Grand Ridge Brewery
One of the country’s longest-running craft breweries began life as the Strzelecki Brewery in 1988, but operated for only a brief period before being re-branded as Grand Ridge under new ownership. Over the ensuing years, current owner Eric Walters has bought out his original partners and steadily expanded both the size and scope of his business. He now runs the restaurant adjacent to the brewery and has opened Grand Ridge Manor accommodation in the Gippsland township of Mirboo North. Walters also farms prime Gippsland beef cattle, which are raised on spent grain from the brewery and later served up in his restaurant as ‘beer grain-fed’ steak. A former telecommunications manager, Walters says he fell in love with the ‘lovely Gippsland countryside’ while driving up from Melbourne for the brewery auction in 1989. ‘I thought: if this brewery is half-decent, I’ll buy it.’ So he did, along with six mates whom he has subsequently bought out. And the original 8-hectolitre brewing plant has been vastly expanded, mostly with equipment Walters has bought at auction. And while Grand Ridge originally made its name with a range of bottleconditioned ales and stout, their pilsener is now both the biggest seller and, arguably, their stand-out brew. Walters has never been shy in selling his beer interstate, often fronting potential outlets himself during frequent flying visits, and the distribution of Grand Ridge brands is impressively far-flung.
A wide variety of bottle-conditioned ales, supplemented by a well-balanced, true-tostyle pilsener define the house style.
Grand Ridge Brewers Pilsener
Behind the Label
When Walters and his partners bought the former Strzelecki Brewery at auction it came with a truckload of old stock including a strong ale, rather unfortunately named 1080. The previous brewer was English and named the beer after the original gravity, rather than a brand of rabbit poison, which he evidently had never heard of. The beer evolved into Grand Ridge Moonshine (8.5% abv) which, in turn, has spawned a lighter-alcohol version – Moonlight – and the even stronger ale Supershine (11% abv). The lyrebird on the label is the emblem
Main Street, Mirboo North 3871 Tours by appointment; bar; restaurant; takeaway salescomments powered by Disqus