 1811 Hodgson’s were sending around 4000 barrels a year to India. Soon George’s son Frederick and a dapper young chap called Thomas Drane were running the now moved and new brewery at Bow Bridge. The two businessmen thought it time for a coup! They quickly set about cutting Ties with the East India Company and started to ship their beer to India themselves, then retailing it themselves once it arrived, taking 100 percent of the profits. At the same time, they ended the long standing agreement of giving 12 or 18 months credit on beer they sold to the company’s employees, raised prices by 20 percent and refused to sell on any terms other than cash. No prizes for guessing the EIC and the merchants in Calcutta and Madras were not happy with this arrangement. Hodgson’s beer had formed one of their primary articles of investment. From then on, whenever the EIC tried to import someone else’s beer they were undercut by Hodgson and Drane so severely it scared anyone away from the market.

Fast forward to 1806 and some short French bloke has created what came to be known as the Continental Blockade. This stopped around 60 to 70 percent of all trade between mainland Europe and Russia and brings the brewing industry in Britain to its knees where it all but collapses.

While this is happening small brewery in Burton/Trent owned by the brewer Ben Wilson, was struggling with the blockade and ended up selling out to a chap called Samuel Allsopp for 7000 pounds. Hearing of the takeover the East India Company invites Allsopp to a dinner to discuss a trade agreement, legend has it the EIC offered to beat any trade agreement they had in Europe and Russia. They also wanted a new pale beer, one that could rival the success of Hodgson’s October style Pale Ale. Allsopp signed on the dotted line knowing nothing of the beer legend he was about to be involved in. The beer created was Pale in colour and more hop driven than other beers of its time. It’s about here where some of the history of IPA’s becomes hotly contested, was the beer brewed strong and hoppy to stop spoilage on the long sea voyage or was it brewed to strengths similar to the porters of the day? Brewing records suggest that to begin with at least, it was no more alcoholic than porter and the simple fact is, porter was being shipped as far away as Australia without any detriment to the product.

So how about the hops? Was the intention of the brewer to add a ship load of hops to create an antibacterial property to the beer? Brewing records are sketchy at best from this period and I guess we’ll never know, but I’m sure the flavours and big bitter hit we crave today was appreciated just as much back then. Just how different the two beers were is also a hotly contested issue.
This new beer continued with Hodgson’s India Pale Ale style name and was an instant hit among the Brits in India and at home. Hodgson and Drane fobbed off this new beer and alliance and were supremely confident in their product and that they were just a small time competitor, but what they hadn’t accounted for was “mother nature”.

The water in Burton/Trent was high in calcium sulphate, it wasn’t known at the time but this was perfect for naturally increasing flavour and bitterness in beer and was far superior than the water in stinky old London. It wasn’t long before Allsopp knew he had the better product and it would be years before water chemistry would allow other breweries to “Burtonize’ their water. Two other Burton breweries “Bass and Salt” were both keen to cash in on this new beer and their magic water and so the three breweries set about chipping away at Hodgson and Drane’s market dominance. The once great Hodgson brewery slowly fell into obscurity and in 1933 the mighty brewery was demolished to make way for council buildings.

Well there you have it my beer brethren, a story of commercial treachery, imperialism and an arduous journey that would cross the equator twice.

The AlechemistSo what about the current styles of IPA. Well perhaps that is a story for another time but you can find out more about the current style of IPA’s by reading through the style guidelines from BJCP   or  the American Brewers Association

If you are interested in brewing your own IPA, you can also check out own of the Alechemist’s recipes

Stay tuned for more beer history and education

Drink up and brew strong!
Cheers (Swannie) The Alechemist


What is a Gateway Beer?

Have you heard of the term Gateway Beers but not sure what it means? Well it is really quiet simple. A Gateway Beer is a beer that opens the gate (metaphorically of course) to a whole new world of beers to someone who wouldn’t normally drink craft beer. What that means of course is that there is no clear set of rules that make a beer a gateway beer, it could be literally any beer, as long as it is the one that sparks the interest for you to start on your craft beer journey.

