As Brisbane continues to become a breeding ground for fantastic craft-beer breweries, the city is seeing an influx of not only styles and tastes but also brewing methods. The latest arrival on the scene is Helios Brewing Company, a brewery that aims to minimise its carbon footprint by maximising its sustainability through inventive methods. The ownership group consisting of Scott Shomer and Tony and Jayne Rutter have a shared 58 years of experience working in the field of environmental studies across mining, industrial, oil, gas and energy supply industries, which means they have the know-how when it comes to operating sustainably.
Helios’ Yeerongpilly premises has been outfitted to capitalise on the power of the sun for a lot of its energy supply. The roof is covered in 335-watt solar panels, drawing in Brisbane’s scorching sun to power most of its gear, while also exporting 40 percent of its power produced to the grid. The team has implemented an innovative solar thermal system to heat water for its mash tun, meaning that no power is required for the first half of the brewing process, saving 30 percent of the overall power that would be needed at a conventional brewery. Other sustainable initiatives implemented include the re-use of water where possible, employing a special condenser to trap vapour emissions and donating the grain and hop trub to farmers for reuse. Scott, Tony and Jayne are also sharing their knowledge on effective methods with the industry to spur widespread change across the scene.
No matter how environmentally sound the set-up is, all parties agree that producing a good beer at the end of the process is still paramount. Award-winning brewer Charlie Hodgson was recruited after stints at Gage Roads Brewing Co. and Mash Brewing to help realise Scott’s own recipes on a larger scale. The core beers boast a depth of flavour and deep colouring, with great care taken to ensure each drop is three-dimensional and enjoyable from first to last sip. Punters can hit up the ground-level bar and sample the pantheon of six core beers inspired by key figures of Greek mythology, including the Midas Golden Ale, Zeus’ Thunderbolt Douple IPA, the Athena Scottish Ale, the Poseidon Pale Ale and the Hades Bitter Chocolate Stout. Charlie will also be brewing up limited-edition beers with a more experimental bent over the coming months. The bar is open evenings from Thursday to Saturday, with food trucks on hand providing the eats.
Helios Brewing Company is concocting its drops now. If you’re keen to sample, be sure to check Helios out in our Stumble Guide for more information.