OUR OWN BEER: Estelle and Alex Pretorius, Jacinta and Jack Millbank, and Kirsty and Tim Hill are proud to be launching Bundaberg's newest brew, the Thirsty Turtle, the signature product of the Bargara Brewing Company. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
OUR OWN BEER: Estelle and Alex Pretorius, Jacinta and Jack Millbank, and Kirsty and Tim Hill are proud to be launching Bundaberg's newest brew, the Thirsty Turtle, the signature product of the Bargara Brewing Company. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

Bundaberg gets a new brew, and it's not a rum

UNDER the shade of a fig tree on a Sunday afternoon three couples would catch up and taste craft beers.

Conversations would often drift to the drinks in their hand and they would dream of starting their own brewing company.

Countless hours of conversation later, Jack Milbank, a husband in the group, said they decided to bite the bullet and go into business.

"All six of us decided we were in so we stopped talking about it and started doing it," Mr Milbank said.

Bargara Brewing Company was the result of that doing and the business today launched itself and its signature brew, the Thirsty Turtle - a bright lager.

"We wanted the first one, the Thirsty Turtle, to be a premium quality session beer," Mr Milbank said.

"One that's not too offensive but just rolls off the tongue and you can have one after the next."

Mr Milbank said none of the group had ever brewed at home but said he gathered expertise in fermentation through his Goodwood Rd business Biofilm.

Regular trips to California for Biofilm saw Mr Milbank meet with lots of micro and craft breweries.

"I got talking to them and started evaluating the market here as to what style of beer was missing and what we think we need," he said.

Mr Milbank said that was determined to be a bright lager and shared the ingredients in their signature brew.

"We use a pilsner malt, and two Bavarian style hops, Hallertau and Perle," he said.

"Then we blend them with the Austrian Pride of Ringwood hops which are Tasmanian grown."

From tomorrow, you too can crack open a Thirsty Turtle by visiting The Burnett Club or picking up a six pack from the East End Hotel for $18.99.

The company will launch the second beer in its line a pale ale, the Drunk Fish next month.

From there, Mr Milbank said more was on the horizon with a cider hinted to be in the works.

But for now, Mr Milbank said the group was focusing on producing stock and setting up its factory on Goodwood Rd with factory tours expected to be opened to the public in August next year.



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