Barossa Valley Brewing

On Wednesday the 6th of December I visited Barossa Valley Brewing in Tanunda, South Australia.

This brewery was started by Denham D’Silva in 2005. He gained his experience of craft beers while studying at university in America. After finishing his studies he used his qualifications to work in international banking, but craved a job he could be passionate about. This led to him starting the brewery with the aim of bringing good and different beers to the Australian drinkers. It may have been a disappointment to his wife at the time, as when they were engaged Denham was a cashed up banker and by the time they were married he was an impoverished brewer.

When they started their operation all of the beer produced was sold as packaged beer through a wine distributor. The site was chosen in the wine region because they were hoping to give people the opportunity to spoil their pallets with flavours, similar to what wine drinkers do. They moved to their present location six years ago, when the wine distributor was no longer taking their beers, to open a brewpub. The venue is fantastic, with room inside and out, a restaurant and views of the brewery and the vineyards of the area.

The head brewer, Tom, brings his knowledge and experience from working for Stone and Wood. The brewery consists of an eighteen hectolitre system with three 18 hectolitre fermentation tanks and one 36 hectolitre tank, ( another 36 hectolitre tank will be added soon). They also have their own canning line. The cans are filled without labels and then labelled by a local group of workers with disabilities.

The brewery also takes in contract brewing for other breweries, so that the brewers gain fresh ideas and experiences. They also have fun producing quarterly special brews. One of these was their Cherry Ripe Porter and one that is coming soon is a Barrel Aged Lemon Myrtle Sour.

The beers that I sampled were:

1. Bee Sting, 5.0% abv, this will soon be relabeled as Golden Ale, it is golden in colour with a subtle citrus aroma. It has a sweet honey malt flavour and then a clean, crisp finish.
2. Chan Van Damme, 4.4% abv, this is an Asian inspired Belgian Wit, meaning it uses lemongrass and Szechuan pepper in the brew. It has a golden straw colour and a subtle lemongrass aroma. The flavour is of a slightly spicy citrus. Very nice!
3. Indian Summer, 3.5% abv, this has a golden colour and a floral aroma. It has a sweet malt initial taste and then a nice fruitiness on a gentle bitter finish. Very sessionable.
4. Hop Heaven Easy IPA, 4.8% abv, this beer has won three consecutive gold medals at the Australian International Beer Awards, it has a golden colour and a big tropical fruit and floral aroma. It has a sweet tropical fruit flavour and a gentle bitterness on a crisp dry finish.

5. Granis Major IIPA, 8.0% abv, this beer has also won a gold medal, it is golden in colour with a pine aroma. It has a sweet fruitiness, that is well balanced by the malts, on a mild bitterness. Dangerously drinkable.

6. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Bacon, 5.0% abv, this was originally called Barossa Smoke but the name was not catchy enough, it has an amber colour and a bbq smokehouse aroma. It has a wonderful, slightly sweet, smoked meat flavour with a nice peaty taste. At first this beer was made as a special, but demand has forced it into the core range.
7. Chocolate Coffee Stout, 7.0% abv, this won a gold medal at the 2017 Craft Beer Awards, it has a black colour and a strong roasted coffee aroma. It has a wonderful sweet malt palate of dark chocolate and espresso on a mild bitter finish.
8. Wallaby Apple Cider, 8.0% abv, this is straw coloured and made with hops that give it a lovely passionfruit aroma. It has a slightly sweet apple flavour on a crisp finish. Very nice indeed.

The beers being produced by Barossa Valley Brewing are all fantastic. The venue is great. It is somewhere I would strongly recommend visiting.
I would like to thank Denham and Cheryl for their time and hospitality when I visited.