Fifteen-year-old Australian’s aren’t legally allowed to drink alcoholic beverages – beer, in this case, however in what has become a life changing serenity, a young Michael Stanzel was able to buy home brew equipment. After “trying out a few jobs”, and studying graphic design, the lure of our favourite liquid led him to a Brewer and Maltser apprenticeship - Ausbildung als Brauer und Mälzer – in his family home.
“In Germany there is thing called the dual education system where you work four months in a brewery for practical knowledge, and then two months in boarding school for technical knowledge, over three years”
After working in larger German breweries, Michael and partner Chloe Hoiberg needed an artistic outlet, opening Wild Animal Brewing Co. in Koblenz, just south of Cologne. The beer loving nation’s beer ingredient purity law, the Reinhetsgebot, improved overall quality for over 500 years, but stifled creativity – even a Galaxy hopped Pilsener was a curiosity. Never mind the coffee oatmeal stout, which broke all the rules.
“It’s quite a funny thought that because of the oats and coffee we had to print ‘It’s a beer-like drink’ on the label”
Fast forward to 2017, and the couple returned to Australia, opening and then owning / operating Burnley Brewing with dog Harry, metres from the Yarra River, in Melbourne’s Richmond. Here, the reserve was true, with classically crafted beer styles almost seen as an outlier, so when Hops to Home approached us the answer was a gleeful, role-against-type response.