Jarryd Rodger of Behind the Barrel tours takes visitors on a behind the scenes look at the Byron Bay craft brewery and distillery industry. We asked him a few questions about what would seem to many to be a dream job.
What’s your background, Jarryd? Have you done similar work elsewhere and if so, what is distinctive about doing it in Byron?
Jarryd: I have worked in the tourism industry for over five years and love showing people what our awesome town has to offer. Byron Bay has really taken off in the craft beer and spirits industry and I feel there is a need to show this off to people out of town.
What sort of reaction have you had so far, from the brewers and distillers? Do they enjoy showing off their work?
The support I have received from each brewer and distiller is amazing. They love showing off what they have to offer and I love bringing people to them to do this. I love being part of this small community and enjoy supporting each other so we can show the rest of the world and Australia how amazing Byron Bay is.
How do people react, when they see the amount of hard work that goes into creating a unique product like a beer or a particular spirit?
I think this industry and these types of tours really open up people’s eyes to the hard work and dedication that goes into this work. People often ask a lot of questions, which shows how interesting it all is!
Do you find that the sort of people who come on a tour like this are in the business, or just up for a fun time? Is it suitable for people who know nothing at all about brewing?
This tour is designed for anyone who loves beers and spirits. You don’t need to know how to produce it, as you will learn all about it on tour. You also get to sample most of the drinks on offer at each place and get to meet the people who produce it!
I imagine that this sort of tour is a great ‘add-on’ for corporate or wedding groups coming to the Shire – there is said to be a desire for more experiences when visiting. If you agree with that, what is the nature of the experience they are after – do you think people value the ‘uniqueness’ of the area, of the product, or are they more interested in the personalities of the people behind the distillery/craft beer brewery?
I definitely think this is a unique experience and we cater for private groups and parties. As there is a lot of sampling throughout the tour it doesn’t take long to be over the limit. We save this for you by safely getting you from A to B and returning you home. Not only do we show you the brewerys and distilleries, we also take the scenic route through the hinterland to Ballina and then take the coast road back to Byron through Lennox Head. This offers people the chance to see how amazing the neighbouring towns are to Byron Bay.
T: 0498 364 919