RAISE YOUR GLASS: Stuart Duff will unveil Dusty Miner’s special Black Rye PA at Bitter & Twisted on Saturday. Picture: Jonathan CarrollIN this flavoursome era of craft beer, one of the last bastion of mainstream brews would surely be the mining industry. A hard-earned thirst, needs a big cold beer, and all that jazz.
However, Aberglasslyn underground fitter Stuart Duff is casting off those old stereotypes with his award-winning Dusty Miner Craft Brewery. In two years the home nano-brewery has won silver medals for itsBlack Bon3s Dark Ale, a tribute to Maitland Blacks Rugby Club, at the Sydney Beer and Cider Awards 2015 and this year’s Australian International Beer Awards.
“I started grain-brewing 15 years ago and with the craft beer scene becoming what it was, I said to my wife [Cathy] I’d like to do it,” Duff said.“So she said find some people, other than my friends, to try it and I got some good reviews, so she let me go and buy a brewery.”
Duff still worksas aunderground fitter at Wambo Mine, but hopes to one day brew full-time. And he’s getting closer to that dream.Eight bottle shops and three pubs stock his range, thatincludes,Shaftman Pale,Stook IPA,Undercut Msa and 3 Daughters Red, which Duff said is“like my girls;it’s intriguing, feisty and sometimes sweet.”
Duff will be pouring his Dusty Miner dropsat theBitter & Twisted Boutique Beer Festival this weekend at Maitland Gaol, plus a special one-off Black Rye PA.
It’s brewed with rye grain in a black IPA before bourbon oak chips were added tothe fermenting process.
“Barrel-aged beers have been coming out for the last six months or more, so people have been ageingthem in old bourbon, whiskeyorwine barrels to get the actual flavour out of the barrel,” Duff said.“I didn’t have a barrel or the time to age it, so I’ve used bourbon oak chips in the fermenter.”
It’s an exotic ale that will turn heads at Bitter & Twisted, but is Duff converting many of his old pit buddies away fromTooheysand VB?
“Some are starting to try new things, which is good, but there’s still some guys who are old school and it’s hard to change those blokes,” he said.“The younger blokes are willing to try new beers.”
This year’s Bitter & Twisted will be the 10th edition of the popular event. Sydney’s award-winningStockade Brew Co and Modus Operandi will both debut this year and Newcastle’s Apple Truck Cider will have an individual stall for the first time. Saturday is sold out, but tickets are still available for Sunday.