|Captain Bligh’s, photo courtesy of Captain Bligh’s Facebook
Benjamin Franklin might have once said, beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Gentleman Brewer, Stephen Brooks concurs. He’s the brewer behind Hobart’s new beer and cider phenomena, Captain Bligh’s.
Partner, author and independently fabulous, Karen Brooks was struck by Stephen’s love of beer and brewing when researching her tenth book. The couple were in Hobart for 12 months, caring for their terminally ill friend and renown fantasy author, Sara Douglass. Karen was writing The Brewer’s Tale
, a historical fiction about ‘love, treachery and ale in medieval England.’ She needed to immerse herself into all things brewing.
Stephen introduced her to brewers around Hobart and on the mainland and his passion for brewing was contagious.
Karen said to me, why don’t you open up a craft brewery? And I thought, well if you want to be pushy and unreasonable about it, I’ll do it!
Captain Bligh’s brews a very Hobart-style beer, a colonial ale. Stephen says that European settlers to Hobart loved a beer and would bring with them as much English ale as they could get on to boats. Hobart’s colonial economy required new enterprises to be based on local suppliers.
Ale’s four ingredients: barley, hops, water and yeast, were all available locally. Captain Bligh’s continues the tradition, using Midland’s barley malt, Bushy Park’s world renowned hops and some of the softest, cleanest water in the world. Stephen makes pale ales and has his own HIPA – Hobart Indian Pale Ale. If you don’t know, the Indian Pale Ale is a hoppy beer style with a higher
alcohol content than the standard.
Captain Bligh’s opened their doors one recent Friday night after work. Not the biggest beer fan, I tried the cider they make. It wasn’t bitter and dry and it wasn’t saccharin either. I’m also not huge fan of cider, but it was so good, I went back for seconds. The Lovely Deputy enjoyed his paleys. By the looks of it, everyone else loved the beers too. Captain Bligh’s was packed to the rafters. Flame cake food van was also there so you could line your stomach.
Tip: The first apple tree was planted in Adventure Bay, Bruny Island by Captain William Bligh in 1788.
Stephen started brewing in the eighties when craft beer wasn’t as popular as it is now. He sold his first beer on 28 December 2014, at his first stall at the Taste of Tasmania.
I thought, I hope it’s not just me that likes this beer! It went well and we came runner up for the Best Ale for the Taste.
The business has been around three years in the making with lots of planning, research and expert advice along the way.
And it’s true what their tagline says, they make jam: a stout and an IPA jam. Stephen tells me they go well with cheese. This Girl likes a jam, I like making it and eating it. So, really? Beer jam? Like really? Is their fruit in it?
Fruit and sugar is fruit jam. Beer and sugar is beer jam. Okay, I guess that’s a no then.
|Stephen Brooks, photo courtesy of Captain Bligh’s Facebook
Stephen’s taken the leap into the great unknown, leaving the safety of a career in mental health to throw himself head first into his business. A self-made man, he’s got lots of ideas so they’ll be more to come. Watch out for more products, where beer is a food ingredient. Captain Bligh’s is based at the Tasmanian Brewery Building. The building was apparently constructed by George Adams of Tattersall’s fame and has been a brewery since the 1830s.
He’ll be looking to open Captain Bligh’s doors more nights in the future. In the meantime, they’ll be at Winter Feast for DarkMOFO
The best way to keep up to date with the shenanigans is by following them on Facebook. Find them on Facebook here
They’re located at 64 Warwick Street, Hobart, down the alley on the side of The Blackwood Shop on Elizabeth Street.