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Byron Shire
May 6, 2021

Byron Brewery launch party

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Head brewer Alastair Gillespie, new Premium Lager in hand, where it’s all brewed, at Byron Bay Brewery. ‘Being head brewer involves detailed record keeping’, Alastair reckons, but I think he just says that to stop people applying for his job.

The Byron Bay Brewery is launching their new beer in the best way possible, a 15 November party! The new Premium Lager, with its stylish palm tree design by local clothing label Thrills, will be on sale at just $5 for the evening. Plus the venue, which has a great band room, will have DZ Deathrays, PLTS, Flying Machine Aus, Fiona Franklin, DJ Vinyl Richie, live art and more.

Alastair Gillespie, a keen surfer, relocated all the way from South Africa when he scored the job as head brewer in Byron four years ago. Last month I visited the brewery and heard all about the work involved in brewing the beer in the vats you see all throughout the venue. The beer brewed in those vats is actually kegged and then served a mere 10m away at the bar, but because beer bottling required a more industrial scale than is available in suburban Skinners Shoot, it will be also be brewed and bottled off site.

One of the consequences is that, along with the inevitable beer tasting, a key job of the brewers in the Byron site is keeping a consistent temperature, along with other variables such maintaining strict cleanliness and the quality of the ingredients along with detailed record keeping of all steps of the process. This ensures consistency not only in the alcohol content of the beer (only a 0.25% margin of error is allowed) but also in the taste of the beer no matter where it is brewed.

Of course it’s far more fun to drink it where it’s brewed, with the added bonus that you actually get to see Alastair and his assistants working away on the actual brew, along with their other creations. And the new beer is, by design, perfect for drinking on a warm night at a Brewery gig, such as the upcoming launch party.

‘We’ve got a 550-person band room up here at the Brewery and last year during gigs in the summer months all you wanted was a nice light lager to quench your thirst!’, said Alastair. ‘So, we promptly knuckled down and brewed one, keeping it interesting with the choice of hops but overall focusing on it being really refreshing and quickly it became the beer of choice for the dancefloor. We brew our Premium Lager with the best Australian pale malt and a blend of zesty hops. It has a light body with a subtle citrus flavour, which gives it such a refreshing yet flavoursome finish; the perfect beer to enjoy with a of couple mates after a swim at the beach or while listening to great live music.’

While the new Premium Lager (4.2% ABV – 1.2 std drinks) is now also available at bottle shops nationwide, the launch party (which promises to be a good one) is on 15 November exclusively in Byron.


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