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Hiker Brewing Co.

Introducing Our Core Range

Daniel and I have spent a lot of time discussing what our beer range (as well as other offerings) will be when we launch.  We both agree that we want a small core range, which will give us the opportunity to have a rolling seasonal range – based on obviously the season, along with what we know are popular selling beer styles, and also gives us the ability to showcase beer styles that aren’t readily available in the open market.

We have just hit  the go button on the manufacture of a custom beer drip tray based on the wall space available along our cold room wall.  If will give us the ability of having 14 taps, but our intention is not to have 14 beers on, but rather our ideal number is around 8 of our own beers, and probably a tap or two for a cider, and other artisan products.  We don’t intend to brew our own cider at this stage, but we have agreed to revisit it if sales at the taproom demand it.

The line up of the 8 Hiker beers at this stage will be broken up into:

  • 4 x Core Range – a traditional mix – Lager, Session, Pale Ale, & India Pale Ale (IPA);
  • 4 x Seasonal / Limited Releases

Whilst we have gone with a very standard line up for our Core Range – which is essential for revenue, we have spent a lot of time working through the nuances of what style each will be, and what we believe will resonate with our consumers and supporters. 


For those who know me, my absolute favourite lager style is Vienna Lager.  It was the beer style (Rooftop Lager from Matilda Bay) that made me realise beer could taste different, and set me off on my beer journey. I have spent a great deal of time researching the history of this style (such as reading the book Vienna Lager on multiple occasions), and have over the past couple of years since starting home brewing I have been dialling in my recipe base on the research I have conducted.

Will Vienna Lager be our Core Range Lager….. Sadly no. It is not an overly popular beer style in Australia, and we need to ensure our Core Range aligns with consumer demands.  But do expect it to be one of our one off seasonals – maybe to celebrate my 50th rotation of the sun later this year.

We have however landed on the Helles style for our core range.  Another style I love, and it really suits the Aussie climate. It really is a beer for beer lovers, a malt accented lager beer that balances a pleasant malt sweetness and body with floral noble hops and restrained bitterness, something that we believe will be a good gateway beer for the non-craft beer drinker, and the local tradies from nearby businesses we hope to attract as our regulars.

Because of the Hiker name and our close proximity to Toohey Forest (a mere 65 metres as the crow flies), we have decided to call our it Toohey Forest Lager, as we see it being a big hit with the locals.

Pale Ale

Pretty much every brewery includes a Pale Ale in its core range, and we will be no different.  We worked through a number of different options, and then reflected on 2 of our values (one Core and one Aspirational) – Know the Track (Provenance) and Leave No Trace (Sustainability). I truly believe that knowing the place of origin of the ingredients is essential information for those that care about the food and drinks we consume and the food miles it has generated.

So, in the end it was a no brainer to decide on an Australian ingredient Pale Ale style. This beer will be easy drinking refreshing with a large malt bill centred around Border Ale Malt (grown on the Queensland / NSW Border), along with distinctive fruity Australian Hops varieties such as Galaxy and Enigma.

For the name we wanted a quintessential Australian term around hiking, so in the end the obvious choice was Bushwalker!

Session Ale

Every core range needs a mid-strength beer, for those that want to have a couple of drinks and still want to drive.  The key question was around what beer style we should make our session ale.  Whilst Daniel and myself are in the brewer purist camp and have been taught that beer should be bright and not Hazy, we do definitely appreciate the Haze Craze.  I have grown to really enjoy brewing and drinking a good hazy, as I do brew a lot of them in my current gig at Black Hops.

The Haze Craze still continues and is still one of the most popular beer styles in the craft landscape and seeing that we were not going to have a Hazy IPA in our core range, we decided that the Session Ale would be an ideal candidate to be Hazy.  This beer will have a pretty big hop load for a mid strength, and will definitely be one not to be missed, with a dry hopping regime of the Citra and Strata to round out the citrus flavour and aroma.

We have decided that the name for this beer will be Wanderer, as being a sessional ale, you still have the option to do a bit of wandering across the rest of our range!

India Pale Ale

Last but definitely not least is the heavy hitter of the core range, an India Pale Ale, that we have called Hitchhiker. 

It is an American style IPA and will be characterised by piney and resinous American-variety hops such as Simcoe, Centennial and Columbus .  This beer will be all about hop flavour, aroma and bitterness.  

We haven’t brewed a pilot batch of this one yet, so expect a few tweaks after we do some all important sensory to ensure it lives up to what we are looking for in our IPA.


In the next blog post I will bring you up to speed on our Seasonal beers, and what we ended up deciding on how we are going to package (but as you can see on the can labels we have decided to be a little different and go for 440ml cans).  I will explain more next time.

Until then.  Cheers to the journey.



  • reply


    June 20, 2022

    Great post mate. If you require some sensory assistance with your Hitchhiker I’m here for you 🤣 🍺