Growing Pines

Growing Pines

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As December continues to move swiftly onward, the fragrance of pine increasingly wafts across the land as Christmas trees are erected in anticipation of the bounty of gifts to be lavished at their collective feet. But, for the brewery with a year-round pine fixation, Christmas came a little early this year and they’ve already opened their present; the brand new 4 Pines brewery.


While the shiny new kit has been operational for a month or so, allowing the brewers to familiarise themselves with the system, last weekend was the first time its doors had been properly opened to the public. To mark the occasion, a few faces from the local beer community and plenty of loyal regulars from the 4 Pines bar at Manly were invited along for an official welcome.


To make it even more official, Mike Baird – the billion-dollar budget wielding Treasurer for NSW, MP for Manly, and all-round fan of his local brew – came along for a few beers and to add his expertise in the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon. But other than those brief formalities it was beer, BBQ and folk punk all afternoon amidst the sparkling new tanks. And there are certainly plenty of those.


A 50hl (hectolitre) brewhouse with three 100hl and six 50hl tanks has sent 4 Pines soaring towards the top of the pile in terms of capacity for an Aussie-owned craft brewery. As anyone who’s observed the inner workings of the rather cramped brewery in the 4 Pines Manly venue, this is a substantial step up – ten times, if you’re into specifics. Which begs the question: how do they plan to sell so much more beer?


Jaron Mitchell, 4 Pines General Manager, seems fairly comfortable with the prospect: “We went national sometime around May so we’ve got distributors in every state. But we definitely have a long way to go, because it’s one thing to get beer out to places – getting it into people’s mouths is another thing. Having good venue partners around Australia really helps, as does the fact that people are beginning to understand that craft beer isn’t something that’s just for craft beer nerds – more and more people are seeing the value in it.”


Perhaps one of the biggest additions the expansion has provided is freedom. As Jaron says: “Now, we can make 10 kegs, 200 kegs or anything in between. For example, the Wee Heavy for St Andrews Day was a very small run. The Christmas Ale was a small run, but we can do it bigger next year if we need to. We’ve got all the different sizes, which is really cool – no limits basically.


“Another really important thing for us is retaining the Manly venue for people to come and drink that beer because the brewpub is pretty synonymous with the area now.”




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