Gage Roads Brewing Company
Established in 2002 by former Sail & Anchor brewing team Peter Nolin and Bill Hoedemaker, Gage Roads Brewing started producing beer from the Palmyra site in mid-2005. The US-born pair was apparently frustrated that their multiaward winning beers at the Sail & Anchor weren’t reaching a wider audience, so they set up their own 40-hectolitre microbrewery with an ambitious eye on national distribution. Initially, production was concentrated on Gage Roads Pure Malt Lager – a rich, malty and well-bittered lager brewed in the northern-German style. It was later joined by a mid-strength Pils and an English-influenced IPA; sometime later, the flagship brew was renamed Gage Roads Premium Lager. By 2006, the company claimed to be ‘Australia’s largest independent craft brewery’ – a reference, not only to its considerable output, but also to the fact that its major craft-beer competitors such as Matilda Bay Brewing and Little Creatures Brewing and the Malt Shovel Brewery were controlled or part-owned by either Foster’s or Lion Nathan. A rotating range of limited-edition seasonal beers called Gage Roads World Tour kicked off in 2007 with London Best – an English bitter ale – and was followed by New World Wheat. In recent times these seem to have been superseded by a new range of numbered 800 ml bottles that have included Saison (5.8% abv) and Trippel (9.8% abv). On an entirely different tack, there have been some more mainstream releases in Wahoo Premium Ale – an easy-drinking US-style pale ale – and Kutt, a low-carb lager with a decidedly racy image. In mid-2008 VOK Beverages became Gage Roads’ national distributor. In the past couple of years Gage Roads has consistently scored well at various competitions, including winning a gold medal for their India Pale Ale at the 2008 Australian International Beer Awards, where their London Best, Saison and Pils all won silver.
Gage Roads produces consistently wellmade beers in the core range, with some true-to-style limited editions, and a grab bag of new releases apparently seeking to capture more mainstream appeal.
Gage Roads Premium Lager
Behind the Label
Gage Roads is the name of the waterway off Fremantle where Alan Bond defended and lost the America’s Cup in 1987. It’s yet another connection with Fremantle for both its modern Australian craftbrewing heritage and its strong maritime history. Unfortunately, the name means little to most people living in the eastern states where the Gage Roads Brewing Company hoped to sell much of its beer. The trident-bearing, bearded gent depicted on the label is modelled after Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, while the trident logo on the neck label perhaps suggests the Maserati symbol, with its obvious connotations of luxury and high-performance.
14 Absolon Street, Palmyra 6957comments powered by Disqus