By Simone Mundy

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I’m the kind of Adelady who drinks from the bottle — I love a nice cold beer or cider, especially on a hot summer’s day. I figure the best kind of people are those who also enjoy a great locally-made craft beer. With so many of my friends trying to make their own home-brew, I decided to go straight to the best — and hopefully steal/ask for their secrets!

After stalking one of my fave brewing companies, I was lucky enough to be invited to an exclusive, behind the scenes peek at Vale Brewing’s brewing process in McLaren Vale. I’m not going to lie, I was like a kid in a candy shop with the sweet smell of malt drifting through the air.

VA bench sign (6)Image credit: Backseat of the Bus Creative

Vale Brewing has been growing since its inception in 2008 and this year they’ve celebrated more than a few milestones. The Collin brothers who have been there from the beginning took full control of the brewery releasing the new Fox Hat line and have continued their tireless experimenting with new Beers, Ciders and Saisons, while bringing home some fancy beer awards to boot!

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And it is home — the Collin family have lived in the area for years and the team is made up of Fleurieru and Adelaide locals. As the saying goes, “Beer people are good people”,  the team at Vale Brewing are no exception. Whether they’re supporting local business launches (including our Adelady launch party) or getting behind sporting clubs or donating grain to Mount Compass farmers, Vale Brewing is all about the community and helping other South Australians. While Vale Ale can be found across Australia, it’s still very much a little South Australian craft brewery, it’s bigger than a backyard shed but operated by a close-knit team.

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“Variety is the spice of life” and maybe that’s the secret behind the process because they sure are a diverse bunch. The brewers I spent the day with included a former viticulture specialist, IT consultant and golf course greens keeper (I missed the former butcher) – their comradery fuelled both literally and figuratively by their passion of beer.

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Sourcing the best ingredients is something the guys care about, and exploring those flavours is what makes their eyes light up. I can’t tell you all the secret ingredients (I did try, believe me), but I can tell you, it takes good coffee and great wine to make good beer. Head brewer Jeff credits Adelaide coffee bean roasters and Chapel Hill Wines for his creative stamina in the brewing process.

That sharing of local products is what drives the long (and hot and steamy) brewing days and everyone at Vale Brewing gets a kick out of seeing others enjoy their various creations. I also discovered they welcome other local craft brewers into the shed which is good for SA, I felt like there’s a strong sense of comradery amongst beer folk.

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For someone like me who never really understood how grain, hops and yeast have themselves a party and end up in a little brown bottle of liquid gold, it was like watching modern day alchemists. During my visit I saw some tweaking and experimenting of the latest batch. Shane told me he hopes his vigilance pays off when it’s cooled and carbonated. For his sake so do I, because fellow brewer Andy told me that if you messed up a brew in ancient Egypt they would drown the beer maker in his own brew! I can think of worse ways to go.

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Having a behind the scenes tour of Vale Brewing was so much fun — even if I did have my beer goggles on. There’s no cellar door at Vale Brewing just yet, but in the meantime you can try their whole range at Red Poles — order a tasting paddle and thank me later. Or check your local bar or bottle shop and ask for their Vale!

Cheers!

Oh and If you’re a beer lover, check out some of our fave bars we love for summer get-togethers!

Simone xx

Drinkin from the bottle (33)Image credit: Backsteat of the Bus Creative

:: Sponsored — part of our ‘Ladies who like to drink from the bottle’ series ::

Hayley Pearson

Hayley Pearson

Co-Creator and Writer for Adelady, she still gets goosebumps that she’s combined her creative passion with sharing the best of her stunning home state.

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