The Odyssey Tavern has been going great guns since bringing eight taps and multiple fridges full of craft beer to VIctoria’s Surf Coast last year. Yet it wasn’t living up to its name.
From day one, the sign on the outside of its rather unique home has read: “Odyssey Tavern & Brewery” and it has always been founder Grant Byrne’s plan to open an onsite brewery. But, as is often the way with these things, they take longer than planned.
So, since opening, the staff have regularly fielded questions along the lines of: “So which are your beers then?” and been able to offer little more than: “Well, none as yet. But…” Until now that is.
As of this week, the Odyssey has a beer to call its own: the Calypso, a hoppy New World Pale Ale. That said, it still doesn’t have a brewery, as the 500 litre system that will take up residence in the space that once was used for producing ice cream is still under production along the coast in Portland and is unlikely to be operational much before the end of the year. But, with Grant having taken on former Southern Bay brewer Matt Cuthbert as the Odyssey’s brewer a few months ago, they figured he really should be brewing an Odyssey beer.
So earlier this month he headed to Otway Estate to hook up with Prickly Moses brewer Luke Scott and create the Calypso.
“This first beer, if it goes well, will probably become a mainstay,” says Matt, who spent seven years at Southern Bay, where he created their Ocean Ale and Requiem Pilsner. “We’ll probably look to have one or two of our own beers on all the time and then some seasonals.
“We chose a pale ale for our first beer as something that would appeal to craft beer people but would also appeal to other drinkers too. The name comes from Homer’s Odyssey [she was a nymph] as Grant wanted to keep to that theme.”
“It was a pretty big day for Leah [his wife] and I,” says Grant. “After all of our hard work it was great to finally have our first official beer being brewed. Even though the brewery itself has taken longer then we anticipated we are now at least able to offer a beer brewed by Odyssey for our Odyssey punters both new and old. The response so far has been great.”
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