Milkshake brew is just the start
By Taylor Clyne
June 19, 2019
Ever the entrepreneur, Little Rivers head brewer Chris Carins is making use of the quieter season to experiment and create some different beers.
His most recent invention is a Vovo milkshake brew inspired by Arnott's Vovo biscuits.
He mixes Branxholm hops, local dairy farmers lactose powder, vanilla, speciality biscuit malt, coconut and - wait for it - raspberry jam!
“It actually tastes really good,” Chris said.
“My inspiration for this beer came after making a Milkshake IPA for the recent Fresh Hops Festival. It was pretty popular, so I tweaked the ingredients to make it creamier and sweet.”
The surprisingly tasty drop will be officially launched at the brewery’s curry night this Friday for you to try it for yourself.
In a bid to further value-add to the Little Rivers product line, Chris has been sitting on what some would call a golden ticket.
“We are just about to commission a little alcohol distillery,” he said excitedly.
“It all started two years ago: I wanted to make some whiskey. Whisky is pretty much beer production, without adding hops, then you distil it for two years.
“I’ve had three 20 litre barrels sitting out the back for the past two years waiting for them to mature. They are 65 per cent, really smooth and will be ready for release in two months’ time.
With the finer details still in the works Chris said it's likely to be named Forester Whisky, keeping with the local, clean, green branding of the North‑East.
And if you thought the news stopped there, you are wrong.
The team are calling for your help to name their latest release of pre-mixed gin and tonic cans.
“We’ve been dabbling with gin too; our competition is asking people to name this new line – keeping with the North-East branding of course,” Chris said.
The competition is running on the Little Rivers Facebook page with the winner taking home a carton of their choice.
“I think our goal at the moment is to not just stick with beer but branch out with limited edition releases and different products. I’d like to make a craft cocktail canning line with espresso martinis and vodka. Winter is certainly our fun time.
“In summer we can’t keep up with orders for our core range and 70-80 per cent of our beers are sold then.”
As an outsider looking in, an expansion is inevitable.
“A new canning line is on the wish list to increase the capacity of the brew house.”
“Our current canning line only produces 10 – 15 cartons an hour which is very slow. A new high-capacity line would crank out the orders and in turn create local employment opportunities.
Chris said they also haven’t ruled out the potential of expanding to Derby too.
“We love it up there, it’s an exciting time for tourism in the region.”