The Welder’s Dog Brewery in Armidale uses locally sourced barley for our delicious craft beers. Our barley supplier is located at ‘Auburn’ – a property 24km North West of Wee Waa, NSW, Australia (as the crow flies). They are a 100% Australian, family owned and operated barley farm producing premium quality, single origin, single variety and single harvest malt barley.
The main focus of Auburn is producing super pure lines of the highest quality malt barley varieties available. They aim to maintain the varietal purity of each barley line – from planting, through to harvest, and into segregated storage.
Auburn fully understand the goals of The Welder’s Dog Brewery in producing high-quality, unique craft beers and work tirelessly to provide us full traceability of the freshest, purest, high quality malt barley, all the way back to the farm and field. This provides us with the ability to exploit the unique varietal characteristics of different malt barley varieties sourced from a single origin and harvest. The direct line of communication we maintain with our producers is integral to operations and affords us great flexibility in tailoring production to meet our brewery’s needs and, ultimately, our customer’s preferences.
The barley planted, nurtured and harvested at Auburn is known for its clear, bright nature and high quality, and the malt it produces is jam-packed with flavour from the many cloudless days in Wee Waa. Auburn produces three distinct varieties of Barley – ‘Alestar’, ‘Latrobe’, and an interesting new trial line that has produced positive results.
The Auburn barley harvest is carried out by longtime family friend and farming contractor, Mark Lowery. Mark fully appreciates the attention to detail required to maintain varietal integrity at harvest, such as the meticulous level of detail required for the cleaning and purging of the header to prevent contamination between varieties – no one understands the importance of producing the highest quality beer like a harvesting contractor covered in dust!
Once harvested, each Barley variety is transported to the Auburn silos where samples are then collected from each load for quality analysis. Each variety is stored in a separate silo, all of which are monitored for grain temperature and moisture. The barley is cooled and, if required, dried by fans installed in each silo. Maintaining the grain in a cool and dry condition enhances each barley’s distinct quality and helps prevent insects taking an interest.
Once ready, the barley is then transported from Auburn to Voyager Craft Malt for malting. Stu Whytcross of Voyager is renowned for his attentive nature and knows how to get the very best out of the Barley. Stu liases directly with The Welder’s Dog Head Brewer, Phil Stevens, in order to customise malting requirements to meet Phil’s brewing objectives. The finished malt is then transported to The Welder’s Dog Brewery in Armidale for conversion into our exemplary range of craft beers – liquid magic!