Long-time beer drinker and The Sip editor Ross Lewis casts his eye over the kegs from here and abroad.
It’s back to the future for one of the brains behind Murray’s Craft Brewing Co.
Graeme Mahy was a key player in setting up the NSW North Coast operation in 2006 before packing his swag to travel the world, gain as much knowledge about beer production as possible and also impart some of his own ideas as a brewing consultant.
But the New Zealander is back, albeit at Murray’s new operation in Port Stephens, to help take the brewery to a new level in the good beer market.
Mahy was Murray’s original head brewer and was responsible for some of the brand’s best-known recipes, such as including Icon 2IPA, Grand Cru and ‘Wild Thing’ Imperial Stout.
However, as the upswing in craft, or good, beer continues Murray’s believe Mahy is again the person who can make an impact on the growing team.
“Australians are embracing the trend towards drinking better beer. Consumers are profoundly interested in knowing where and how their food and beverages are being made, and despite Big
Beer suffering rapid decline, craft beer in Australia is growing at double digit pace, year on year,” said brewery owner, Murray Howe.
“Graeme’s appointment comes at an exciting time for our company. Murray’s is experiencing a huge upturn in trade, with great support from the Australian consumer. Graeme’s international experience, combined with the great Australian heritage of Murray’s Craft Brewing Co, will see us doing some hugely exciting and innovative things over the coming years.
Mahy has over 25 years home-brewing and 20 years commercial brewing experience, and holds an Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) Foundation Certificate in Brewing.
He has recently spent much of his time travelling and judging at international beer competitions in addition to running his own specialist consulting firm helping craft brewers around the world improve the quality and consistency of their beer.
Mahy has created a wide range of experimental craft beer using diverse ingredients such as fruit, spices and wild yeasts. His specialty is producing high quality Belgian style beer, with many becoming international award-winning beers. He was the inaugural Tri-Nations Homebrew Champion in 2000.
“In the interests of learning more about the quality and diversity of beer, I’ve been travelling throughout the USA, Canada, Germany, Belgium, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong,” Mahy said.
“I’m currently very excited about the American craft beer scene and hoppier style beers, which are a hallmark of Murray’s Craft Brewing Co.
“My experience in judging at World Beer Cups and Great American Beer Festivals in the USA in the past few years, combined with brewing collaborations with Pelican Brewery in Portland, and also Adroit Theory Brewing in Purceville, have given me a lot of ideas and new techniques which I will be introducing to Murray’s.”