Chris and Gabby Moore’s passions and inspirations are firmly rooted in food and the land. After having run a successful restaurant in Sydney, they decided to change their path and follow their dreams of opening a brewery. So, they bought an RV, packed up their two kids and toured the US in the name of research. For three years, this foodie family set off to learn from as many brewers as they could find. The wealth of knowledge and diversity they encountered encouraged them to trust their instincts when it came to developing their own style of beer. They ditched traditional methods, used their experience in food science and their acutely developed palates to hone their craft, concentrating on bringing a harmony of interesting and unique flavours, rarely seen in beer. From seaweed and sea urchin to native herbs and pomegranate, Chris and Gabby view beer as a liquid extension of food and pay it the same respect they would as when designing their menus.
Having sold their restaurant and with a new arrival on the way, the couple wanted to move back to Gippsland to be near family, and decided to move close to Sailors Grave beach. After their US research adventure, they settled on converting an old butter factory in Orbost into their brewery, a 1950’s gem with original tiling, lots of character and cold floors, perfect bones for brewing goodness.
Their beer making is inspired by the landscape around them where the Snowy River mouth flows into the sea, near a little town called Marlo. The farmland, ocean, local people and ingredients of the area are their inspiration. The local water with its salty profile adds a unique marine character to their gose beer, a sour-style beer with 1000 years of history, but earning a much-deserved place on our modern palates.
Nothing is off limits to these two if it takes them a step closer to creating a flavour profile masterpiece. Their unique product development has seen them experimenting with sea urchins (considered a local pest) and foraged seaweed, sea fig and pigface plants that grow on the local sand dunes. Their inspiration and desire to pay homage to their surrounds saw them consult with a local Indigenous elder who showed them how to forage for native lemon myrtle.
Chris and Gabby, a powerhouse in beer innovation, continue to explore new and exciting territories and it is their collaboration with another Madebox producer that is really pushing boundaries. The Fermentary’s Sharon Flynn is Australia’s foremost experts in fermentation, and she met the Sailor’s Grave team when she was invited to speak at the Deep Winter Festival. Talk about Sake kasu, a by-product from the fermentation of sake, piqued their interest as it is rich in unique characteristics and loaded with umami. Chris worked with Sharon to design a beer using sake kasu as the fermenting base and finished it with satsuma blood plum, creating a mouth-puckeringly sour and sweet flavour profile that left those lucky enough to secure it, giddy with excitement.
Their latest batch of sake kasu beer makes use of in season, bio-dynamically farmed local persimmons. Like many, we cannot wait to try this latest taste sensation in slow-fermented beer.