Say hello to Chris Higgins, owner, brewer and man who wears multiple hats at Greenock Brewery in the Barossa Valley. I visited Greenock recently while checking out a few other places in the Barossa and found a little hidden gem. The tasting room was filled with regulars and they were incredibly friendly and welcoming. Chris showed me around the brewery which was in an old wheat store. Have a read and learn a little more about Chris and the Greenock Brewing Company.
Q1. Who are you and how are you involved in the SA beer industry?
Chris Higgins, owner/operator of Greenock Brewers, Barossa Valley. We produce artisan beer in our historic 100 year old wheat store turned micro-brewery and began in 2005, adhering to the 1516 German Purity Law of beer making- using no additives and no preservatives.
Q2. What are some of the great moments you have had whilst being involved in this industry?
Definitely the people you meet, whether it’s across the bar in cellar door or out and about at the markets, for me it’s a major highlight of being in this industry. I would also have to add making my first batch 15 months ago. It was the Porter style Dark Ale that ended up winning a bronze in the 2016 Perth Royal Beer Show.
Q3. Predicting the future, what trends are coming in the near future for beer in Australia?
The craft beer industry is growing and it’s a really exciting time with more breweries popping up everywhere. I am situated in the premium wine production area, the Barossa Valley and its becoming really apparent that people want that cleansing ale to accompany their wine experience. I have extended my trading hours to accommodate those people that have finished their wine trail at 5pm and are looking for that fresh coldie at the end of their day, ergo I stay open till 7pm. My prediction is simply that there will be more craft beer around and it’s not going to go away anytime soon.
Q4. What is your favourite beer style and how did this come to be?
I love the light malty taste of a Czech Pilsner in summer, a fruity crisp and hoppy Pale all year round (to really session on) and those gorgeous chocolate, coffee and smoky flavours of a Porter by the fire in Winter.
I have always loved beer and tried my hand at home brewing over 20 years ago. I guess this in when I started to make beer that coincided with the seasons.
Q5. Where is one place that you would love to see good beer served?
In all restaurants, pubs and sporting venues across the land.
Q6. Do you have any exciting news you can share with me? Maybe about future plans, collaborations or anything new?
We would love to expand our core range to include limited releases of seasonal beers. So expanding our production level is definitely on the cards for us and as we label and fill each bottle by hand it would be a dream to upscale our bottling line. There are plans to re-furbish our cellar door and to renovate the old villa for accommodation. I could go on and on!
Q7. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Work, work and more work.
Q8. Do you dream about beer? If so, what is your most memorable dream about beer?
I have nightmares about stuffing up a brew, does this count? ( I haven’t yet!!)
Q9. What is your favourite season for beer drinking? Why?
I drink beer all year round, because I love it. (and I can!)
Q10. If you could choose any profession, what would it be? Why
I’ve been a farmer, a winery cellar hand, a miner and now a brewer in my own micro brewery – I would say that I am in my dream profession right now.
I have had that Dark Ale that won Bronze in Perth and found it to be incredibly warming. By reading these answers, I can tell that Chris and his team are hard working and doing it for the love of good beer. If you haven’t tried Greenock’s beers before, search them out and give them a go.
Unfortunately, the ‘Haaaaaaave You Met’ segment will be intermitted in the following weeks. This is due to people not returning the answers to my questions, I will post again when I start to receive more answers.