Flying Horse Brewery
Whales and ales are now the twin attractions for the pretty seaside Victorian city of Warrnambool, following the development of the sprawling Flying Horse Bar & Brewery complex by joint owners Matt Monk, Matt Stewart and Graeme Rodger. It opened in July 2008 on a site where a service station and caravan park (known as the Flying Horse Inn) had stood for some 65 years. While the whale-watching season runs from May to September, the ale-tasting season runs all year round, despite some early teething problems with the Chinese-built microbrewery. Head brewer Gerard Meares previously brewed at both the Macquarie Hotel and Paddy’s Brewery in Sydney, before being lured south-west to a more relaxed lifestyle and the challenge of developing a range of beers from the ground up. Meares has something of a penchant for dark brews, having created Schwartz Bier for the Macquarie and making Dirty Angel the Flying Horse’s flagship beer. Whale Ale isn’t the leviathan that the name might suggest but a highly drinkable pale ale, nonetheless. Lady Bay Lager is the entry-level house brew, while his porter is a sweet-toothed variation of the style. The venue, in fact, is a whale of a pub and when it’s crammed with punters at weekends they get through the house brews at a fair old rate. When the brewery is finally bedded down it has some impressive capacity to keep pace with all those healthy thirsts. In keeping with the brewery’s name and the obvious local connection, Flying Horse is the major sponsor for the annual Warrnambool Grand National Steeplechase event.
The entry-level lager aside, the early house brews have packed plenty of flavour and a generous amount of hop bitterness.
Flying Horse Dirty Angel
Behind the Label
Dirty Angel is a curious name for a beer and it refers, apparently, to the statue of an angel that flies above the local war memorial. Warrnambool locals will tell you that when it’s viewed from a particular angle the winged one can appear to be… well – decidedly non-angelic. The beer is a full-bodied dark ale (5.8% abv) with prominent treacle notes and a reasonable bitterness emerging late, and is inspired by the legendary English ale Theakston’s Old Peculier, according to brewer Meares. It’s one of those brews which probably should be labelled: ‘Dangerously easy to drink’ and could certainly cause the odd innocent to fall
Princes Highway, Warrnambool 3280 Tours by appointment; bar; restaurant; takeaway sales
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