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My brewing journey commenced back in the mid-90’s when I purchased a Grumpy’s Home Brew kit and started brewing beer with my best mate Mike.


We quickly moved from kit and kilo to partial mashes and worked our way through the expansive list of beer kits available at the time. Our consumption of the (usually) great beer was only slowed by the wait for the next batch to carbonate in the bottle.


Fast forward a few years – and having completed my Engineering Degree at University – another good mate, Cam, suggested a mash brewing course at TAFE. I jumped at the chance to learn more about the art of brewing. Our lecturer (and beer guru) Stephen Nelson opened our eyes to the intricacies of beer – yeast, water, malt and hops, and taught us how to brew beers from scratch. After seeing how easy it was to create a beer from those base ingredients, I was hooked.  My thirst for beer was now overtaken by a thirst for making beer.


I had success when entering my beers in local and national homebrewing competitions while continuing to expand my repertoire of method and recipe style.

By now I was confidently brewing a wide range of beers, including pale lagers and milds right through to imperial IPAs, Baltic porters and foreign extra stouts.


Transitioning into barrel-aged and sour beers was an unexpected turn. This initially came about due to me pitching some lambic dregs into a questionable schwarzbier in a vain and unsuccessful attempt to ‘save’ it! Patience is often tested with some of these beer styles taking years to come to fruition with the slow-acting yeasts and microbes involved.


Over time I brewed for numerous friends and every time the beers have been enjoyed by guests with glowing – yet humbling – compliments for the flavours and styles on show. This feedback, coupled with my experience and learnings fuelled my confidence to make the jump to pro-brewer.


Oh boy! Enter a plethora of paperwork, start-up costs and government approvals. It was a tough and gutsy leap to make, but a leap I’ve never regretted.  Because throughout all this, the one thing that has never changed is my love for brewing and my desire to share it with others.


This is just the start for us at Left Barrel Brewing. Passion for beer quality, variety and balance are our values. If variety is the spice of life, then for me, it’s no different with beer.  That’s why we’ll have a number of beers out in the marketplace featuring seasonal, experimental and once-off brews for you to enjoy. Along with our tried and tested core range of beers.


I invite you checkout out our stockists page or come to say hi at the taphouse or an upcoming event to sample our wares.


Perhaps even join our mailing list or follow us through social media, for regular updates on our upcoming releases!


Brad Bown

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