Meet the owners – Nigel Metz & Robyn Cail
Nigel Metz has spent the last six years perfecting his brew while holding down his day job as projects officer for local grower group ‘South East Premium Wheat Growers Association’.
He said his professional career working within the grains industry has steered him in the direction of brewing using local, raw barley. “I think I sort of fell into it a little bit,” he said.
“I come from a family farm and many years of loving craft beer, I was working in grain quality where we did some market development work and gained some understanding of the brewing industry from a technical end. Then I thought a local brewery might be worth a go.”
Mr Metz said he was possibly up to his 30th test brew with the raw barley before he thought he had something good enough to bring to market. We’re the first brewery in Australia to be using such a high percent of raw barley in our brews, the innovation of this beer science is very exciting to be involved in.
Having a direct link to your end product as a broadacre farmer is quite rare, WA farmers are in the business of growing bulk quality barley which usually ends up at some overseas multinational brewery that you have no connection with. So being able to link the main ingredient in our beer directly back to the people that grew it is really exciting.
He said while he was chuffed to be using barley and wheat from local farmers, the scale of his micro brewery meant he would not need much. We feel lucky to be able to provide a truly unique local beer to our local farmers and community made with premium local grain.
Mr Metz, who is originally from a family farm near Ravensthorpe, said he now hoped the local community got behind his project.
“This is primarily aimed at the local pubs and restaurants and we are looking to work with them because they run entertainment venues and we’re running a production facility, so that’s where we need to come together.”
Robyn also comes from a family farm in the north eastern wheatbelt of WA near Wubin, east of the Rabbit Proof Fence. She has worked for the past 20 years in natural resource management in rural WA. A passion for caring for our amazing natural landscapes, rural communities and connecting people to place has resulted a genuine desire to keep things local, real and connected. The paddock to pint concept is fully realised in Lucky Bay Brewing’s beers. Using raw local barley and wheat results in a beer with high environmental credentials. It hasn’t had the food miles or energy consumed as a result of the malting process, combine this with solar power, rain water, no preservatives, local stories, local people and local places creates a beer experience with a genuine sense of place that is truly locally crafted like no other.
Meet the Graphic Designer – Caroline Abbey
“Graphic Design is my passion.
As a professional artist’s daughter, I was destined for a career in the arts. In the early 90’s I studied the many facets of Visual Communication at University in the UK, and have been working, educating & practicing in this area for over 25 years.
When I first discovered that my friends and neighbours were planning on starting a brewery in Esperance I was super excited and immediately images started to pour into my mind! How could they not with a name like Lucky Bay Brewing! So when Robyn & Nigel asked me to work with them to create their brand intently I was ready! Months of research and concept development has resulted in a strong & flexible final brand identity.
The Kangaroo changed quite considerably through the development of the brand! A lot of research and sketching practice and now we are very happy with the compelling face of Brew the Roo!
I have enjoyed this design job a lot! And I look forward to the release of the beer & the brand!
Meet the Brewer – Adam Cope
Adam Cope is a school teacher who realized he was really passionate about brewing after he worked with his students to malt, roast and brew with barley that the students had grown and harvested at the school farm. “Being able brew a good beer is very rewarding but to link the beer to a specific location, well that’s pretty special.”
A small pilot brewery grew in his shed, next-door to what would one day become the Lucky Bay Brewery. The pilot system was cobbled together from bits that could be bought from the hardware and homebrew stores or raided from the kitchen. Batch by batch processes were improved, and recipes tested and refined. Lots of testing. Lots of testing.
With the offer of a chance to brew commercially with his good friends at Lucky Bay Brewing, the pressure was on to really get up to speed with brewing on a large scale. A ‘business trip’ to Perth with Nigel to attend a brewing course gave the boys a perfect opportunity to visit lots of breweries, see how things were done, and ask lots of questions.
“The industry people that we met were so generous with their help. They have been really supportive of the new venture here in Esperance.”
Still with only a handful of commercial brews with Lucky Bay Brewing, Adam considers himself to be at the base of a very steep learning curve. “I’m stoked to have had this opportunity and really happy with how these first brews have come out. It has been an amazing experience. As we collaborate to fine-tune recipes and processes for the new brew-plant, I can only expect that over the course of the next few brews, the products will continue to get even better.”
“I just love the fact that beer can be made in so many different styles. My favourite beers at the moment (other than the Lucky Bay brews) are the Feral Hop Hog, on-tap at the Loose Goose, and the Saison from Dupont sold at Cellarbrations. Cheers!”
Meet the Farmers – Gavin & Elaine Egan
Gavin and Elaine Egan, with son Brad farm in the Scaddan, an area 50km north of Esperance.
Murrumboola Farm is a quality assured sustainable farm. Egan’s are also members of SEPWA (South East Premium Wheatgrowers Association) who understand the importance of producing a premium food quality grain product rather than a bulk commodity grain product.
Lucky Bay Brewing sources premium barley and wheat direct from Egan’s to the brewery, where it is milled, and brewed into your truly local craft beer.
And if that wasn’t enough local process for you, Lucky Bay Brewing has also teamed up with budding local baker Tiffany Brown who uses some of the brewer’s grain in her delightful sourdough bread. The grain left over after brewing is rich in fibre and proteins and makes for a tasty wholemeal loaf.
Local farmer Steve Bradley and his herd of happy cows and sheep gratefully ensure every last bit of spent grain is put to good use…as do Robyn and Nigel’s chooks!