We’ve been silently rolling the kegs into the cellar and setting up the bar to surprise our members and guests with a new addition to Jimmy’s Bar & Lounge – a huge range of 25 beers on tap! With the options now pouring, we thought it a fitting time to explore the world of beer including what our Port Macquarie bar has to offer, breweries in Port Macquarie, along with a little history of beer in Australia.

The first stop on our beer exploration begins in The Westport Club community lounge on a Tuesday night, where Trivia teams can purchase standard and domestic beers for $5.00 each. So, for all our Trivia buffs out there we thought we would start with a quick dip into the history of beer. Because you never know when a little piece of trivial knowledge will come in handy!

History of Beer in Australia

Beer first came to the shores of Australia with the arrival of Captain Cook and the First Fleet in 1770. During the voyage, beer was part of the daily issue of rations. Some sources suggest that this was instead of water, however we can be assured that 15 tons of drinking water was also part of the provisions on board. Beer and water go hand in hand! It is believed that Captain Cook required the daily issue of beer to fend off scurvy, the thorn in the side of all sea adventurers at the time. Note that it was eventually discovered that beer does not in fact stop scurvy. Good try though Captain Cook.

From the First Fleet began the colonization of Australia by the British Empire in 1788. With these origins as a penal colony, how fitting that the longest operating brewery in Australia was established by an ex-convict. Although it would take some time before beer became a go to Australian drink, as rum was the most popular drink of choice with early settlers.

It was not too long after settlement began that Australia’s brewing tradition was be born. Most point to this beginning in 1824 with the establishment of Cascade Brewery in Hobart, Tasmania. This was followed by Coopers Brewery in 1862 in Norwood, Adelaide; Carlton Brewery in 1864 in Carlton, Victoria; and Fosters brewery in 1887 in Collingwood, Melbourne.

It was Fosters brewery that would be the first to bring the lager style of beer to Australia. Can any beer enthusiasts guess why it was so successful? The German tradition of brewing lager was to store it in cool caves so that it kept reasonably cold. The word ‘lager’ comes from the German word for ‘storage’. To create their first lager offering, Fosters partnered with a master German Brewer and an American engineer whose expertise was in refrigeration. The refrigeration technology implemented by the American engineer kept the lager cool during the brewing process. This resulted in a colder beverage more suitable to the hotter Australian climate. According to Fosters brewery, when this colder more refreshing style of beverage “hit the market, it was pounced on…”. This German-style lager also began one of the first steps of Australian breweries moving away from the traditional British style of ales.

Beer Purity Laws

Speaking of Germany, they are famous to beer lovers around the world! From time to time in your beer explorations you will come across a slogan on the bottle referring to ‘German Purity Laws’ or ‘Reinheitsgebot’. This relates to one of the oldest beer laws in the world that is still in place! And as you will soon see, understanding ‘Reinheitsgebot’ will start to make a lot of the terminology used in the world of beer make much more sense.

According to Wikipedia, the original laws from which Reinheitsgebot where born extends back to the former Holy Roman Empire of the early middle ages. The version we are most familiar with today is traced back to 1516 Bavaria and was adopted by the whole of Germany in 1906.

While there is a deeper, richer history behind why these laws where introduced, put simply it is to ensure that the production of beer is limited to the ingredients of barley, hops and water. This has now been extended to include yeast, an ingredient that was either not available or not widely used at the time the law was created.

For those history buffs among us, here is the translated extract of the original 1516 German Purity Law relating to beer:

“We hereby proclaim and decree, by Authority of our Province, that henceforth in the Duchy of Bavaria, in the country as well as in the cities and marketplaces, the following rules apply to the sale of beer: …we wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, market-towns and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities’ confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail.” *

Now that is a bit of interesting beer history!

Breweries in Port Macquarie
Some of the options on tap at Jimmy’s Bar & Lounge

Where do terms like IPA and Stout come from?

