Beer of the Week

Five Things About … Illawarra Brewing Company cans


1) For the longest time you could only ever get the beers from the Illawarra Brewing Company on tap. Initially that bugged me, but as I went further along on my beer geek journey I understood why. If you only have your beers in kegs then you don’t have to worry about all those extra packaging and bottling costs. Not to mention the added evils of excise tax.

2) Then there was talk at the brewery of bringing in growlers. This was a very exciting development. But it seemed to take a while for the talk to become reality. And yet, when it did, the crowds came. It clearly hadn’t been just me who wanted to be able to take some IBC beer home. It became so popular that I reckon the brewers silently cursed it because they would often have to stop brewing to go fill a few growlers.

3) Now the Illawarra Brewing Company has gone a step further and joined the canned beer hordes (though pedants will point out there was a short foray into 330ml bottled beer, most notably with the double IPA made in cahoots with Shark Island). Part of the reason is because the brewery landed a pretty cool festival contract – which they may or may not have announced by the time you read this. But I’m sure another part of the reason is because cans are really cool.

4) The cans you see above are prototypes; in the final version the logo will get some tweaks and there won’t be any flecks in the black colouring. Also, the name of the beer will be printed on a separate sticker, so the entire can doesn’t need to be relabelled for each new variety.

5) It’s Summer Ale and Rust amber ale that debut in the cans. I hadn’t had either of these in ages – I’ve tended to gravitate to whatever their latest beer is (or Apocalypso. Love that Apocalypso). I had been quite a fan of the Rust but found it a bit rich for drinking on the warm afternoon I chose to sample the cans. The Summer, however, was a surprise. I’d not much cared for it before but the can went down pretty well. A slight bumping up of the hop character and it might become my new fave. Until then, I’ll be waiting for the day Apocalypso turns up in cans.

Free or paid for: I got these for nicks after stumbling into the brewhouse just after the guys had finishing canning on a mobile machine.

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