So where did it start for this beer lover? Well it all began with every Australian 20 year olds right of passage, a trip to Europe and like the spirit of the great Australian adventurers that went before us, our goal to drink our way around Europe, one pub at a time. We soon learned that when we hit a new country we just needed to learn the phrase “One beer please” in what ever the native tongue was, because what ever we ordered tasted pretty good and we didn’t really know what we where ordering anyway. This made it so exciting because every town, pretty much had it’s own local beer, especially in countries like Germany, with centuries of beer making culture. This lead to my first true love of beers being German Lagers. They where so interesting compared to our Australian Lagers.

Well it was the eighties and there was a very sparse offering of beer in Australia. Pubs pretty much just served “their states beer” which was Resches, Tooheys or Carlton in NSW, VB and Fosters in Victoria, XXXX in QLD and good old Coopers in SA.

So when I returned to Oz, I started trying to seek out “Imported Beers” although there wasn’t much available. Back then you could only get beers from big International Brewers like Heiniken, Stella, Peroni and my favourite, Lowenbaru.

Fast forward nearly 30 years and the range of beers available in Australia are amazing. Of course the big commercial brewers are still around, but the Australian Craft Beer scene has taken off and there are literally hundreds of local craft beer breweries and thousands of them world wide. Today an independent bottle shop might carry a couple of hundred different types of beers, with some of the big ones carrying up to a thousand, so with so many options available, where do you start?

Well let’s be clear, there is no correct place to start your beer journey, and there is no single gateway beer that will open the door for you, it is very much an individual matter of taste. Having said that, there are a few styles of beers that might make your journey from Mainstream Beer to Craft Beer easier and the list below is a good starting point.

Gateway Beers

Gateway Beers

Probably the most important thing to consider is the STYLE of beer. The American Brewers Association list of 150 styles of beer and other associations list more. Some of the more subtle styles to seek out in the beginning might include

  • Lagers
    • Samuel Adams Boston Lager (USA)
    • Grolsch (Dutch)
    • Lowebrau (Germany)
    • Young Henrys Natural Lager (Aust)
  • Pilsners
    • Balmain Pilsner (Aust)
    • Pilsner Urquell (Czech)
  • Pale Ales
    • Little Creatures (Aust)
    • Fat Yak (Aust)
    • Coopers (Aust)
    • Sierra Nevada (USA)
  • Kolsch’s
    • 4 Pines (Aust)
    • Wicked Elf Kolsch (Aust)
  • Golden Ales
    • Prickly Moses Summer Ale (Aust)
    • 2 Birds Sunset Ale (Aust)
  • Hefawiezens
    • Four Pines (Aust)
    • Weihenstephan (Germany)

These styles are not far removed from the large commercial beers that are available in tap at local clubs and pubs. The above list of styles and examples of the beer, are by no means conclusive, they are just a small sample of beers that might be good gateway beers, if you are new to the craft beer scene and want to try something different to your normal draught beer.

Of course the best way to find a beer that you like, is to try lots of different ones until you find one (or more) that you do like. Once you find a style that you like, experiment within the style and try and find more beers in that style to try. When you get sick of that style, try a different style and then so on.

Finally, we also polled the members of our We Love Craft Beer Facebook Group to see what their Gateway Beers where. You can see the results here and of course we invite you to be part of the conversation in the group too.


The Chemistry of Beer – Part 2

Malting and the Brewing process.

It is said “he who brews knows of hard labor and good cheer, for when one brews many drink.” 

Welcome back for part – 2 of the Chemistry of Beer. In part – 1 we looked at the basic ingredients used in brewing beer and what they bring to the table, in this the second installment we’ll be having a look at how Grain becomes Malt and we’ll jump into the brew house for a lesson in brew science and the brewing process. Once again this is not intended to be an in depth article but more of an overview that all levels of knowledge can take something way from.


In part – 1 we looked at how grain provides the carbohydrates used by yeast to create alcohol in beer. For grain to do this it needs to go through a process called malting. In the malting process grain is germinated by being soaked in water, this is called the “wet side.” Once the grain starts to germinate the Maltster (person responsible for malting grain) will then stop it from germinating further by drying it with hot air. Doing this develops the enzymes required for modifying the grain’s starches into carbohydrates during the mashing process. At this stage it’s referred to as “green malt” it is then taken to be kiln-dried to the desired colour and specification in what’s referred to as the hot side. Malts range in colour from pilsner or pale, through crystal and amber, to chocolate and black malts with many varieties in between. Our malt is now ready for making beer. 

