Red Hill Brewery was established in 2005 and has grown into an award-winning independent craft brewery. With a love of good beer, many pints of passion and a desire to run a small business and hospitality venue, owners David and Karen Golding had to learn fast. What also makes them extraordinary is that the brewery has no mains water and no sewerage, which means everything had to be designed to be self-sufficient.
“We were the first brewery on the Mornington Peninsula, and we have remained committed to staying independent and brewing great beer,” said David. “The water waste from the brewery is aerated, treated, recycled into the dam and used for irrigation of the hops. The brewery is designed to use as little water as possible as there is no mains water in Red Hill.”
This water recycling is essential for the hops, which grow an impressive 30cm a day during summer. David and Karen also use a heat exchanger to transfer cold water into a hot liquid tank that’s used to brew the beer to save energy, and they’ve implemented a system that cools the beer for fermentation using a bank of water that sits in the cool room, chilled and ready to go.
Many breweries need lots of water for cleaning, but David and his team use a high-pressure hose to minimise the amount of water needed. Most modern breweries use five litres of water to create a litre of beer, but at Red Hill Brewery the process takes just two litres. Impressive, hey? Tanks have been installed to catch rainwater for the brewing process, while town water is used in the bar.
“The spent hops are composted, and the spent grain goes to a local cow farmer,” said David. “We figured it’d be a good way to go back on to the hops for brewing, as 2-3kg of hops is used to make 1000 litres of beer and makes great compost.”
For 15 years, Peninsula farmers have been feeding the spent grain to their cattle, which have been known to chase the utes when the farmers return with the tasty payload on the back. Not only is this an affordable feed option for farmers and a sustainable solution for the brewery, but it’s a win for the cows too because the amount of nutrients from the grain is comparable to lucerne.
Well, we’re impressed. If you are too, hop along to Red Hill Brewery and say “Cheers!” to the team.