ABC The Country Hour
PHOTO: Chris Moore and his wife Gabbie are starting up a brewery in Orbost with a focus on including local produce.(ABC Rural: Bridget Fitzgerald)
A new brewery in regional Victoria will flavour beer with seaweed, urchins and saltwater to promote local produce from the region.
Chris and Gabbie Moore relocated from Sydney to Ms Moore's family farm at Marlo in the state's east, with a plan to start a brewery in the region.
The couple has now almost completed works on the brewery in the disused, 100-year-old Orbost Butter Factory site.
The brewery, to be known as Sailors Grave Brewing, started as just an idea a couple of years ago, followed by a fact-finding mission around the United States and it is now set to open in August.
Chris Moore said the couple wanted their beers to be based on the flavours of the local region.
Mr Moore said the provenance of the beer was set to be a major selling point.
"It's very difficult to make beer local," he said.
"Beer is often produced with remote ingredients — in the same state, but remote [to the region].
"We wanted to bring as much of the community and the local agricultural produce into the beer as possible."
Mr Moore said they wanted to work as much as they could with the local community.
Local produce will dictate beer varieties
PHOTO: The front of a brewery at the century old Orbost Butter Factory in eastern Victoria. (ABC Rural: Bridget Fitzgerald)
Ms Moore said the brewery would seek to work with farmers to create different varieties of beer to reflect the East Gippsland region.
The couple has already developed a sour German wheat beer variety, known as a gose, using a seagrass variety and saltwater from the nearby farm at Snowy River Station.
But they were also in talks with another local farmer about growing and malting barley and growing corn for a Belgian grisette-style beer.
Ms Moore said it was important for them that the business worked with the community.
"We want to try to bring local produce or botanicals or ideas into the beer," she said.
Mr Moore said there was no strict rule on the proportion of local ingredients.
But he said they would gradually move to include more and more local flavours.
Brewery a new market for farmers
PHOTO: Chris, Gabbie and Hazel Moore stand in the old Orbost Butter Factory, which the couple are converting into a brewery.(ABC Rural: Bridget Fitzgerald)
Andrew and Gabi French from Snowy River Station are already in a partnership with the brewery.
The couple run cattle and grow seagrass varieties on their farm, which is located next to Corringle Beach, at the mouth of the Snowy River on the East Gippsland coastline.
The Frenchs have supplied a variety of their seagrass products to Chris and Gabbie Moore.
Ms French said she had never expected their products to be used in beer, but she was pleasantly surprised by the result.
She said one of the beers features a variety known as sea streamers, which grow where the seawater meets the fresh in the canals on their property.
"Sea streamers are a very light seaweed, they are very light and delicate," she said.
"I was totally amazed when I did first taste that beer, it was beautiful."
Ms French said the brewery and other local businesses like it were important for her and her husband to be able to sell to a variety of different markets.