Colonial Brewing

Colonial Brewing

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Beer isn’t some high school crush around these parts; it’s more like our soulmate, and there’s no chance it’ll become “the one that got away.” To put it succinctly: beer is our true love. But it’s not just the liquid gold we’re fanatics about; we love everything that beer has the potential to represent.

The first time we crossed paths Richard “Richo” Moroney at Colonial Brewing in Margaret River was a moment still etched in the memory. Sat across the table in an expensive looking pink shirt, sleeves rolled up to reveal a sweet watch, and with sharp shades completing the picture, he looked more sleek salesman than craft beer advocate.


Big Story of Small Ale

Colonial looks to expand significantly in the east and with craft mid strengths on the rise. Guy Southern caught up with Richo to chat about Colonial’s Small Ale and found the discussion turning to the very essence of beer.


Richard Moroney said that beer is just a culture and thinks that we have a philosopy about it. They’ve met up ostensibly to talk about the second canned beer in the brewery’s range, the Small Ale. It’s the first beer in Australia to come in a can with a 360 degree lid. Once removed, turns the tinnie into an aluminium glass, and feels symptomatic of some larger movement happening at Colonial.

Richard’s background in hospitality stretches back to the 1990s. He believes that part of the development and acceptance of Colonial beers, is down to a natural recalibration of the beer world. Particularly the hoppy, big in flavour yet low in alcohol Small Ale.


How it Came Down to It’s Name

Small Ale is one of a growing number of light and mid strength beers coming out of small Australian breweries right now. Colonial’s brewers wanted the beer to have hop aromatics and full flavour from the start. As for the name, they didn’t want to tie themselves in knots with something like “Reduced Alcohol India Pale Ale”.

Richo said that they all discussed a name and an idea and they ended up settling on Small Ale. Sort of going back to the history of beer with the Parti-Gyle system: small beer from medieval times, and they rolled with that.

The beer first appeared on tap at the brewery a few years before appearing in cans. Then in some of the Colonial Leisure Group’s venues, with demand rising over time. The Canadian install technician showed the team some of the other projects he’d worked on. Head brewer Justin Fox honed in on one clip in particular after their canning line was installed.


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