Something has been brewing in the rolling hills at Cooriemungle, and this weekend the region’s newest beer-makers will be ready to unveil their new digs.
Sow and Piglets Brewery have spent the past four months transforming the former Newton’s Ridge winery into a new production brewery.
Sow and Piglets, named after the original moniker for the Twelve Apostles, launched its micro-brewery in Port Campbell 12 months ago.
Owner John Moloney said the new brewery would allow the business to take its beer further afield – creating four jobs in the process and helping secure German head brewer Julian Widera’s permanent residency in Australia.
Saturday’s St Patrick’s Day opening will include the official unveiling of the bar and the launch of a new brew – Cooriemungle Classic.
“We’ll have a free sausage sizzle and lamb on the spit, we’ll have four beers on tap at the inside bar and four beers on tap at our outside bar. There’ll also be a shuttle Kombi on a loop from Port Campbell all day to help people get here and home safely,” Mr Moloney said.
Beyond the weekend’s celebrations, Mr Moloney said the brewery would be open from noon-5pm between October and May. Local fare will be on the menu and people will be able to take home local produce such as Kangaroobie sausages, steak and rissoles.
The production brewery does not replace the micro-brewery in Port Campbell. Mr Widera said brewing would continue at Port Campbell for local sales.
“We love what we do in Port Campbell, but we didn’t have the production capacity to do what we wanted to do,” he said.
“This production brewery is a really nice sized brewery to service our region. We follow the German Purity Law of 1516, which among other things means we use four ingredients, everything is natural and we provide lots of time for the beer to mature.”
The production brewery is located at 1170 Cooriemungle Road. The opening celebrations begin at noon on Saturday.
Visitors hungry for foodie experiences
The Great Ocean Road hinterland is becoming a haven for foodies, with more businesses jumping on board to add to the delicious variety already on offer.
Gourmet ice-cream, cheese, whiskey, snails and fudge are among the food experiences on offer along the approximately 140-kilometre foodies trail through Timboon and surrounding areas.
12 Apostles Food Artisans president Tim Marwood said food tourism in the district was growing, helped by the expansion of Sow and Piglets Brewery and the opening of The Corner Store in Timboon.
“It seems to be going from strength to strength,” he said.
“Timboon has changed into a food town… over the past five years or so.”
Mr Marwood said it was great to see people starting up new ventures and bringing something new to the food trail. “It gives us diversity,” he said.
The Timboon Fine Ice Cream owner said many visitors were seeking out the area for its reputation for gourmet offerings.
“A lot of people have got the food map trail in their hand when they arrive,” he said.
“A strong philosophy is to also promote each other’s businesses.
“We pride ourselves on great customer service. That’s our point of difference (along the trail).”
Learn more about the 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail here.
Delicious addition to Timboon’s main street
Timboon’s growing foodie culture helped give new business owner Emma Pope the confidence to make the leap and open The Corner Store.
Ms Pope said a love of the town and a partnership with Mortlake butcher Brendan Bouchier encouraged her to take on the venture.
“I think Timboon is the envy of many regional towns in Victoria. It’s a wonderful example of how a small town can transform itself into a destination without a marquee natural attraction,” she said.
“I’m really excited to be adding another destination to our community’s offering. A lot of people have done a lot of work to build the collective product.”
The Corner Store offers higher welfare beef, lamb, chicken and pork in addition to gourmet beer and wine, smallgoods, cheeses, fresh fruit and vegetables and ready-to-go meals.
The Main Street site was a butchers for 80 years and Ms Pope said she was pleased to be filling a once-empty shop.
She said since opening she had noticed a number of Great Ocean Road visitors journeying inland for Timboon’s food scene.
“We’ve had a great mix of locals and tourists and I think that’s the great thing about food and drink – it brings people together,” she said.
“The 12 Apostles Food Artisans and a number of key food experiences have laid the foundation and to be a part of that culture now is our way of not only contributing to the offering but contributing to the economy, employment and our town’s future prosperity.”