The brew house

When the grain arrives at the brewery it is taken to the milling room to be cracked. Cracking the grain releases the starches from the husk although the gains are not pulverised like wheat for bread, instead they are for the most part left intact but cracked, doing this helps to release the carbohydrates after mashing and allows the grain and husk to work as a natural filter during the sparge process.  The brew house traditionally consists of three brewing vessels and they are-

  1. The hot liquor tank or “HLT”. This is essentially a very large boiling vessel used to heat the water used in the brewing processes.
  2. The Mash Tun. This is where our Milled Malt is mixed with heated water to form the mash that produces the wort.
  3. The Kettle or Copper. This is where the wort is boiled and hops are added for bittering, flavour and aroma.

The mash

Water is heated to a specific temperature in the HLT in readiness for mixing with the Malt. The temperature of the mash is dependent on how much body is needed for the style being brewed. The reason behind this is related to the enzymes living on the grain we talked briefly about earlier. The two main enzymes active during the mash are alpha and beta amylase. Alpha amylase, is most active around 67-74C and creates longer sugar chains that are less fermentable, this results in a beer with more body and malt sweetness. The Beta amylase, is most active between 55-66C produces single maltose sugar units which are more fermentable, this helps with a more complete fermentation (higher attenuation) and a cleaner beer with a thinner, dryer body. These temperatures are referred to as Saccharification rests. The mash can be stepped up gradually through different temperatures called “rests” in what is known as a step mash or held at one temperature known as a single infusion mash for a time period from 60min to 90min or more but for the most part with today’s highly modified malts, 60min is all that is needed to convert the starches into sugars.

The Sparge

Once the conversion is complete the temperature of the mash is lifted to around 75.5C and held for around 10min to stop the enzymes and increase the viscosity of the mash. Its now time to draw off the sweet sugary liquid to the Kettle this is now called “Wort” (pronounced Wert). As this is happening we also want to wash all the excess sugars from the grain. To do this 75.5C water is slowly sprayed over the top of the grain as wort is drawn from the bottom of the grain bed, the brewer is very careful not to disturb the bed of grain as it naturally acts as a filter for the wort being drawn off. The brewer will stop sparging when he has collected the correct volume and by measuring the specific gravity of the wort collected in the Kettle.

The Boil

Once the collection is complete the wort is then brought to the boil and hop’s are added. Typically hop’s that are added at the start of the boil are for bittering, the longer hop’s are boiled the more Alpha acids isomerized into our wort but the more volatile aroma and flavonoid oils boil off so its for this reason that hop’s that are added at different times and intervals give different things to the beer. Hop’s added near to the end of the boil add their flavors and those added at the end and after the boil give their aroma to the finished product. The boil typically lasts for between 60 and 90min, after which the brewer will again measure the specific gravity to obtain what is known as the “opening gravity”. The wort is now rapidly cooled to a temperature the yeast being used will ferment best at, oxygen is also added as it’s transferred to the fermentation vessel.


This is where our wort becomes beer! After the wort has been transferred from the Kettle to the fermenter it’s time to add our yeast. Once in our wort the yeast quickly multiply and get to work converting the sugars into alcohol  (ethanol) this can take from two to six weeks depending on style, yeast strain and alcohol content of the finished beer. The brewer once again measures the gravity and this is known as the “final gravity” he can now determine the alcohol content by using the opening and final gravity. We can now call it beer for the first time. The beer or “green beer” is now chilled close to freezing temperatures to help drop the yeast out of suspension before being transferred to a “bright tank” (large cooled holding tank) for lagering and carbonation, this further filters and conditions the beer and can take up to three months for Pilsner’s but usually around two to three weeks for Ales. After this the beer is then ready for packaging and consumption.

Beer is many things to many people, from quenching a hard earned thirst to having fun with your mates or even making a living. To me beer is the beautiful coupling between science and art, it’s about understanding how and why so you can stand in front of the canvas and express yourself freely. It’s about watching others enjoying your heart and soul, it’s about taking people to new places and letting them experience new things. I truly love beer and the journey it’s taken me on and I hope with some knowledge I impart here over the coming months, it helps you on your journey in beer.

