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Swan’s complex new brews

STEVE Hollis could quite easily have become an engineer. After all, he does have a degree in the field.

But as luck would have it, Mr Hollis also has a passion for brewing beer and has spent every day since completing his engineering degree perfecting the art.

Mr Hollis joined Swan in 1989 and his experience since that time has led him to the role of master brewer at the new Swan Brewery complex.

Along with assistant brewer Florian von Guttenberg, Mr Hollis will be responsible for the onsite brewing of speciality tap beers – something that brings a sparkle to his eyes.

“Large breweries make main-stream beers and they tend not

to be a strongly flavoured,” he says.

“We will have five taps with the fifth tap being a brewer’s choice. In Oktoberfest we can produce a German-style beer, St Pats a Guinness-style beer, and in winter a Bali wine-type beer. We could make pumpkin beer if we wanted.”

It’s this progressive approach to brewing beer that has him and Lion Nathan (Swan’s parent company) excited. The beers Mr Hollis will brew are aimed at a niche market of connoisseurs, enabling him to experiment with styles. If they take off, the possibility of producing them commercially is not out of the question, however.

“The people coming in for these beers will be beer connoisseurs, those who like Little Creatures and Duckstein,” he says.

“If a particular beer takes off and really works, Swan Brewery can take that on board and look at mass production.”

But for the meantime the Old Swan Brewery Site is the only place you can enjoy the unique beers of Mr Hollis and Mr von Guttenberg.

There are two tanks situated behind the bar so you can get a glimpse of the beer-brewing action. They’re small but can pro-duce around 12 kegs of beer, which for these speciality beers is plenty, according to Mr Hollis.

“It’s small enough that you can be creative in what you are pro-ducing,” he says.

“It’s the same process as the larger breweries but this is much more intimate.”

Also on tap will be Swan’s flagship brands from each State, including XXXX Bitter. Becks and Boddingtons will be on tap and, in a first for Australia, so will popular New Zealand brew Speights.

Adding to the artistry of the live brewing practice will be the likelihood of a famous face or two stopping in for a hands-on brew. It’s an idea Mr Hollis says will add to the atmosphere of the brewery.

“Celebrities could come in and be a brewer for a day, that’s something that could be done from time to time,” he says.

“We are aware it’s (the brewing) a part of the theatre of the place and I anticipate that Florian and I will be on site most of the time to answer any questions about the beer and the process.”

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