The word ‘free’ has a lot of meanings, so what was Ash thinking when he attached it to his beer?
The first thing that came to mind when I heard of Free Brewing Co. was the urban legend of bands called ‘Free Beer!’. It’s a classic name that, as the stories go, forces publicans to plaster ‘Tonight: Free Beer!’ across the front of their venues.
I was genuinely intrigued, so I jumped on the phone to Ash Truscott to find out more.
‘I like to think of it as the purest expression of brewing, in the same way that free diving, free riding or free climbing is the stripped down version of those sports.’
To Ash, this means brewing the traditional way, using natural ingredients, no preservatives or additives and certified organic hops and barley. To find a third meaning, the brews are free of all the bad stuff.
Sounds cool, where’d the idea come from?
What we love about Free Brewing Co. is their authenticity. The idea to become Australia’s first dedicated organic beer company wasn’t cooked up on some whiteboard by a bunch of suits – it formed when Ash floated the concept with mates James and Craig around a campfire on the Bellarine Peninsula south-west of Melbourne.
The thinking was that they should brew a beer that reflected the reasons people head outdoors. One that’s as natural as possible and minimises its impact on the planet. We reckon that sounds like the perfect drink to knock back after a day in the surf or out on the trails.
For now, HQ is an organic farm on the peninsula, where the team experiments with ingredients (they’ve already harvested a crop of barley) and draws inspiration for new brews. The plan is to eventually grow hops on site, as well as produce beer, but as the brand only officially launched in 2019, that’s a little further down the line.
Ok, the real question: how’s it taste?
Luckily I’ve had direct experience of this one and it’s all good things! The Organic Lager is a simple brew to be sure, especially in the Tropical-Chocolate-Gose-IIPa world of crafty bois we’ve found ourselves in, but it felt like a revelation.
The crisp and clean flavour reminded me how my snow peas tasted when I grew them on the balcony instead of buying them from Woolies. There was a hint of citrus, maybe even a dash of ocean salt, and it’s safe to say that after a run, organic lager hits different.
Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to sink ten in a row, but I reckon your head might hurt just that little bit less if you do.
I want to drink ten!
Noo, drink responsibly! But if you’d like to pick some up you can find them in BWS and Dan Murphys (and hopefully your local independent too). They’re a 1% for the planet member, if you need another reason to buy good beer.
There are still a few of the 2021 Coast Series brews hanging around, with photos of iconic Aussie coastline printed on the cans from a collab with surfer and ambassador Brett Burcher.
If not though, look out for the new cans, which are white with black text. Simple and straightforward, just like the beer.