Family History Unfolding: Australian Winery Opens Brewery

One Australian wine family is sticking with its roots by serving up the suds.


This past week Clare Valley’s Pikes Winery opened a $1 million brewery, completing the first phase of a plan which includes the opening of a tasting room in January.


The project, according to a recent report by Australian industry news site The Shout, is led by hopophile and former brewery worker Brad Nolen and falls under the oversight of Pikes winery director Andrew Pike.


“We’ll probably start off with a pilsner and then follow up with a sparkling ale,” Pike said in an interview with The Shout. “It’s all happening here at the moment.”


The culmination of the brewery is one which adds to the Pike family name’s long history of brewing beer and creating wine.


According to the Pikes website, Henry Pike, an Englishman who immigrated to Australia in 1878, started in 1886 a family brewing business called H. Pike & Co. The brewery was famous, the website says, for its beers, stouts, soft drinks and tonics.


The brewing company was sold in 1971, but Pike descendants Andrew – the current winery director –  and current head winemaker Neil relaunched the label in 1996. 

Until now, according to The Shout, the beers had been produced at Sydney’s BrewPack and Victoria’s Hargreaves Hill Brewing.


Pikes’ new brewing facilities feature a 2000-liter brewing system imported from Italy as well as a modern bottling plant, The Shout reported. 


The opening of the brewery includes the addition of the aforementioned pilsner and sparkling ale, as well as a genuine stout, the Pikes website says.


The labeling on the bottles features a design which appears to be true to the original labels used in the late 1800’s by Henry Pike.


“We have now returned the labeling to its roots, but with a fresh new retro look and feel,” the winery’s website says.


Pikes describes their pilsner much in a similar way in which one would describe a white wine.


“Displaying citrus and fruity notes…it finishes clean and crisp with a hint of bitterness adding length and texture,” the Pikes brewery website reads.


The stout features a “deep mahogany color” and a “slight cocoa sweetness on the finish” while the sparkling ale features a floral notes and malts which “integrate … with the hop bitterness to deliver a  balanced …. ale,” the website says.


Beer and Brewer Magazine reported that Pike  thinks the relationship between wine and beer will only be a benefit to the riesling-heavy Clare Valley.


“I think the two things go hand in glove,” Pike told Beer and Brewer.


Origin: Snooth – Articles


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