Tasmania is the best place to brew beer, says Will Tatchell.
Mr Tatchell is the owner and head brewer of Van Dieman Brewing, an independent brewery based on a family farm in Northern Tasmania.
Prior to establishing Van Dieman Brewing in 2009, Mr Tatchell travelled overseas to learn the tricks of the brewing trade.
His quest took him to Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire in the UK.
“The brewing industry over there seemed a little more evolved and progressed than the Australian industry was 10 or 12 years ago,” he said.
“It was a case of putting myself within an industry that was emerging, or that had already emerged, and learning from people that had gone through what we were looking to do at some stage here.
“It would have been nice to stay a bit longer, but after spending three years over there working it probably got to a point where I’d plateaued with my learning … so the time was right to return.”
Mr Tatchell said the plan was not always to set up shop in Tassie.
“When we first came back from overseas we looked at setting up in Melbourne. It’s much closer to a bigger market share,” he said.
“But, the more we thought about it the more we looked at Tasmania.
“It made more sense to start a business back here, and retrospectively that decision is now paying dividends in the director that we’re taking the brewery.”
Mr Tatchell said there was only about six to seven per cent of the market share that was independent beer.
“The more consumers that are educated about more beer styles, and the more that they discover more beer styles or flavours that they like, the more growth that we hope to achieve in that sector,” he said.
“When we started we would have been potentially the 50th brewery in Australia, whereas now, we have under 500 breweries.
"By comparison, the US have upwards of 6000 breweries.
“Tassie, per capita, is more greatly represented than anywhere else in Australia in regards to breweries.”
Mr Tatchell said without a shadow of a doubt, Tasmania was the best place in the world to be producing beer.
“Because of our access to fresh local ingredients here, specifically pure water, barely production for malt, access to the hop fields,” he said.
“Something that we’re leveraging on our farm ourselves is by growing all of these, we’re starting to do a range of beers fully on-farm called Estate Ales.
“We wouldn’t be able to do that in too many parts of the world.”
- For more information, visit www.vandiemanbrewing.com.au