Red Hill Brewery
Becoming hop farmers wasn’t part of their business plan when David and Karen Golding first applied to develop a microbrewery and cafe from their Mornington Peninsula property. Ultimately, though, they were advised to embrace some ‘agricultural use of land’ in their proposal because the area where they live is zoned ‘rural’. So it was that the appropriately named Goldings started cultivating Golding hops – and other varieties, including Tettnang, Hallertau and Willamette – on a plot near where the brewery was eventually built. In fact, they grew hops for four years until the brewery was commissioned and it is possible that these Goldings could be related to their namesake who developed the famous Kentish hop. ‘My family came from Kent,’ says David Golding, ‘and my mother’s maiden name is Hopgood.’ The land-zoning issue was one of several speed humps they encountered on a bumpy six-year journey until they finally opened in early 2005. The estate-grown hops offered a nice point of difference, as did David Golding’s knack for producing potent ales. Some of the early brews were rather highly bittered, doubtless due to the local hop-growing conditions, but soon settled down to be more true to style. The menu at the Red Hill Brewery cafe is both seasonal and beer-friendly, with a decidedly European feel. Other craft breweries grow hops on-site but Red Hill was the first to do so on a significant level.
Generally, malt-driven ales with a lean toward stronger styles like Scotch ale, imperial stout and weizenbock.
Red Hill Scotch Ale
Behind the Label
Unsurprisingly, the Red Hill label features hops – in this case three plump cones mirrored by a trio of hop leaves – above the brewery logo. The typefaces and general appearance are not dissimilar to a wine label, which is entirely appropriate to their location, where they are the sole craft brewery among the many wine producers to be found these days on the Mornington Peninsula. The ingredients are listed as: ‘water, malt, yeast and our own hops’ and, elsewhere, is an invitation to enjoy their beers ‘under the hop vines in a beautiful rural environment’.
88 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South 3937 Tours by appointment; bar; restaurantcomments powered by Disqus