western ridge brewing - the beer and bbq festival

Western Ridge Brewing

The Western Ridge Brewing & Distilling Co. Pty. Ltd.

Who the hell are they?

Well, no one actually knows. Leading scienticians have determined that they really need some interesting content here.

Maybe something about the beer?

Certainly we should tell a story…

Dammit Jim, I’m an Engineer, not a soul with sufficient beauty for art!

Still, we should try, since you obviously clicked on the link for a reason.

We are a Brewing Collective based in the Barossa Valley in South Australia.

Currently four (and never more than five) owner/brewers working together to make real, interesting and tasty beer. No processing, no additives, no bullshit. We also hope to add distillation when we can afford to.

We are not wealthy, we do not have (or accept) investors and we have practically no funds. What we could do is scrape together about $10k which we almost immediately spent. A third of it just to get a producers license. The rest went to a modest fleet of growler and handling friendly 25L kegs, some specialty brewing and testing hardware and ingredients. The remainder is being used to pay Brenton Rehn for access to his brewery.

When you lovely people start buying our beer, this money will be used to make more beer. And that will be sold to fund more beer and so on. Until we can afford our own brewery. Then we will continue the cycle of making and selling beer until we can afford to actually pay ourselves.

Then things will get interesting, because we will no longer have to work multiple jobs to pay our bills.

There will also be some merch along the way. As every musician out there knows, artists don’t actually get paid by selling their art; but by selling t-shirts advertising their art!

As we told the Crafty Pint (about a month earlier than we had planned to be doing any promotion mind you), what we are is a group of brewers who love REAL beer. Made from whole ingredients using traditional techniques in small batches. If we use ingredients that are not malted barley, hops, yeast or water; they will be whole ingredients and not essences. If we are putting a flavour into the beer, you can be certain we took it out of the ingredients with our brewing skills and not out of a packet. We will never filter our beer, add extract, flavouring, colouring, foam stabilisers or use any other myriad chemicals that many modern breweries use to make better margins and cheaper product with longer shelf lives.

We firmly believe that craft beer is about brewers, not breweries. Craft beer can only be made by craftspeople. Too many microbreweries are founded with money and not brewing skill, their craftspeople are staff who might move on. We will never do that.

If one of the collective leaves, they will take their recipes with them, except for our first brew, our InaugruAle, ‘Secret Rehn’s Business’. That beer belongs to the collective as a business and will be made each year to celebrate our founding. Other than this, Western Ridge Brewing won’t make someone else’s beer and pass it off as our own. That is not to say we won’t one day do some fun collaborations with other brewers.

Western Ridge Brewing was born in Greenock on the edge of the Barossa Valley. In a shed behind a modest house down one of the back streets. David Henderson and his mate, winemaker and all round raconteur Greg Tilbrook decided to try their hand at turning their hobby into a business. Greg had to walk away for other priorities. That left David Henderson as the founding lunatic.

He left his job and spent a year shopping the idea of a collective around the Barossa. Some people were interested, most were not. Especially after being told them that there were no plans for world domination or huge shareholder returns; only a restrictive set of rules around only making old fashioned, honest, real products out of whole ingredients in small batches. A vision that required the owners to earn their own money and donate their time to the project while it found its legs.

Fortunately three others shared this vision. Olexij Straschko, Alex Marschall and Tim Hardy. These four are the original collective. There will never be more than five.

Every one of us is a Brewer. We are our own staff.

We don’t currently have a cellar door, read the page for each batch to find our where to buy it.

Each of our beers will have a story and we hope you enjoy them!