Interview: Avocado Beer innovator Grassy Knoll Brewing

Recently an avocado beer was launched here in Australia which pretty much broke the internet. The first batch sold out within days, so I contacted Jeff, the head brewer at Grass Knoll Brewing to see what all the fuss was about. Here’s what he had to say…

Jake: Sooo, you’ve launched an avo beer. Why?

Jeff: We couldn’t think of a more challenging ingredient to use with beer and at Grassy Knoll we love a good challenge! Partnering with our mates at Aussie Avocado has been an exciting project and one that we didn’t want to pass up.

Jake: How is the beer brewed…and most importantly, what’s it like?

Jeff: We started with a New England style pale ale base beer and added the avocado after fermentation was complete. This is the same principle as dry hopping beer for a particular aroma, whether it be tropical, resinous or herbal. The biggest thing the avo has contributed to the beer is mouthfeel, giving the beer a soft creamy finish. Secondly and more interestingly, the avocado has given the beer a slight spicy/ peppery note which sets it apart from other beers and attributes to its unique quality.

Jake: Let’s take a step back for a moment…. what is Grassy Knoll’s startup story…and what makes Grassy Knoll Brewing unique?

Jeff: It’s a good question as Grassy Knoll has had a few crossroads and taken a few directional changes in it’s short life. The long and the short of it is, we started out in Bondi, the name Grassy Knoll being inspired from the North Bondi Grassy Knoll, a place known for having a beer on the bank while watching the sunset over the Bondi. During the first year we actually moved out of Bondi down to Wollongong and endeavoured to find more “grassy knolls” and spread our wings. Shortly after moving to Wollongong we have been renting a space at Bulli brewing company which has given us the opportunity to be more flexible with more experimental beers – que the Avocado Beer which we couldn’t have done if we were still contract brewing. Of course the wheels are in motion and we are looking to build our very own brewery in the near future so stay tuned.

Jake: Do you think ‘smashed avo on toast’ habits are the reason young Aussies can’t afford a home?  

Jeff: Definitely not (haha), i think there are 100 other reasons that would come before axing the ol’ smashed avo on toast to save money. Being healthy and eating well, should override the couple of extra dollars you might save from having a somewhat unhealthy diet. To be cheeky, having a craft beer habit would be a lot worse for the pocket nowadays. There have been plenty of times where I’ve left a bottle shop with a 4 pack that cost well over $40!  All in the name of RnD of course and the quality and flavour is well worth it! 

Jake: Finally, where we can we buy Aussie Avo Ale from?   

Jeff: The first port of call is from our website – www.grassyknollbrewing.com.au but from the 12th of January we are rolling out distribution to all of our wholesale accounts which we will be keeping an update on via the website. Get in quick as the last batch went super fast!

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