Illawarra Brewing Co

On Friday the 20th of October I visited the Illawarra Brewing Co. in North Wollongong, New South Wales. This brewery was started in 2012 after Dave and his father purchased brew equipment from the closed Five Islands Brewery. They have expanded the brewery to now have eight 20 hectolitre fermenters and have further plans of expansion into the next door unit which is presently occupied by East Coast Canning. They took a Gold Medal in their first year for their Kolsch at the AIBA.

Their tasting room has been open for almost five years to showcase their fresh out of the tanks beers. They also put some of their beers into cans and some of them into bomber 640 ml bottles. Their core beers are the Summer Ale, Pale Ale and Kolsch. They also produce a great selection of seasonal beers with their Chuck Norris being very popular.

The beers that I sampled were:

Summer Ale, 4.7% abv, this is a straw colour with a subtle fruit aroma. It has a nice fruity flavour and then a mild bitter finish. This is their biggest seller.

Kolsch, 5.5% abv, this is a golden straw colour with a subtle yeast aroma. It has a great malty flavour and then a gentle bitterness before a crisp finish.

Chuck Norris, 6.4% abv, this is a Single Hop American Red Ale, made with Mosaic hops, with an amber colour and a sweet fruit aroma. It has a wonderful sweet fruity flavour and then transitions into a gentle bitterness on a crisp finish.

Apocalypso IPA, 7.0% abv, this has a golden colour and a citrus hop aroma. It has a sweet fruity taste and then a generous, lingering hop bitter finish.

Shot in the Dark, 5.0% abv, this is a Coffee Milk Stout with a black colour and a roasted coffee malt aroma. It has a complex malt flavour of dark chocolate and espresso. Very nice!

Sour IPA, 6.0% abv, this has a golden straw colour and a fruity grapefruit aroma. It has a fruity taste and then a mild sour finish. Refreshing.

Watermelon Lambic, 5.0% abv, this beer spent two years in French oak Chardonnay barrels and one month on fruit, namely 120 kg of watermelon flesh. It has a golden colour and a sour fruit aroma. It has a nice sweet initial taste and then a sour fruit flavour. Very true to the style.

Illawarra Brewing Co. are making a great selection of beers, I enjoyed all of the ones that I tried. It is a brewery that is worth seeking out.

I would like to thank Tim, the brewer, for taking the time to talk with me and Pam and Dave for their hospitality.