New brewing company gets licence

Lou O'Brien

BUNDABERG'S new brewing company is on track to produce its first carton of beer by next week.

Trading under the name Farm Boy Brewing, the company is the brainchild of Waterview Bundaberg distilling company founder Matthew Drane.

The company received its licence to brew beer this week.

Mr Drane said the company's site would have a final inspection by Queensland licensing authorities on Tuesday.

"This makes it the first legal producer of commercial beer in Bundaberg since 1900," he said.

Farm Boy Brewing is ready to go with a product called Wowan Wheat Beer, made with wheat from the area where Mr Drane grew up.

A beer called Tanglefoot will pay homage to the previous beer made in Bundaberg.

"Bundaberg had two recorded breweries, one in East Bundaberg and the other Central brewery," Mr Drane said.

"We also have a beer crafted to release under this name."

Mr Drane said he hoped to make distilling and brewing in Bundaberg an industry, rather than just being the preserve of one company.

And he has plenty of ideas for what he wanted the company to produce.

Mr Drane said he had bought some oak barrels from Bundaberg Rum and beer would be aged in them to give it extra flavour.

Waterview Bourbong St Bourbon aged beer is another product due to mature over the next months.

"Ageing beer in those oak barrels will be of interest to people who like to have a couple of beers then a rum," Mr Drane said.

Mr Drane said he had been working with master brewers in Kentucky to craft his beer.

Flavoured beers were also becoming popular in the US and Bundaberg was well placed to take advantage of that.

"As well you'll see seasonal beers from us, making use of the fruits, vegetables and other produce local to the region," Mr Drane said

. "Watermelon beer may sound a bit odd but just try popping a piece in your next beer or add an orange wedge to your wheat beer."

The company would also be introducing an aged ginger beer product as well.

And he said it was a great opportunity for home brewers who had a favourite beer recipe to license it to the company

. "We want to be effectively exporting beer to Australia and bring the money back to Bundaberg," he said.

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