With the diverse range of flavour profiles and beer varieties available today, it can be easy to forget that beer is still a humble beverage made of barley, hops, water, and yeast. Under the German Purity Law products that include additional ingredients cannot be marketed as ‘beer’. Hence the arrival of beer terminology such as Stout and IPA. Next time you pursue the beer menu in your local bar take note of all the different names!

These multitude of names are a result of the way the product is brewed, the types of hops used, and the flavours and spices added during the fermenting process. Here is a glimpse at what some of these terms mean:

Ale is a type of beer brewed using a warm fermentation method, resulting in a sweet, full-bodied and fruity taste.”**

Pale Ale is an ale (a beer brewed using warm fermentation) made with pale malt.”***

IPA India pale ale is a hoppy beer style within the broader category of pale ale.” ****

Lager is beer which has been brewed and conditioned at low temperature. Lagers can be pale, amber, or dark.” *****

Stout is a dark, top-fermented beer with a number of variations, including dry stout, oatmeal stout, milk stout, imperial stout, Irish stout, and chocolate stout.” ******

The rise of craft beer in Australia

What is craft beer? It depends on who you ask! Firstly, it should be known that again a range of terminology is used to describe the intricate differences of breweries in this section of the market. Microbrewery, Nanobrewery, Craft brewery, Farm brewery and Brewpub are all sections of what we laymen probably all refer to as ‘Craft Breweries’. So for the sake of this article, let’s stick to that term! If you do want to dive into the nuances you can check out the craft beer industry definitions here.

The history books point to 1984 as the era when craft beer began in Australia with the opening of Sail and Anchor Brewery in Western Australia. The team continued their beer evolution as contributors to the launch of familiar brand called Little Creatures.

From these beginnings the sector has ebbed and flowed. Craftbeerreviewer.com has defined this evolution of craft beer in Australia in different waves:

  • The Pioneers from 1984 to 2000
  • The Developers from 2001 to 2004
  • The New Wave from 2005 to 2013
  • The Gold Rush from 2014 onwards

The craft beer section of the market has come to be seen as the rule breakers, the innovators, the artisans known for their experimental offerings. These creations are truly not for everyone and that is exactly the point. Craft beer is a direct response to beer created for the masses. Craft beer is where we see unique flavor infusions, like the pineapple, passionfruit, and fluffy tropical palate of the Moorebeer Big Poppa, currently on tap at Jimmy’s (while the keg lasts!).

Craft beer is generally seen as small batch creations produced by breweries that are not classified as large scale or with a large corporate ownership, and in many instances are independently owned. Although you will still see large scale breweries market craft beer offerings, and that’s where beer purists may start to get a little hot under the collar with how far the term ‘craft beer’ is stretched! The Brewers Association of America has specifically defined the terms of small, independent, and traditional in relation to craft beers. No specific definition has been created by any overarching industry body in Australia. Some beer purists will argue that beer labeled as craft coming from a corporately owned brewery goes against the spirit of what truly makes a craft beer. We will let you be the judge!

Breweries in Port Macquarie

Of course we’ve barely scratched the surfaces of the intricacies involved in the craft of beer brewing. A great way to get a glimpse behind the scenes is to visit some of our local micro breweries in Port Macquarie.

“Our philosophy is to be ever-improving.”

Moorebeer Brewing Co.
35 Merrigal Road, Port Macquarie

These authentic brewers began their passion crafting beers for friends from their garage. From little beginnings big things grew and you can now find the Moorebeer Brewing Co. brewery and taproom open for visitors. On your visit you may be lucky enough to try one of their experimental brews on offer, as they share that their philosophy includes getting feedback on many brews before going to full batches. This is just part of what makes Moorebeer Brewing Co. in Port Macquarie such a standout!

You will discover a range of Moorebeer Brewing Co. beers featured on tap at Jimmy’s Bar & Lounge including the award-winning Hipster IPA, Big Poppa New England IPA (while the keg lasts!), Copy Cat Pale Ale, Larrikin Aussie Lager and Gold Digger XPA.