Well there you have it my brethren, a quick insight into the Chemistry of Beer. So next time your lifting that glass… spare a thought for the Water, Malt, Hop’s and Yeast and drink something that “doesn’t” spare the Water, Malt, Hop’s and Yeast!

Cheers, Swannie

The Alechemist

The Alechemist


Bill Swancott

The Chemistry of Beer – Part 1

Beers Basic Ingredients

The Chemistry of Beer

“Beer” we all know it, we all love it, we all know it tastes great and makes us feel good. We all know how it’s made in big oak barrels being carted around behind Clydesdale’s and some of us even know how it’s made from boiled wheat with hops in it…Right?            

Uh nah!

It’s funny how a country so entrenched with beer culture can be so ill informed when it comes to what beer is and how it’s made. I’ve always found it difficult to understand how the majority of beer drinkers couldn’t care less what goes into their beverage of choice “just knock the top off it and drink it”! Well luckily this mentality has been changing over the past 10 year’s or so and slowly but surely the days of drinking a particular brand because “that’s what my father drank” are dying out and a new beer drinker is emerging from the depths of Australia’s lake of Lagers.

This new beer drinker is equipped with a thirst for knowledge and wants to know what goes into his or her glass. It’s become trendy to know hop varieties by name and aroma and to brandish the term crystal malts between sips, but still the majority of beer drinkers couldn’t tell you what beer is made from or indeed how it’s made. 

One of the first things people ask me when they find out I’m a brewer isn’t “how do you make beer”? but it’s “how long does it take before you can drink it”? Unfortunately this says a lot about the Aussie beer drinker. 

So to that end let’s talk a bit about beer, what goes into your glass and how it made it there, so that way you’ll be better equipped to lock horns with that beer nerd down your local,  impress the opposite sex with your new found super power and watch them go weak at the knees with your beer knowledge. I don’t want to “nerd out” too much but enough to help you understand how beer goes from “Grain to your Brain”  So lets talk ingredients.


(Chemical formula: H2O) it’s a transparent fluid that forms the world’s rain, rivers, lakes and oceans, and is the major constituent of fluids in us and other stuff… yeah probably didn’t need to go there but it does make up on average around 95% of your beer so it’s very important. Water chemistry is vital even at a home brewing level. Adjusting how hard or soft (the ph level) the brewing water is can have a big impact on the beer body and flavor, Pilsner’s are historically brewed with soft or alkaline water’s and IPA’S benefit from harder or more acidic water which help lift hop aroma, flavors and bitterness. Hardness and softness also refers to the amount of sulfate, calcium and other ions in the water which can be adjusted and be used to mimic water profiles of famous brewing areas from around the world. All in all water is the body of our beer.


It’s the source of the carbohydrates that yeast use to make the alcohol and it’s where the majority of beer’s flavor comes from (dependent on style). There are many forms of grain used in beer production and it’s style dependent to which is used, but they include, Barely, Wheat, Rye, millet, sorghum and cassava, Secondary sources of fermentable carbohydrates or (adjuncts), can include maize (corn), rice, or sugar. For the most part Barley is the main grain used in beer, it goes through a process called malting and is referred to as Malt when used for brewing beer, we’ll talk more on malting in the second part of this article. The grain is also kilned to various roasts not unlike coffee is, the darker the roast the darker the flavors. All beer recipes use what is referred to as a base malt, one that’s been lightly kilned, and this forms the main source of the fermentables the yeast will use to produce the alcohol. Added to this the brewer will use what are termed as specialty malts (malts that have been kilned to various levels) to produce the flavor and colour he or she desires. Grain is the engine, nuts and bolts of our beer.


The flowers or (cones) of the “Humulus lupulus” plant. If grain is your main ingredient then hop’s are your spices to add that zing to your recipe and bring it all together. Hops actually bring more than one thing to the table. Firstly  they impart bitterness into our beer through the release of isomerized Alpha acids, secondly they give beer flavor and aroma through the release of essential oils and flavonoids and last but not least they help to preserve beer, hop’s have an anti bacterial property that helps to ward off infections and pathogens that might otherwise infect and ruin our beer. There are literally hundreds of hop varieties and each have their own flavor, aroma and bitterness. Primarily used in the boiling process, however they can also be used during later stages of fermentation in a process called dry hopping as well as during the Mash, we’ll talk more about how hops are used in part 2 of this article. Hop’s are the bling, the custom paint job of beer.


