KING Islanders and the rest of the country will soon be savouring beer made with possibly Australia’s oldest wild hops harvested from bushland in the south of the island.
Corey and Sarah Brazendale’s King Island Brewhouse opens next weekend.
The couple climbed trees to harvest the wild hops for their beer.
The hops naturally grow up the trees and intertwine them.
“I have created a beer using the wild hops and the hops helped create a unique taste, that is both full in texture but also light off the palate,” Mr Brazendale said.
The origin of the hops is shrouded in mystery.
They were possibly bought to shore from a shipwreck of a vessel that was intended for mainland Tasmania.
Mr Brazendale only uses four ingredients: water, yeast, malt grain and hops, all brought together with his love of brewing.
He says his philosophy is in keeping with the Colonial Laws of Tasmania in the 1800s, a local version of the famous German Purity Laws for beer which called for the four ingredients to have been grown in Tasmania.
Ms Brazendale is a sixth generation King Islander. Her Keating ancestors go back to being lighthouse keepers at Cape Wickham.
Mr Brazendale is a newcomer to the island, having met his wife in Antarctica when they both worked there.
Ms Brazendale has a degree in marine and Antarctic science and now works part time at the local council.
She shares the love of brewing with her husband, who works at Elders.
“We have put significant investment into the brewery, and have had amazing support from our families,” she said.
The King Island Brewhouse offers a cosy bar and a verandah looking out on to a beautiful rural vista less than 20 minutes from Currie, the island’s main town.
The solar-powered brewhouse is in a purpose built shed surrounded by the family’s prime grazing land.
“You’ll feel like you’re on another island as you drive away from the coast and into the countryside,” Mr Brazendale said. “We are not really looking at sending our beers to outside markets, instead, we prefer people to visit the island and come here to drink the beer.”
The brewhouse is currently canning beers for takeaways and will soon have bottles. Smaller portable kegs are also available.
The couple have linked into Seedlab Tasmania, which is a program of training and coaching for Tasmanian start up food, drink and agritourism businesses.