Flavours of Tassie profile: Ironhouse Brewery
Tell us about Ironhouse Brewery
Michael: White Sands Estate was founded in 2002, on the back of the acquisition of the Cray Drop Inn, an accommodation business established in 1965. Since then the business has continuously innovated [and now incorporates] a villa and lodge style accommodation, restaurant, brewery, distillery, vineyard and cellar door as well as a being a conference and wedding venue.
We are the only brewery/distillery on the East Coast of Tasmania and the only place where visitors to the East Coast can taste craft beers, excellent wines, grape vodka and small-batch gin. Our Tasting Room looks over the aqua waters of the Tasman Sea and offers other East Coast wines and produce.
We make magnificent preservative-free craft beers, and our 32-hectare vineyard which sits on an amphitheatre of east-facing slopes produces grapes for our IronHouse Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The spent grape skins are fermented to make Tasmania’s only grape vodka branded “Strange Omen”, which sits alongside our Strange Omen small-batch gin. Our brewery of course prepares the “beer wash” which is fermented into our own single malt whisky that is silently maturing in Tasmanian-made barrels in the cellars of White Sands Estate.
Visitors to White Sands can stay and enjoy the property’s pristine beaches, beautiful vistas, family activities, fine food, brewery tours, tasting paddles of our superb craft beers as well as tastings of IronHouse wines, and Strange Omen grape vodka and small-batch gin.
What is your role within the business? What do you love most about what you do?
My role as Manager, Head Brewer and Distiller is to continue to develop the business through opportunity and creativity. This is achieved by the many different beers we produce each year that are keeping with the changing palates of a booming industry in the country at the present time. It is this creativity and challenge that I personally thrive on as every day at work is different.
What is it about the region in which you operate that enhances the quality of your products?
Our isolated position on the East Coast Drive set on the pristine coastline lends itself to our quality products. The use of water out of our very own spring only enhances the unique taste profile that carries through to our beers, vodka and gin.
Our wines are a testament to the growing conditions on the East Coast with the onshore sea breeze off the Tasman and mild conditions throughout the year and the north-south facing slopes.
What would you say is your signature product?
I can’t discriminate against all our products; to me they are all a signature [product] of the East Coast of Tasmania.
Apart from on board Spirit of Tasmania, where can visitors get hold of your products?
At the moment all our products are only on the shores of Tasmania—so you have to keep coming back.
What attracted you to the Flavours of Tassie program?
The opportunity of a captive audience and market research to see the interest from a visiting clientele.
What’s your top tip for visitors to Tasmania?
Don’t rush and enjoy the best coastline drive in the world: the East Coast.
When are they appearing on board?
Ironhouse Brewery staff will be sailing on Saturday 13 August (Devonport-Melbourne) and Saturday 20 August (Melbourne-Devonport). Passengers will be able to meet the brewers, ask questions, sample their products and purchase them on board. (Note: any alcohol purchased will be provided to passengers upon disembarkation.)
They are located at White Sands Estate, approximately 30 minutes south of St Helens, 30 minutes north of Bicheno, 1.5 hours from Launceston and 2.5 hours from Hobart on the northeast coast of Tasmania.
Address: 21554 Tasman Hwy, Four Mile Creek TAS 7215.
For more information about the Flavours of Tassie program, click here.