4 PINES CASE STUDY
Case Study: 4 Pines Brewing Company
Anyone with ‘Massive Lover of Beer’ in their job title has got to have the best job in the world. Andrew Tweddell is also the Head Brewer at the 4 Pines Brewing Company
based in Manly, NSW, where he is in charge of all new product development. Set to celebrate their 11 year anniversary in June 2019, 4 Pines grew out of a tiny brew pub in Manly to become one of the largest craft brewing companies in Australia.
Andrew recalls; “I brewed 99 batches of our 4 Pines Pale Ale before I got a tap on the shoulder. We had to start outsourcing our most popular beers so that I could focus on creating new flavours.”
Innovating with new tastes inspired by cocktails and desserts
Andrew frequently goes outside the craft beer world for inspiration, and looks at what’s happening in culinary circles.
“I get inspired by cocktails or different flavour combinations I see at restaurants. For instance, we recently made a Watermelon Mojito beer which we’re gearing up to enter into the Australian International Beer Awards this year.
“A lot of the time fruit goes well with a lighter base beer that has a fair bit of wheat, but there are occasions when a heavier beer can work too. Our Iced Vovo Stout is a chocolaty beer with raspberry puree and coconut, like a black forest cake beer. Classic dessert combinations like this often work well.”
4 Pines drinkers have taken a liking to fruit-flavoured beer, which tends to be more popular during the warmer months. Andrew does most of his pilot brews in Winter to get them tested and ready for up-scaled production in Summer.
“We’ve made a Juiced-Up Extra Summer Ale
with kiwifruit, strawberry and passionfruit, a Blueberry Gose
and a Guava Gose. All of these started as 10 keg experimental batches that turned out to be very popular and were scaled-up to industrial production for national distribution.”
Berry Men helping to make berry beer
4 Pines has been using fruit puree and pulp from The Berry Man to make their fruit beers since 2015.
“I am always looking for suppliers who say ‘Yes, we have that in stock’, or ‘Yes, we can get it for you’. The Berry Man has never let us down. Sometimes I do spur-of-the-moment stuff and need supplies quickly, and the guys get it to us really fast.”
Scalability of production can sometimes be a challenge, with larger bulk ingredients needed to efficiently move from a 10 keg pilot brew to industrial production.
“It’s ok for me to open 20 1kg containers of puree for a pilot brew, but when you turn that into 200 or more containers for a larger batch, I’m sure the brewers are muttering about me. The Berry Man has been able to source purees and juices in larger formats to match the scale of the brew.”
The taste of success
4 Pines has won many awards for its beers, but still doesn’t take itself too seriously. In 2018, 4 Pines won a Silver medal at the Australian International Beer Awards for a Raspberry Saison beer which Andrew had brewed for his wife. She loved the taste but was unsatisfied with the name, so it was entered as ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ and won on its first brew attempt.
With the 2019 Awards looming, here’s hoping the Watermelon Mojito beer brings home Gold. Cheers!