It's not uncommon, certainly since craft beer began making waves in Australia, to stumble across beer versus wine events. It is uncommon, however, to stumble upon such an event at which every single drink ' both beer and wine ' has been created by the same person. But since adding brewing to his CV it's something that fourth-generation winemaker James Booth is able to do at Taminick Cellars, the winery that's been in his family since 1904.
After years of homebrewing in his spare time, James decided to dip his toes into the world of commercial brewing in 2011. Despite only having a 70 litre homemade setup on which to make his beers word soon spread, bringing a steady stream of beer lovers on the search for Victoria's latest to the cellar door. Somehow he managed to fit in enough brewing around his winemaking schedule to get the Black Dog beers (named after the family pet Macca) out and about far enough to give him the confidence to install a larger brewery in 2013.
Having launched with a range of four beers, James wasted little time in beginning to experiment, even using the barrels at hand for some of his brews. And, as indicated above, he was soon able to showcase his brewing skills alongside the fruits of his winemaking at Hop Vs Grape dinners, which are becoming a fixture in the annual Good Beer Week festival.
As for the brewery's home, it's well worth a visit just to soak up the beautiful surrounds. Located a few kilometres outside Glenrowan at the end of a number of gravel tracks, the old brick building housing both wine and beer production and the barrique-lined cellar door looks out over vines and rolling fields as far as the eye can see, making Black Dog a welcome addition to the High Country's thriving brewing community.