For most people, being in the wettest part of Victoria would be cause for complaint. Not Luke Scott, head brewer at Prickly Moses Handcrafted Beers, who has an impressive water harvesting system and a pair of 150,000l tanks at his disposal to capture the rain. And it's with this he brews Prickly Moses beers.
Brought in to start a brewery alongside the existing Otway Estate Winery, Luke has taken a multi-pronged approach: a standard range of approachable beers under the Prickly Moses label, ranging from an organic pilsner through to a stout, the seasonally released "Otway Trilogy" of French and Belgian Farmhouse Ales available in longnecks, plus occasional short run specials.
When Otway Estate's owners decided to build the brewery, it was seen as something that would complement their wine production. These days, with its beers playing their part in Australia's craft beer revolution as one of the longest established operations in Victoria, the brewery is taking the lead. Prickly Moses beers and ciders are found in pubs all along the Great Ocean Road as well as in Melbourne and further afield.
The brewery, which takes its name from a native plant local to the area, is well worth a visit. Sat on the edge of the beautiful Otway Ranges National Park and less than 50km from the Surf Coast, it has three holiday cottages onsite with views over the rolling countryside as well as a "Brewery Outlet". If you want to go a step further, you can sign up for residential beer courses and learn to brew hands on.
You can also find the full range of Prickly Moses beers at the company's two brewhouses. The Great Ocean Road Brewhouse opened in Apollo Bay in 2015 and a second followed in Queenscliff. They combine rows of taps featuring the brewery's full range with more than 100 other craft beers in their fridges.
Beyond that, if you head to many of Australia's beer festivals, look out for the Prickly Moses bus...