After careers overseas, Alex and Simon Bismire returned to Australia in 2012 as the early thoughts of a sea change began fermenting. The couple had met over a beer in London, were married at Mountain Goat Brewery and, as Alex notes, “Simon has always been passionate about making and drinking beer”, so it comes of no surprise that their future would involve beer.
Regular trips to Simon’s parent’s home on Phillip Island, two hours South of Melbourne, saw the couple entertain with homebrewed kegs in tow. Alex says this resourcefulness provided the inspiration for what is now Ocean Reach Brewing.
“There weren’t any breweries on the island, and with limited beer options, we used to bring our own homebrewed kegs. At that point we knew there was a gap in the market, and we saw the opportunity to bring Craft beer to Phillip Island”
Simons parents were immediately on board, and the father and son team got to work with design and construction of an 80-person brewpub in Cowes, opening in time for Christmas 2016. Demand grew, and by 2018 Ocean Reach had expanded via cans and a production facility on the island.
“Made on the island, for the island”, Ocean Reach’s core range includes a Pale, IPA, Draught and Porter, enhanced by regular limited releases. However, this month’s exclusive Hops To Home collaboration looked a little further afield. Alex shares its hazy Canadian inspiration.
“Pete from Hops To Home was in Calgary visiting his brother and they really enjoyed Annex Ale Project’s NEIPA. For this collaboration we’ve focused on a similar tasting beer and style, using oats, Vic Secret and Galaxy hops.