If you want to do something right, sometimes you have to return to where it all started. Where better to learn how to perfect the craft of brewing than to travel to the home of the world’s oldest brewery? For those crazy enough (like Burnley’s Michael Stanzel) to do it, in one’s second language no less, the results are definitely worth it.
Michael Stanzel grew up in Australia with German parents – to say beer is in his blood would be an understatement. He started brewing well before he was allowed to drink booze! Underaged Michael won a homebrewing competition, yet, he had to send his dad to collect the award on his behalf. It was this passion for the craft that motivated him to move to Germany and pursue an official brewing apprenticeship. Even though Michael struggled to find someone to take an Australian on, (what would we know, right?) he was able to complete his work at BeSte (Mosel) and Koblenzer Brauerei.
Incidentally, where Jack had many informative beer experiences on school-exchange. He highly recommends the Helles lager with a serve of pork ribs.
Having impressed his teachers with his motivation and talent, Michael graduated to having his own brewery called Wild Animal Brewing. He ran this new venture with his new wife Chloe. The emphasis was a slow move away from traditional tastes; think an old-school Pils brewed with Galaxy hops and milder IPAs and experimental series. This experimental series often had to be labelled with Biermischgetränk due to falling foul of the German purity law. A successful but ultimately small operation. When the challenges of growth proved to be too big an ask, they headed back home.
The new venture
Awaiting him was the head brewer gig at Burnley Brewing. The site on Bridge St is owned by a group of hospitality heavyweight, keen to set up a beer operation. Their collective nous has seen the rise of one of the most successful brewpubs in Melbourne; a winning combination of great food and great beer.
And what of the beer? Fourteen taps with a rotating selection of experimental beers and core range. This includes a weekly new beer! The core range is based on expertly-executed, centuries-old brewing practices, creating beers devastating in their simplicity.
It’s no wonder then that they’ve made the leap to cans! We’re lucky enough to have Chloe joining us Friday night to pour some around.
Purchase 2x4pk on the night to enter a chance to win a $50 taproom voucher!
It’s a lager, but it’s all about its generosity. An ABV of 5.8% gives it the malty richness it deserves, that little kick of extra warmth, and a long, creamy finish. Noble hops do everything expected of them, hitting that sweet spot of refreshing bitterness to create perhaps the best old-world style lager going around.
There are so many styles of Pale Ale to choose from these days (#overwhelming), yet Burnley’s somehow manages to have a foot in every category, ticking every flavour profile. A lighter malt body in combo with predominantly Galaxy and Cascade hops creating a brew that is tropical, piney, juicy, with an incredibly clean finish.
Gose is the original class-clown North German-style that refused to comply with the stringency of the South… Michael’s version has a sharp tartness and is loaded up with mandarins. This creates a sherberty citrus touch, ending in a subtle salty note to package things up nicely. O Burnley Manda-rin me!
Big Juicy Boy NEIPA
A drier style, but no less juicy, with huge orange notes exploding out of the glass. It’s so new that the cans will arrive straight from the brewery on Friday! We will discover it with you!
JM & VKL
Pix courtesy of Burnley Brewing Co.©