Van Dieman Brewing
537 White Hills Road, White Hills TAS, Australia
(03) 6391 9035
There aren’t many breweries that grow the ingredients for their beers onsite. Then again, there aren’t many breweries like Van Dieman. The independent business follows a paddock-to-pint process, growing, harvesting, processing and brewing a majority of their products from the brewery farm.
Will and Kalie Tatchell are the brains behind the business, having taken a leap of faith with Van Dieman back in 2007. After growing up on the family farm, Will pursued an agricultural science degree at university, with a focus on the brewing industry. He then ventured to the United Kingdom and spent a number of years immersed in the British brewing industry. Upon his return to the farm, he was armed with all the knowledge, experience and passion he needed to create something of his own.
Will sees brewing as an extension of the agricultural process, and in turn, agriculture as a critical driver in the brewing process. It often dictates the quality and timing of ingredients, resulting in a unique product instead of a homogenised formula.
This effect is on full display at Van Dieman, where Will produces a core range of five beers, along with a selection of limited release and seasonal varieties. The core range consists of the Ragged Jack Pale Ale, White Hills White Ale, Jacobs Ladder Amber Ale, Stacks Bluff Oatmeal Stout and Motor Mouth IPA. While these keep him busy, Will still has time to indulge his curiosities, experimenting with different styles, flavours and techniques for seasonal and limited release beers.
The ultimate goal is to create and brew an entirely on-farm beer – an Estate Ale – where every ingredient and process is sown, grown, sourced or processed at the brewery. Hops are grown on a half-acre field that yields 150 kilograms of fresh, aromatic hop cones each March. They are hand-picked and dried to preserve their aromatic qualities, while the hop waste is used to mulch the trees on the farm, returning nutrients back to the soil. Grain production takes place in the paddocks next to the brewery. The spent grains from the brewing process are fed to a growing band of Wessex Saddleback pigs who live on the farm, along with cows and lambs. Water for brewing is sourced from farm springs and rain catchments, and is filtered for purification.
All water waste is then used to irrigate the tree plantations on the farm. However, the sustainable farming practices don’t stop there. Will has invested time over the past two years in capturing and isolating indigenous yeasts for use in the Estate Ale project, providing these beers with a tangible sense of time and place. The first of these brews occurred in June 2017, making Van Dieman Brewing one of a handful of breweries in the world where every facet will be produced on the farm, proudly turning food miles into beer metres.
Although Van Dieman Brewing is not open to the public for tours or tastings, the products can be found throughout Tasmania’s bottle shops, delis, restaurants and bars, at the nearby Josef Chromy Wines, as well as select venues throughout Australia.
Van Dieman Brewing combines the passion of agriculture with the artisanship of fermentation to create a collection of rustic beers. With an emphasis on locally produced ingredients and seasonal flora, Van Dieman combines English tradition and Belgian inspiration with modern interpretation, delivering something new to the Australian brewing landscape.