By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Brownstone Micro Brewery’s NZ Pilsner has been crowned top of the hops.
The boutique craft beer maker at the hotel Atura Dandenong won a swag of medals at the highly competitive Independent Brewers Association National Beer Awards (also known as the ‘Indies’).
Its haul included medals in every beer variety category against a total of 180 breweries and more than 1300 entries.
The NZ Pilsner won gold in the lager section, with silvers for the Summer Ale and the Passionfruit Sour.
Its IPA, Pale Ale, Stout and Lager each landed bronze.
General manager Ryan Crocker said the NZ Pilsner was a “local favourite which makes the win even more gratifying”.
“A full sweep of awards for every brew we entered is incredible recognition for a micro-brewery of our size,” he said.
“The beauty of beer is everyone has their own taste and preference.”
He paid tribute to master brewer Steve ‘Hendo’ Henderson from Rockstar Brewer, Matt John and the brewery team.
“They’re creating beers for the community thanks to their passion and commitment to great beer and brewing excellence.”
Brownstone’s evolving array of light and dark beers are brewed, fermented and sold onsite.
Within two hours of chilling, the fresh brews are ready to pour and to savour.
“The equipment was here when we took over the hotel,” Mr Crocker said.
“And so we carried on the tradition. It’s a unique point of difference.”
The awards are also a bright point after a tough 18-plus months under Covid restrictions.
Post-lockdown, the brewery’s dining tables and bars are getting busy with Christmas parties and dog-friendly social outings back in force, Mr Crocker said.
Brownstone is meanwhile experimenting with a new passionfruit-flavoured brew, planned on tap within 12 months.
It’s what Mr Crocker describes as equivalent to their rosé wine.