Our roving beer reviewer, Saint Barbara, visits a thriving craft brewery in Dubbo.
A recent work engagement in western NSW meant time for a road trip and a few days in Dubbo en route. Dubbo has certainly transformed since my last visit, and one of those changes has been a significant increase in craft beer appreciation.
Devil’s Hollow Brewery, on the outskirts of town, is a welcoming and visible sign of this evolution. I received a very rapid response to my email asking about tasting times on a Tuesday afternoon, only to discover that the venue closes on Mondays and Tuesdays at 2pm.
Undeterred, we returned on Wednesday afternoon in hopes of tasting the intriguingly named ‘Nun Launcher’ and ‘Flash Kate’. A friendly welcome greeted us, and very helpful bar staff sorted out our tasting paddles. I tasted Dub Vegas, Nun Launcher, Flash Kate, and their light dark beer, Black Horn.
Eminently drinkable, Nun Launcher and Flash Kate won the day for me. Nun Launcher would be very refreshing after a hot summer’s day. Flash Kate has a nice complexity of flavour and a gorgeous copper hue.
The nine beers and one cider on tap are all affectionately named for a Dubbo connection, and came with tasting notes and an explanation of their names.
The Nun Launcher’s unique name was inspired by four of the brewery’s founders all went to school together in Dubbo and remember when the local church, St. Brigid’s, was rebuilt, with a distinctive spire.
As the Devil’s Hollow website explains: “There are not many churches that can boast a launch pad straight to the heavens in the design, but we can!”
Meanwhile, gangster Catherine Mary Josephine Leigh, better known as ‘Flash Kate’, was born in Dubbo. Her battle with arch rival Tilly Devine to become the ‘Queen’ of the Sydney underworld fuelled the razor gang wars of Darlinghurst, which lasted from 1927 to 1930. To separate the two, the Courts sent Kate back to Dubbo for two years, so she opened ‘Flash Kate’s Casino and Brothel’, now the site of the Milestone Hotel Dubbo
We left Devil’s Hollow with some cans in our hands as takeaways, though Growlers and Squealers were also available. A great place to visit.
Devil’s Hollow Brewery, 10 Commercial Ave, Blueridge Business Park, Dubbo NSW.