INTRODUCING OCEAN REACH BREWING
Ocean Reach Brewing aim to provide a gold standard craft beer experience from their home on Victoria’s stunning Phillip Island.
Known for its surf breaks, family-friendly beaches, and of course the famous Penguin Parade, Phillip Island is a hugely popular summer destination. Having spent many summers and weekends surfing and holidaying on Phillip Island, husband and wife team Simon and Alex Bismire knew it would be the perfect place to launch their brewery. And thankfully, the locals agreed and have shown massive support for Ocean Reach through the quieter months, and of course, throughout the pandemic.
Simon began his brewing journey back in 2011, brewing small batches at home as a side hobby, which quickly grew to a full-blown passion. Growing up with a holiday home on Phillip Island sparked the idea to blend the two hobbies, holidays and craft beer. With a courageous leap of faith, the Bismire family left established jobs in Melbourne and set up shop on the Island, opening the doors to their brewery and taproom in December 2016 as they were still applying the finishing touches.
Located initially on the main street of Cowes, just a short walk to the water’s edge, space quickly became an issue as their popularity grew. With very little room the taps pulled beers directly from the tanks, less than a metre away, and barrels aging beer were stored under tall tables in the taproom. More room was needed. And soon!
Never underestimate the power of craft beer to bring people together.
In 2018, Ocean Reach moved its brewing production out of the taphouse and into a nearby warehouse on the Island, allowing them the opportunity to brew more of their core range, experiment with new recipes, and can their beers. As an avid home brewer to begin with, Simon continues to experiment and learn more about brewing, bringing a mix of beer styles and limited releases to their beer fans. As Simon has grown his passion for brewing, he has also developed a passion for design. Partnering with local artists for new and innovative can designs, including the 8th place winner of the GABS Can Designs Awards 2020 with their Tropical XPA design. The latest artist collaboration features illustrator Joel Ebsworth designing artwork for two can designs, the Oat Cream IPA and Sour IPA. After meeting in a taproom in Sydney, Simon was very interested in the art Joel was producing on his iPad. After a few beers, the ambition to create an artist series was born. Joel had the privilege of not only creating the artwork for the beers but having a sip here and there during the brewing process and help make the beers what they are today.
Ocean Reach are another brewery doing what they can to minimise their carbon footprint and water usage. Positioned in the centre of one of Victoria’s most popular holiday destinations, the desire to protect the beautiful island is at the forefront of their philosophy. Ocean Reach use locally grown ingredients for their beers, not only supporting locals in their community but reducing the transit required for ingredients. All spent grain is shared with local farmers for livestock feed with the aim to ensure that landfill contributions are inconsequential. The brewery is also powered by nearly 50 solar panels, harnessing the power of the sun that so many people come to the island to enjoy.
Every drop of Ocean Reach beer has been brewed on the Island, for the Island. It’s a celebration of sun, sand and surf, elements encapsulated in Ocean Reach Brewing Co’s logo, and in every beer they serve.
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