“We might be in the middle of nowhere, but there is an absolute bounty out here,” says Chris Moore, one half of Sailor’s Grave. He’s talking about the nettles, mallow and milk thistle that grows in the paddocks near their Orbost brewery in East Gippsland; he and his wife, Gabrielle, pick them and use them in their beers.
“There are endless inspirations around here,” he continues. “Sometimes, the brief we give ourselves will be to make a beer that smells like a hay shed after a cutting. We take literal and emotional inspiration from the area. If there’s blueberries growing, we’ll pick them and put them in a beer.”
Chris and Gab have a background in food – they used to own the Commons Local Eating House in Sydney – so although they may get creative with their brews, there’s nothing novelty about what they make. They are about drinkability first and foremost.
“There is a trend sometimes in the brew world that bigger is better,” says Chris. “But we’re more about balance and subtlety, and layers of flavour, and the story of the ingredients rather than big and hoppy and high alcohol.”