It’s the practice of travelling from brewery to brewery, using their equipment and collaborating on brews as well as creating standalone beers, and it’s heading to the antipodes. Made famous by the well-known Danish brewers behind cult beer brand Mikkeller, the idea of gypsy brewing, in the eyes of one Australian beer aficionado, is the next great leap the craft beer industry is about to take.

And Costa Nikkias would know. A leading brewery consultant in the Australian market, Nikkias recently launched La Sirène with a friend from his days as a university winemaking student.

Born of a love for Belgian-style ales, La Sirène has quietly been making waves since last November and according to Nikkias “not meeting the demand” that has sprung up since the launch of their already well-regarded Saison.

“We’re not production focussed,” he says, before adding that the brand’s beers require a long maturation process and as he is unwilling to compromise on authenticity that is just something the market will have to accept.

“We tipped our first four attempts down the drain because we just weren’t happy with them,” he says. “We’re focussed on creating true to style artisan Ales – Farmhouse Ales to be more specific.”

And they’re not the only brewers to be embracing a somewhat nomadic lifestyle, always in search of the next place to brew.

Sam Fuss recently launched Old Salt Brewing Co with the idea of doing what she calls ‘walkabout brewing’. Despite the uniquely Australian spin, she is essentially travelling around the country brewing with friends, colleagues and associates she has met in her time in the industry thus far.

Given the potentially unstable nature of this working ‘lifestyle’, it is no wonder that this is, as yet, a mostly unexplored region of the beer industry, both in this country and abroad. However, it is also that ephemeral quality that gives the idea its sense of cutting edge. The products are, by nature, hard to obtain and it is this limited availability that piques the interest of beer fans and aficionados.

La Sirène is a little different in their approach however, focussing on a small number of brews – including a Red Farmhouse Ale and a Wild Yeast Saison – which they produce with their ‘house yeast’ strain rather that creating a series of collaborative brews.

And after searching through Europe for just the right strain of yeast for their Northern French-Southern Belgian-style Ales, it is no wonder they are keen to have it for their house yeast, for use in their signature brews.

Costa says that while the company is still in its infancy and currently fitting in around his, very busy, schedule they are thinking about where to take the brand and just having a lot of fun along the way.

One thing is for certain, gypsy brewing will be one trend to keep an eye on.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.