I first met Oscar in Byron Bay, at the 2015 Stone Beer brew day, at the Stone and Wood brewery. He was invited by the Adelaide S+W representative as he was always a big supporter of their range in the bottle shop that he worked in at the time; the Stirling Hotel Cellars and Patisserie. I remember that Oscar was very interested in the brewing process and stood around on the brew deck for the majority of the night, learning all the time. After speaking to him, it was evident that his dream was to always run his own brewery some day. Over the next few years, Oscar gained new brewing skills and experience by helping out in a few breweries overseas. On his return to Adelaide, he got the go ahead to start building his dream at the Adelaide Hills pub, the Uraidla. Initially, the Urailda’s beer were served only at the hotel however, now some of those beers are hitting Adelaide city. At the risk of giving away too much information about Oscar, let’s get started.
Q1. Who are you and how are you involved in the SA beer industry?
My name is Oscar Matthews and I run all things brewing up at The Uraidla Brewery in the Adelaide Hills.
Q2. What are some of the great moments you have had whilst being involved in this industry?
We’re pretty new on the block as far as our brewery goes, so it’s hard to go past knocking out that first batch off the new kit.
Q3. How have you seen the industry grow and what do you think are some trends for the future?
We’ve seen a lot of new breweries open up in the past 6 – 12 months, from nano to brewpub scale and bigger again. There will be more. Having a taproom is becoming increasingly important. It’s one of the best ways to connect directly with the people who love and want to support a brewery. So I’d suggest we’ll see more taproom’s opening up here and there.
Q4. Beer contains a ton of calories, what do you do to keep the beer gut at bay?
Not a lot… Run up and down a set of stairs in the brewery a few times a day..?
Q5. What was your epiphany beer that set you on your crafty way?
Stone & Wood Pacific Ale.
Q6. Do you have any exciting news you can share with me? Maybe about future plans, collaborations or anything new?
We’ve been playing around with a few seasonal releases at the moment, a DIPA is the most recent of them. We want to expand this with a series of Pale’s, IPA’s and DIPA’s, all loaded up with plenty of pacific northwest hops.
Q7. We are all friends here in South Australia, so who would you like to collaborate with next and what would you make?
There’s a couple of breweries that come to mind, but for now we’re pretty focused on nailing down our beers and making sure they’re where we want them to be.
Q8. Some brewers stick religiously to the style guide lines when brewing a beer, others throw that book out the window. If you were create your own style, what would it be like?
Aroma: Pine, Citrus, Tropical
Appearance: Bright orange and clear
Flavour: Some pineapple and maybe passionfruit… Grapefruit citrus and pine
Overall Impression: West Coast IPA
Q9. What is your favourite season for beer drinking? Why?
Summer is nice. Sitting under the Cali Redwood Sequoia’s at the Uraidla pub drinking IPA is pretty sweet.
Q10. If you could choose any profession, what would it be? Why?
Nothing particular comes to mind, but it would have to be something that’s creative.
I agree with Oscar about the taprooms, I think moving forward, the most successful brewing companies will have a home to serve their beer and develop their own culture. I am not saying that contracting and gypsy breweries will fail but I think they will need an end goal of a brewery/taproom. That West Coast IPA that Oscar describes sounds like it could be pretty damn delicious. It would be interesting to see how many steps brewers do in a brew day, between crushing grain, milling in, up and down the steps and cleaning etc. Thanks Oscar for your answers, next week we have the Toy Soldiers to feature.