We went searching for the next craft beer of the month and found the Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company in the Yarra Valley, Victoria. The Yarra Valley is traditionally known for it’s beautiful vineyards and is building a highly reputable craft beer region with a group of dedicated micro breweries brewing some of the best craft beer in Australia and the world. So we thought it was time to pay a visit to the Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company to learn a bit about their history and what they were brewing.
Hargreaves Hill brew craft beer with “simple ingredients; malted barley, hops, Yarra Valley water, and yeast,” and have been brewing since 2004. The brewery was founded by Simon Walkenhorst and his wife Beth Williams with a goal of introducing more choice and quality in to the Australian beer market. And after successfully producing a Pale Ale and Porter, this husband and wife team opened the Hargreaves Hill restaurant and cellar door just a few years later in a beautiful town called Yarra Glen. “The company has a simple philosophy, choose good quality ingredients, and create great flavour, and balance.”
But like a lot of great plans not everything went to plan, and in 2009 the Hargreaves Hill brewery that was first started in Steels Creek was destroyed by the Black Saturday fires along with Kinglake and Marysville towns. So a few micro breweries got together to help Simon and Beth get started again and after a short but long 6 months were able to set up a new brewing site in Lilydale, Victoria.
I arranged to meet with Wayne (aka Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company Sales Manager) at their Lilydale brewery and was presented with the following craft beers.
Hargreaves Hill Hargreaves Stout
Quote, “Brewed in the Foreign Export Stout style, this beer is made from 5 different roasted malts, and gently hopped using Goldings hops from the UK. It is quite complex and dry, with notes of espresso and dark chocolate.”
Hargreaves Hill ESB (Extra Special Bitter)
Quote, “This bitter has delicious fruity aromas of passionfruit and grapefruit, which are produced by dry-hopping. The hops add flavour and aroma without bitterness at this point, and give the beer a great pungency and depth. The beer also has a rich malt profile which balances the bitterness well. ”
Hargreaves Hill Pale Ale
Quote, “This is a medium body English style Pale Ale in which we use American Cascade and Amarillo hops. Some say that is has a marmalade bitterness. It is full of flavour. Great to try with a steak sandwich, beef burger or hearty steak.”
Hargreaves Hill Hefweizen
Quote, “This is a cloudy style of beer which focuses on the yeast esters of banana and cloves. It is delicate in flavour, and not bitter or hoppy. It’s quite fruity, and good to recommend to non beer drinkers. We use a Bavarian yeast in this beer called Weihenstephaner from a Bavarian brewery famous for its Hefweizen beer.”
Hey Wayne, we’ve featured a Pale Ale, Porter, Extra Special Bitter, Dark beer and more for our members, but haven’t tried a German Hefweizen before, what do you think? “Well a large percentage of your members will love it, more than say a dark beer which has a specialty taste, plus Kai (head brewer) and Shane (assistant brewer) have just brewed a batch a week ago and because we don’t put preservatives in to craft beer and the bottle is light you’ll be getting the freshest and best craft beer experience possible, direct from the brewery!”
So with Wayne’s expert advice we chose the Hargreaves Hill Hefweizen craft beer for our Beer Of The Month Club members and hope you get as much enjoyment out of it as we did.
Robert (founder) and team from Gift Of The Month Clubs