The Sow & Piglets Story

Great Ocean Brewed on the Great Ocean Road …naturally

In the beginning...

You can take the boy from the bush but not the bush from the boy - John Moloney inspecting local hops

The Sow and Piglets Brewery came about from the need to renovate the BBQ area of the Port Campbell Hostel. Not someone to do things by half measure, John Moloney set about creating a ‘Boys Own Adventure’ by creating a brewery. He had always enjoyed a beer or two …and there’s always room for another business in John’s book.

Everyone knows that an adventure on your own is no fun at all, so he went about enlisting the help of a few industry gurus, including the guys from Grain and Grape (notably Simon Haylock and John Preston), and now-retired Associate Professor John O’Grady.

Thorough research was undertaken in the form of a trip to the Craft Brewer’s Conference in Philadelphia, with a stopover in San Diego to assess how to involve the local community, and the dye was set. Grain and Grape Melbourne, the importers of the Braumeister brewing equipment, assisted with the setup and layout. 

As the dream progressed, John did a microbrewing course at SA TAFE, just to comprehend exactly what it was the Professor and Simon were talking about.

What he needed next was a handsome German brewer with plenty of passion and personality – but he ended up settling on Julian Widera, figuring that his passion and personality would have to carry the extra load …and he is German.

The future is here

Supply couldn’t keep up with demand, so March 2018 saw the Grand opening of a second, much larger, Production Brewery just out of Port Campbell in neighbouring Cooriemungle.

This gave the brewery the capacity of 17 fermenters across both breweries, whilst keeping them small enough to keep the beer fresh. The additional space enabled a state-of-the-art Cask canning system capable of producing 25 cans a minute, using the open-mouthed Orora can licensed from Ball in the States. The open mouth is to enable the sense of smell so critical in getting the full taste of genuinely crafted beers.

The can labeling is technologically advanced to the point of variable print labels.

Next season will see the addition of nitro infusion to the process, adding to the Sow & Piglets beer-making arsenal.

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