Here’s 2 brewers on the NSW beers to look out for


In our June issue, we took a look at the rising fortunes of the NSW craft brewing game. We were a bit pressed for space in the magazine, but here, two innovative craft brewers give us their take on what’s going on in the NSW scene, which beers to look out for, and what they’re up to.

First up, is Peter Philip of Wayward Brewing, who’s nearing completion of his first brewery, having for years been a gypsy brewer (that is, someone who has no brewery of their own but uses the facilities of other brewers to get the job done). After Philip, we hear from Dave Padden, who was the head brewer at Riverside Brewing in Parramata, and has recently stepped out on his own with his new label, Akasha.

Peter Philip, Wayward Brewing

How’s the new brewery coming along?
The most common question I get is “When do you hope to be open?” Answer: “3 years ago.” I’ve been searching for the perfect location for four years now and that location is now only weeks away from brewing our first beer. I feel like a kid on Christmas eve that just wants to play with his new toys so when we finally get our license you won’t be able to wipe the smile off my face for a month.


What have been some of the challenges getting up and running?
It’s easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done but also the most satisfying as we seem to solve seemingly insurmountable problems that present themselves every day. I’m a multi-tasker so the most frustrating thing is that most of the steps in setting up a brewery can’t be done in parallel.

What are some NSW craft breweries that excite you?
Sydney is definitely catching up to Melbourne as a craft beer city and that’s driving a lot of innovation and experimentation amongst the Sydney breweries. Maybe I’m biased but I think the Gypsies like Shenanigans, Grifter, Akasha and Doc (Doctor’s Orders) are putting out some fantastic beers.

What’s the NSW craft brewing community like – how does everyone get along?
Some of my best mates are drunks, er, I mean Sydney brewers… In all seriousness I love the industry because it’s 99% asshole free and I’m really looking forward to helping the next generation of Gypsy brewers get their start in the industry over the next few years.

What’s your favourite beer you brew and why?
That’s like asking which is your favorite child! If I had to pick a recent it would be FUSAMI India Pale Lager as I love the juxtaposition of crisp pilsner malt and bright hop character in a single beer but my all-time favourite is probably Raconteur Biere de Garde as I love the style which is simultaneously malty and complex but still sessionable due to the clean dry finish.

Dave Padden, Akasha

Can you tell us a bit about Akasha?
Akasha Brewing Company was founded by myself and Wesley White in early 2015. Ben Galanos also joined the team soon after to make up the team as it stands today. The culture at Akasha is pretty simple: we brew the beer that we love to drink and, most importantly, try and have some fun while we’re doing it! Our focus is on US West Coast style ales which is illustrated by our first two releases:

Freshwater Pale Ale – Freshwater is an American style pale ale, brewed using our favourite American hop, Cascade. The Freshwater is well balanced between the sweet biscuity malt and the thirst quenching hop flavour and crispy clean finish.

Hopsmith IPA – Hopsmith is a ‘West Coast’ style IPA and all about the hops. Triple dry-hopped, the all American grown hop varieties are allowed to shine with citrus, pine, fruity notes and a nice dry, bitter finish.

We brew all of our beer at Rocks Brewing Company in Alexandria whilst we build our own brewery in the Western Suburbs. We hope to open to the public before summer and we can’t wait!

What are some NSW craft breweries that excite you and why?
We are very close mates with the boys at Rocks Brewing Company and their beers are going from strength to strength. Like us, they are not afraid to use hops in large quantities but with the required amount of skill to produce some cracking hop-forward ales.

I have also been a huge fan of Mike’s beers at EKIM Brewing for a long time. Even though Mike is brewing on a fairly small scale, his beers are all expertly crafted and he takes great pride in ensuring every beer that is released is top notch.

What’s the NSW craft brewing community like – how does everyone get along?
The craft brewing industry itself is still quite small, especially here in NSW. We are a very tight knit group and each and every brewer is only a phone call away to provide assistance where they can. Many of my so-called ‘competitors’ are also some of my best mates. Clearly there are only a finite number of taps for us all to pour our beers, so there is always an element of competition. But at the end of the day we are a united force with a similar objective of bringing quality craft beer to the masses and increasing the market share of craft in NSW and Australia.

What’s your favourite beer you brew and why?
Always a tough question and not unlike naming your favourite child! I’d have to say the Hopsmith IPA is my favourite right now, it is something all of us at the brewery are very proud of. Prior to the launch of Akasha, we spent a lot of time researching American IPA and where the style is currently headed. We backed off the colour and the sweetness on the palate, really allowing the hops to shine. We also focussed on how we used our American-sourced hops, increasing hop flavour and aroma whilst ensuring bitterness was restrained. Malt quality and balance is still vitally important however so we tracked down some of the best quality malt we could find here in Australia and New Zealand to round out the profile.

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