Paddock to beer trend is brewing

Cudal's Pioneer Brewing is a craft beer one-stop shop


Life & Style
Pete Gerber who runs Pioneer Brewing Co, an independent farm-based brewery that is a one-stop shop when it comes to brewing craft beer. Photo by Pioneer Brewing.

Pete Gerber who runs Pioneer Brewing Co, an independent farm-based brewery that is a one-stop shop when it comes to brewing craft beer. Photo by Pioneer Brewing.

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With consumers demanding the providence of what they eat and drink, more brewers are forming relationships with farmers to grow their barley.

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Winemakers can determine how the terroir affects the taste of their drop and now it seems brewers will also be able to claim it for beer.

With consumers demanding the providence of what they eat and drink, more brewers are forming relationships with farmers to grow their barley or in the case of Pioneer Brewing Co grow it themselves.

Pioneer Brewing Co, an independent farm-based brewery near Cudal in state's central west, is a one-stop shop when it comes to brewing craft beer. They plant, harvest, malt, brew and package their beer on their property making them among a handful of brewers in Australia that does everything on the farm.

"It all started by wanting to value add our farm produce," owner Pete Gerber (pictured right) said.

Up until three years ago, Pete worked as an engineer auditing oil and gas rigs in the Middle East, the North Sea, South America and Asia.

"Working internationally in oil and gas was becoming quite dangerous in various parts of the world; you re-evaluate what is important when you are being driven between locations under guard, shot at and involved in planning for piracy and foreigner kidnapping threats" he said.

Having come from a farming background in South Africa and his wife Tamara with a similar background growing up in Young NSW, the couple decided to become craft brewers, with the added difference was they wanted to grow their own ingredients.

While the Gerbers have owned the property for seven years, it wasn't until 2016 they planted multi-varieties of barley to see if it was "feasible" to grow malting quality grains in the region. They launched just before Christmas in 2017 and four months later their Amber Ale and Vienna Lager both took out awards at the Australian International Beer Awards.

Last year, Pete said it was not a great season but due to the odd rainfall they expect to harvest around 70 tonnes.

"Our season hasn't been too bad for us, we are doing a lot better than most," he said.

"We have built a stock pile of barley in the silos. The nice thing about malting barley is that you can leave it in the silo for years and you only lose minimal extraction every year."

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