These little guy’s are freaking awesome! Oh the life of yeast, swimming around in carbohydrates (in this case wort but more on that in part 2) eating them up and pooping alcohol. Yep it’s good to be a single cell organism. It wasn’t until the invention of the microscope followed by the pioneering scientific work of Louis Pasteur in the late 1860’s that yeast was identified as a living organism and this was closely followed by the ability to isolate single strains and culture them for brewing. Before this the brewers were at the hands of the winds and relied on air born or yeast living in the wood of the cool ships (fermenters) to inoculate their wort. There are currently around 1500 species of yeast identified and of those it’s the Saccharomyces cerevisiae family that are mainly used for brewing. There are many types of brewers yeasts, the type used is dependent on the style of beer being brewed. Yeast can have a huge impact on the flavor and body of a beer and changing just the yeast type in a recipe can give you a completely new beer. Yeast consume carbohydrates produced by the grain and convert them into alcohol and c02. They are the interchangeable wheels that get everything moving from W to B.

The Chemistry of Beer

Water, Malt, Hops and Yeast! These four ingredients (and the Chemistry of Beer) are all that’s needed to make a great tasting beer. Indeed in Germany this is all beer is allowed to be brewed with. The beer purity law (Reinheitsgebot) stipulates that no other ingredients can be used. As for the rest of the world? Well in there lies a whole new topic and I’ll definitely be talking about the things that shouldn’t be in beer but I’ll leave this sensitive issue on the hook for now.

Well my beer brethren this concludes part 1 of The Chemistry of Beer. I hope this helps you better understand the four ingredients that lubricate your life. Next week in part 2 we’ll be taking a closer look at how grain becomes malt and delve into the brewing process.

So stay tuned, drink up and brew strong!

The Alechemist.

2016-05-01 21.21.41

Bill Swancott


So what is beerducation?

Do we need to spell it out for you? OK, we will then,  B-e-e-r-d-u-c-a-t-i-o-n.  Get it?

Right, so it is learning about all things beer. See you have already passed your first test.

So what else do you need to know? Well believe it or not, you could write a book about beer, in fact many people wiser than us already have. There is heaps to learn, including:

  • Brewing Techniques
  • Styles
  • History
  • Drinking (yes you can learn more about drinking beer)
  • Glasses
  • Storage
  • Tasting
  • Food matching
  • and bucket loads more

The more you learn, the more you find there is to learn, so click on a link and get started now.


Institute of Beer

Institute of beerIt’s not a joke, there really is one ! The newly formed Institute of Beer (IOB) is  a new initiative that will focus on formal and informal beer education and consultancy.  Australian craft beer industry heavyweights have joined forces to launch the IOB, including managing director Peter Fullbrook who has a background in business education; Neal Cameron who is a master brewer at the Australian Brewery and judges at major beer and cider shows; Dave Phillips who runs Dave’s Brewery Tours and has excellent knowledge of the brewing industry and Ian Kingham who was previously in charge of beer and spirits strategy at Woolworths and is also a prominent beer judge.

The IOB will focus on three main streams which are:

  1. Formal and Informal education
    This will include some basic education for craft beer enthusiasts wanting to learn about beer, to Certified Beer Servers and Certification of knowledge and tasting skills for professionals dedicated to beer through the world recognised Cicerone program
  2. Consultancy
    IOB will offer consultancy on anything from setting up a brewery right through to the sellers and marketers of a brewery.
  3. Events
    The third area is learning about beer through less formal education, which would be things like beer events and beer evenings.

For part of the formal education, IOB has formed an agreement with Cicerone, the most highly-recognised beer training programme in the world, certifying and educating beer professionals in order to elevate the beer experience for consumers.

The training programmes will be adapted slightly to suit the Australian beer landscape so that things like beer style examples will be Australian not American.

For more information on IOB or to inquire about education or consultancy opportunities, call 02 8987 1908 or email

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