Launceston beer bar has a passion for Tasmanian produce

POTS AND PINTS: Byron and Trevor Simm will open Tandy's Alehouse on Elizabeth Street, Launceston, on Monday. Picture: Phillip Biggs

POTS AND PINTS: Byron and Trevor Simm will open Tandy's Alehouse on Elizabeth Street, Launceston, on Monday. Picture: Phillip Biggs

A place full of Tasmanian spirit and passion, Launceston is set to get another watering hole for avid craft beer enthusiasts.

Previously a refrigeration mechanic, Launceston’s Byron Simm has returned home from Melbourne with an interest in the booming craft beer scene.

“It sparked my interest in what was going on back home in Tasmania,” he said.

Byron and his father Trevor, are opening a small, family-run business Tandy’s Alehouse, which focuses on the retail of Tasmanian craft beer.

“Tandy was my little sister’s name. She passed away from ovarian cancer two years ago,” Trevor said.

“Once we’re established, we’re going to be donating 20 to 30 cents from every beer we sell to the ovarian cancer council” says Trevor.

Trevor Simm warms himself by the fire at Tandy's Alehouse. Picture: Phillip Biggs

Trevor Simm warms himself by the fire at Tandy's Alehouse. Picture: Phillip Biggs

Byron said there were only a handful of small breweries operating when he left Tasmania, but in the last six months, several more had opened, with more to come this year.

The challenge of re-building the Elizabeth Street site from the ground up did not stop their commitment to building the entire bar with Tasmanian-sourced materials, including Huon pine tap handles.

“Craft beer and cider is an industry focusing on the quality of the product, like people do with quality wine, and quality whisky, it can and will be a real culture shift in the way that people consume beer,” Byron said.

“(It is) changing the excessive consumption of alcohol, moving it back to quality of products over quantity.”

Byron said the bar offered the chance for patrons to “find their favourite breweries and discover new ones all at the same time”.

“You can take a beer tour without leaving your seat at Tandy’s,” he said.

Byron Simm stands inside the soon-to-be-opened Tandy's Alehouse. Picture: Phillip Biggs

Byron Simm stands inside the soon-to-be-opened Tandy's Alehouse. Picture: Phillip Biggs

He has even expanded his Tasmanian craft love into supporting up-and-coming Tasmanian distilleries by stocking their products.

“Tasmanian spirits, as an industry, is starting to boom now; we have a few distilleries that have started to open up even here in the Launceston region,” Byron said.

Byron talked about building close relationships with local suppliers over the past couple of months, commenting on how friendly and willing they are to offer their help.

“It is a very close knit community (and) everyone knows each other,” he said.

Byron said that it was such an exciting and friendly industry to be a part of, and how he was really looking forward to being a part of the culture shift in Australia.

His long-term plan is to eventually open his own brewery.

“I do a bit of home brewing and have for quite a few years now and maybe one day I will make that step.”

Tandy’s Ale House will open on Monday.

  • Kendall Boyd is part of The Youth Network
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