The Dutchies (and a few Flemish) went on a Micro Brewery Tour. As you might have guessed from the name, this tour in the Adelaide hills was all about beer, rather than wine. The first pick up by the minibus at 10.15 was Adelaide Convention Centre, where most of the Dutchies got on. Pickups followed at Toll Gate bus station, Crafers Park & Ride and Mount Barker Cinema parking.
When everybody was on the bus, it was time to go to the first Brewery in Lobethal which goes by the name “Bierhaus”. Owner Alistair Turbull greeted us and told us about the history of the brewery since it opened for business on 26th May 2007. Alistair told us about the history of town and how the mayor wanted to create work for the (young) people in his village and how the town started to rent out property, fixing up other property with the rental income. Alistair told us how he was a former banker and learned how to brew beer in America. After these first introductions in the restaurant, it was time to head into the brewery itself for a tour. Starting in the grain shed, we learned about the different grains used to produce the beer; some local, some German and some from UK. After the grain shed it was the production itself we looked at with the kettles, the fermenting pods and the measurement equipment in use. Being on a tight schedule, there was unfortunately no time to see the bottling process. But there was time to taste a variety of 3 different beers.
Next up was Grumpys Brewhaus in Hahndorf. At Grumpy’s we had no introduction, but we could try all the six different beers that were currently available on tap (5 beers and 1 cider). Grumpy's Brewhaus is the first all-grain boutique microbrewery in the Adelaide Hills. The beers are made on site using imported malts and hops. The water used is spring water from Mount Lofty in the Adelaide Hills and all beers are made by hand in 1200-litre batches. No additives in the way of preservatives are used. Since this brewery is also famous for it's Wood Oven Pizza, this is where we had lunch. An assortment of sliced pizzas was brought out for us to try. Sitting at four different tables pizzas were swapped and people moved seats. It was the perfect way to feed the hungry Dutchies.
When everybody had finished the variety of pizzas and tried the beers they wanted, we galloped to the third and last brewery of the tour; the Prancing Pony. At the Prancing Pony we started with a sample of three different beers served by our hostess Lisa Liebelt. The Prancing Pony is a small brewery in Mount Barker where the beer is brewed over an open flame. Lisa told us all about the process of the brewing and about the history of the brewery. Owner Frank comes from Germany and started brewing in 1982. Frank started using his own brew shed, a homemade 100L brewery kit and a gas burner to add heat for both mashing and boiling. When Frank’s mate Ken bought a sack of barley in the back of his ute from his Adelaide Hills farm and encouraged Frank to use it, the result surprised both of them and convinced Ken and Frank to partner up and start a commercial brewery. The name comes from the "Prancing Pony Inn” in the Tolkien Hobbit Story. And with the end of the Prancing Pony there was an end to a fun tour. Cheers!
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