Recently we had the pleasure of visiting the newest brewery to set up in WA, Three Rivers Brewing Co who have started brewing in an industrial unit on the edge of Mandurah.
Head Brewer, Mark Rivers, is a former Environmental Scientist who having won a few amateur brewing awards has decided to move on from trying to save the world to trying to feed it great beer. Joined by his partner, Trina who drives the marketing and PR and Hannah, who hopes to inherit it all, Three Rivers started brewing commercially early this year.
The name came easily from young Hannah, who saw that not only were they the three Rivers family members, but the local environment is dominated by the Serpentine, Murray and Harvey rivers. That, and Trina’s hometown of Pittsburgh in the USA, is well known for its three rivers.
The small brewery is a true “franken-brewery” as all the brewhouse and fermentation vessels are modified and upcycled milk vats. Mark said “We’re very hands-on with no automation at all which means we dough-in by hand, manually monitor and adjust the kettle burners, and dig the spent grain out of the mash tun with a shovel. We also hand bottle and label, and distribute ourselves too. We have some very long days but we love it”
Sticking with his environmental views Mark has a simple philosophy “We’ve had enough of mass-produced beer made from cheap ingredients and we think the beer-loving public deserves better. We produce a range of award-winning beers made from only the finest ingredients and all conforming to the strict German beer purity law – the Reinheitsgebot. We use only water, malt, hops and yeast in our beers. No additives, no preservatives, no colours and we try to use regionally correct ingredients for our beers where we can. We choose not to filter our finished beers too which means that you might sometimes get a slightly cloudy beer but you’ll get a lot more flavour”
On our visit, Mark and Trina took us on a taste test of the beer range:
- White Knight Belgian Witbier (4.7%) – an unfiltered Belgian spiced “white” beer with freshly ground coriander seed and orange and lemon peel added to the boil to give that spicy citrus character.
- Rude Boy ESB (4.7%) – A full bodied, slightly sweet proper English Ale using all English ingredients of Marris Otter and Crystal malts balanced perfectly with Challenger hops.
- Ducks Nuts Brown Ale (4.9%) – A complex malt driven ale using brown malt sourced from a small 200 year old Yorkshire maltster. Tastes nutty, with good caramel and chocolate flavours also coming through. Slight oilyness from the use of an American hop.
- Cu Chulainn Irish Red Ale (5.0%) – Deep ruby red in colour, this is a lighter version of a traditional red making it more drinkable. The caramel and biscuit notes have a slight burnt overtone from the addition of some highly kilned unmalted barley to the mash.
- Jester Kolsch (5.1%) – Refreshingly light with lemon and creamy flavours with a little hop spice coming through at the end.
- Tomahawk American Pale Ale (5.4%) – This one is all about the hops. A raft of US “C” hops provide an intense citrus aroma with less bitterness than you’d expect.
- King Henry English IPA (5.8%) – Brewed with traditional English Marris Otter and Pale Crystal malts balanced by Challenger, Fuggles and East Kent Golding hops. Even the water has been “Burtonised” for authenticity. Floral, fruity, earthy and grassy just as it should be.
- Black Knight Coffee Stout (7.6%) – This one is all about the malt, given a smooth roast coffee aroma and taste. The aftertaste is of chocolate with a hint of citrus.
A very fine range borrowing heavily from English styles which are all well worth seeking out to try.
Due to the WA licensing laws, the brewery is a production-only brewery so there is no onsite consumption other than for tastings. But they can sell retail direct to the public from the cellar door in bottles and mini-kegs, as well as supplying pubs, clubs and restaurants.
Three Rivers Brewing Co can be found at 2/6 Harlem Place, Mandurah, WA.