Moo Brew Brewery tour

· Friday March 28, 2014

Moo Brew is the largest Australian-owned brewery in Tasmania. Quite something, considering their 4-500,000 litre production is dwarfed by the tens of millions of litres cascading out of other Tasmanian breweries. Established at MONA and now expanded and resident in a featureless warehouse in Bridgewater, it's interesting to note how the shadowy presence of David Walsh still informs a brewery that's grown up and become independent – from the John Kelly art on the bottles to the wry “Not suitable for bogans” injunction on the brewer's t-shirt.

The tour takes you through the whole five-beer range – via full-sized bottles, no less. My tour was led by the Assistant Brewer; originally from Upstate New York, he cut his craft-brewing teeth in Colorado at Oskar Blues and Mountain Sun after an epiphany in a West German beer garden. An affable guy, he negotiated the balance between “this is called a mash tun” and fielding some of my nerdier questions in an accessible, genuine way – or maybe that's the beer talking. It's not, but since we're talking about it I learnt that their next seasonal number is going to be a high-ABV rye IPA using three varieties of freshly picked, Tasmanian-grown whole-cone hops, which I suspect is a little of the American craft-brewing influence showing. Its release could be a nice thing with which to time a tour.