There are many people who have changed the nature of beer and brewing in Australia over the years. Yet what's happening in the Riverina region of NSW feels as transformative as anything else happening in the industry right now.
Voyager Craft Malt enjoyed major awards success at the weekend, with the craft maltsters picking up gold at the Malt Cup – the first time a gold medal has gone to any malthouse outside the US.
Pioneer Brewing is a new farm-based brewery in rural New South Wales. It uses its own grain in its beers and has started growing hops with the intention of using as much of its homegrown crops in the brewing process.
The owners of a former dairy farm in the south of New South Wales have embarked on a new direction: hop farming. Ryefield Hops harvested its first crop earlier this year, with some of those hops going into Waratah, an all NSW beer released by Wildflower during Sydney Beer Week.
Hops tend to grab most of the craft beer world's attention when it comes to beer's core ingredients, but as more maltings – big and small – open across Australia, giving brewers new malt varieties to play with, the much-loved flowers may soon be sharing a little of the limelight.
The Collaborators is an ongoing series looking at businesses growing in tandem with the local craft beer industry. Here, Marie Claire Jarratt chats to the man behind a craft malthouse in NSW and brewers who use his malts.