Quaffers: 'Gypsy' brewers at Sydney Craft Beer Week

Chris Shanahan


My Sydney spy, Mr Malty, rated "gypsy" brewers as the hot act of the recent Sydney Craft Beer Week (October 18–26).

These itinerant, or gypsy, brewers move from brewery to brewery taking up slack capacity, and making one-off beers, often in collaboration with the resident brewer.

For the craft beer week, a group of Sydney gypsies hosted the Gypsy Brewer Jamboree – billed as a craft beer bare-knuckle dust-up, where two beers enter, one beer leaves.

The brewers gave a guiding tasting through eight beers in four tasting rounds.

Mr Malty checked out events throughout the week and apparently large numbers of enthusiasts packed the tastings – confirming the growing passion for craft beers.

Craft beer lovers attribute the gypsy beer phenomenon largely to Mikkel Borg Bjergso, creator of the now famous Mikkeller label, first produced in 2007.

4 Pines Brewing Company Pale Ale
500ml 6-pack $20

"Pale ale" generally indicates a beer based either on the mild British style or the rich, malty–hoppy American style. However, 4 Pines goes its own way with its deep amber coloured ale. Pungent, tropical-fruit-like hops aromas and flavours pair with a smooth, malty palate, lightened slightly by the use of wheat malt.

Hills Cider Company Apple and Ginger Cider 330ml

Hills Cider Company describe this cider as a "hybrid", made from "fresh Adelaide Hills apples with hand-selected Queensland ginger". The combination delivers thrilling flavours of racy apple and piquant ginger, with a dry, refreshing finish. Owners Steve Dorman and Tobias Kline say they use no concentrate, sugar or water, just fresh ingredients.