Van Dieman reinventing itself as a farm brewery
Van Dieman Brewing has released its first estate ales, which the brewer hopes will ultimately play the part of its core range beers.
The White Hills, Tasmania brewery founded by Will Tatchell in 2009 has largely made its name on staple Australian craft beer styles such as pale ale, amber ale and white ale.
But it is gradually shifting its focus to making beers using entirely ingredients sourced from its Tasmanian farm.
“There’s only a handful of breweries in the world that are doing this, probably the best known is Sierra Nevada with their Estate Ale,” Tatchell told Brews News.
“As far as the Australian market goes, I think 2 Metre Tall and Rocky Ridge are starting to push down a similar path.”
The estate ales are named after owners Will and Kalie Tatchell’sthree sons, Max, Edward and Oscar:
- Max – Spring Saison Estate Ale made entirely from brewery grown barley, hops, spring water and indigenous yeast with lemons;
- Edward – Hoppy Farmhouse Estate Ale madeentirely from brewery grown barley, hops, spring water and indigenous yeast; and
- Oscar – An upcoming 2018 release that will be more of a malt driven beer.
The malt in the beers is Westminster variety barley sown on Van Dieman’s farm in Spring 2015, processed by the micro-maltings formerly operating in Launceston, Not For Horses.
“We’re now putting in a small maltings plant at the brewery so that we can do that process on the farm,” Tatchell told Brews News.
The water was drawn from on-farm springs, while the Super Pride and Cascade variety hops grown on the farm are now in their sixth season.
Indigenous yeast capture
A house yeast was established after a spontaneous capture isolated 115 different indigenous yeast strains on the brewery farm.
“We selected out ten of those for further sensory analysis and two of them really showed promise for giving a clean finish… We always set out on the path of making them clean beers,” Tatchell said.
“We had the option to either keep them separate or combine them and we perceived that it would be more representative of the brewing component to actually join them and use them as a single yeast.”
Tatchell said the estate ales will initially be released every 12 months, with the intention of them ultimately becoming Van Dieman’s core range.
“For me as a brewer, I find these more exciting to brew. We feel that it’s important that people know where their beer comes from and we can’t do that any better than being really confident about the product actually coming from the soil in our farm and the ground and air around it,” he said.
VanDieman has released four additional beers together with the estate ales in the lead-up to Christmas:
- Loquacious – A Loquat Wild Ale aged three years in oak barrels on Loquat fruit blended with Estate Blonde ale;
- Duchess – A New World Barrel IPA fermented in oak barrel for 18 months with brettanomyces yeast, dry hopped with Galaxy and Enigma hops;
- Tetu – A Farmhouse Grisette fermented in oak barrels with fresh raspberries and blackberries; and
- Hedgerow (2016) – Flanders Red Ale; a one, two, and three year blended barrel-aged sour aged with hawthorn berries, sloe berries and rose hips.
A Christmas box containing two each of the six new releases is now available through theVanDiemanwebsite.