Two years ago Jessica and Renn Blackman opened the doors to their bar and brewery in Torquay and what would soon fuel the already growing craft beer revolution in the region.
And several months ago, their journey took a new turn when they purchased a Cask SAMS Canning Machine from Canada to help distribute their range of beers on a national scale.
“[Cask] have got quite a bit of experience in small scale canning, and they’ve been doing it for a while. They were kind of the first companies to start making small, special craft canning equipment,” Renn says.
The crowd favourite, the Reginald IPA, was the first to be introduced to the canning process, and the duo plan to work through their signature range with several special brews available as limited editions throughout the year.
Since beginning the process in early May, the brewery has processed around 500 cases (12,000 cans approx) that they’ve sold from the Torquay store and shipped around Australia to places like Byron Bay, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne.
“It’s just really exciting that people outside of Geelong can taste our beer,” he beams.
Blackman’s Brewery has always followed the ethos of keeping things simple, while doing them incredibly well through only the best ingredients. The decision of using cans over bottles stems from that very thought process.
“The big focus was on beer quality. And I’ve noticed, especially over the past few years of tasting beers, that hoppier beers taste better from a can. So the main thing was quality, it’s also a growing market in the craft beer scene. In America probably 80-90 per cent of craft breweries are canning,” Renn says.
“Light is a big enemy of beer, so there’s no UV light whatsoever. Whereas in a glass bottle even thought it’s brown you’ve still got light getting in there. Also oxygen is a big enemy of beer and makes beer taste stale and cardboard-ey, so you get a lower percentage of oxygen picked up in the canning process than in the bottling process in small scale operations.”
As well as landing on the shelves nationally and places closer to home like Bottles and Barrels, the brewery has earnt a spot on tap at the Hot Chicken Project, Vue Grand and on a rotating basis at the Telegraph.
With a second venue on its way in Geelong, it’s all been made possible thanks to the support of locals who have embraced what Blackmans is all about.
“The regulars like it and quite a few of them will take cans home or come in on a Sunday night so they can get some to drink for a Monday or Tuesday night when we’re closed,” he says.
Written by Amanda Sherring
Aside from getting the range at the brewery in Torquay, and the places mentioned above, find out where else you can purchase it on the website (www.blackmansbrewery.com.au ).