Beer lovers rejoice! There’s another craft beer in the Clare Valley and it’s being served from the taps of its very own brewery at Pikes Wines on the Mintaro road in the beautiful Polish Hill River. And if the opening of the Pikes Brewery held on Australia Day, 2015, is anything to go by, when more than 200 people gave it the nod, the newest addition to Clare’s craft beer range is a very welcomed one indeed.
Unfortunately, we didn’t attend the Australia Day festivities. Something, something, something about one too many in the fresh air the night before! Nevermind, all was not lost as we decided today’s typical Australian summer day was the perfect time to taste some cold craft beer.
So we embarked on a little sunday afternoon outing, staying true to our self imposed promise of exploring what’s in our own backyard, and made our way to Pikes Brewery. To our surprise we were the only ones there when we walked inside but let’s be fair about that, it’s still very new and people are still getting used to the fact Clare Valley has so much choice. I have absolutely no doubt this brewery will catch on as a great place to go for a cold brew. As it turned out husband had met (Brad) the brewer earlier in the week, so greetings were exchanged, beer poured, and we were good to go! Conversation and flowing beer. Good stuff!
Brad the brewer
By the way, Pikes Beer isn’t new, it’s been around for quite a few years and in 1996 it was re-introduced by Andrew and Neil Pike, fifth generation descendants of Henry Pike. Gradually over time the brand has gone through a transformation to what it is today with Pilsener Lager, Sparkling Ale and, Genuine Stout, leading the charge.
With the re-release of the Pikes Beer Company label comes the addition of a shiny, brand spanking new, open style, brewery.
I don’t mind telling you i’m glad i’m not the one doing the polishing but gee it’s impressive. Not that i’m surprised, the Pike family have a great eye and seem to have the midas touch with all they do with a great team behind them. Of course they have owned and operated the incredibly popular and award-winning Pikes Wines but that will feature on this blog at a later date.
At first i thought it might have been an oversight to not put a toilet in or closer to the brewery but as the cellar door is only about 30 metres away i think it’s very clever move. A trip to the loo can entice you to try the extensive (and wonderful) Pikes Wines. Not even me, a local, can walk out of there empty handed. So it’s not just the beer that’s crafty 🙂
Given that Pikes Brewery is a reasonable distance from most Clare Valley accommodation you will definitely need a designated driver which leads me to think there’s a market there for a shuttle bus. I reckon Clare Valley Tours owner, Mr Willson, should get on to that!
As i said before, the Pike family are very smart in their business approach. Not only can you buy beer on tap but cold take-aways are readily on hand, along with Pikes Beer Company stubby holders & bottle openers. These are very reasonably priced and make great gifts. If you can part with them, that is!
Despite only a few others coming in the door, we had a very enjoyable afternoon chatting with Brad and new ‘beer pourer’, Erin. It’s been a while since we’ve ventured out to Pikes during Clare Gourmet weekend but with the addition of the brewery, i think this year it will make a return to our Gourmet destinations. In the meantime, there’s always sunday afternoons 🙂
Cheers for beers!