“I am really enjoying playing around with what craft beer can be,” Hamish Coates says with typical understatement.
In three short years, the lanky larrikin and fifth-generation farmer, who is passionate about the south west region of WA, has transformed the family’s dairy farm into a hot name on the craft-beer scene.
What differentiates Rocky Ridge Brewing Co from the surge of other microbreweries is Hamish's determination that all of the ingredients in his Indian pale ale, pale ale and mid-strength be grown at home.
He and his dad, Colin, have successfully established several varieties of hop on their farm, using them fresh and not pelletised to create better aromatics and flavours.
“The hops are pretty amazing to work with, they grow very fast and require constant monitoring and trimming over summer,” he says.
I grew up on the farm so that I knew that with a lot of love you could pretty much grow anything here. Our whole philosophy is if we want to use it, we’ve got to cultivate it.
A new three-vessel brewhouse has just come into operation, with power generated through an off-the-grid solar system and rainwater collected for the brewing process.
What’s next? “I’d like to experiment with some barrel ageing, fruit beer and seasonal beers,” Hamish says, with new plans also extending to a cellar door. “A place where people can relax with a beer in hand.”
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