“Check out where the magic happens.”

Black Duck Brewery
6 Acacia Avenue, Port Macquarie

Black Duck Brewery has become well known for their live entertainment coupled with regional craft beer selections. You will see a running theme and a cleaver take on names with their craft beer selections including Mother Duck American Pale Ale, Black Bird Traditional Dark Ale, and Phoenix Migration Stout. Plus get a glimpse behind the scenes with a tour of the brewery with a chance to meet the brewer!

“The beer world is a better world since the rise of independent breweries dedicated to deliciousness.”

Wicked Elf Beer
1/58 Uralla Road, Port Macquarie

A passion for life on the coast runs through the heart of Wicked Elf Beer (formerly known as The Little Brewing Company). That and a passion for authentically crafted beer using premium ingredients that is unlike any other. Another awesome micro-brewery with the chance to taste small batch experiments only when you visit the cellar door. How lucky we are to have so many award-winning micro breweries in Port Macquarie.

Beers of Instagram

Discovering your new favourite beer does not have to be limited to your local Port Macquarie tavern (although the nice warm fire and friendly faces are certainly a plus). The modern-day version of ‘sharing a beer’ has moved to Instagram with the likes of Craft Beer Blogger @sargebeer365 who has reviewed over 2,700 beers and has 14,500 followers.

Here is some of the beverages @sargebeer365 says you should check out:

Breweries in Port Macquarie

@sargebeer365 The sun is out, the water is beautiful and the @hawkersbeer HOP SERIES IPA is ting absolutely delicious with its awesome citrus taste, life’s pretty god right now.

Breweries in Port Macquarie

@sargebeer365 Always a great time of year when the @stoneandwood limited releases hits the shelves and it’s a great time for your tastebuds as well! This German inspired Doppelbock is silky smooth with hints of chocolate in the taste, grab a bottle or two when you see it you won’t be disappointed.

Breweries in Port Macquarie

@sargebeer365 We’ll Summer has officially gone but thankfully the weather hasn’t! This great little drop from @ltcreatures is perfect for a day like this, has a tropical fruit aroma which is followed through on taste, a top drop for a top day.

Breweries in Port Macquarie

@sargebeer365 A new beer from @coopersbrewery COOPERS DRY a low carb beer to replace their Clear brew. The taste is in the name as it’s quite dry with a hint of lime in the flavour. Whilst generally I don’t drink low carb beers if I had to choose between this and a PURE BLOND this beer would be taken every time.

Breweries in Port Macqurie

@sargebeer365 So it seems summer is already here! Perfect time for some cold @balterbrewers XPA and a cool off(sic) in the ocean, think we’re in for a very long summer at this rate!

You’ll find Balters XPA among our 25 beers now pouring at Jimmy’s. Get ready to explore!

Everyone feels welcome at Jimmy’s

Jimmy’s Bar & Lounge: not just any ol’ bar in Port Macquarie, great times are had at Jimmy’s.
Open daily from 10am.
Located in The Westport Club, 25 Buller Street, Port Macquarie.
Plenty of undercover parking on site.

Please drink responsibly.

Article Citations:

* Wikipedia contributors. (2021, July 7). Reinheitsgebot. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:10, July 9, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Reinheitsgebot&oldid=1032423937

** Wikipedia contributors. (2021, July 8). Ale. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:11, July 9, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ale&oldid=1032628370

*** Wikipedia contributors. (2021, May 24). Pale ale. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:12, July 9, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pale_ale&oldid=1024765839

**** Wikipedia contributors. (2021, June 23). India pale ale. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:14, July 9, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=India_pale_ale&oldid=1029961747

***** Wikipedia contributors. (2021, July 7). Lager. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:13, July 9, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lager&oldid=1032505830

****** Wikipedia contributors. (2021, July 2). Stout. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:15, July 9, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Stout&oldid=1031507075

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