CASTLEMAINE'S Sam Wills has followed his passion for home brewing to produce central Victoria's newest craft beer.
Wills' Old Slang Brewing released its first product last week - Fresh as a Daisy Pale Ale - at the Red Hills Hotel in Chewton.
The decision to brew and distribute Old Slang grew from Wills wanting to travel less for work.
"We moved to Castlemaine a couple years ago from Footscray," Wills said. "I work at Sunshine Hospital, which is great but it's a lot of travel. There isn't an equivalent of my job in the area, so I have to travel.
"But I thought 'what if I could do something else close to home that I'm passionate about?' I had already been a home brewer for a long time.
"I only work two days a week, my wife works full time and I'm at home as a house husband but the kids are school so I can fit in things during in the day.
"I just thought I would try something different and if it works, maybe I'll quit my job."
Old Slang was brewed with the help of Brookes Brewing in Bendigo.
"At the moment it's just the one beer, basically due to tank limitations," Wills said. "At this time of year, people want pale ales and lighter-coloured beers, so it's good one to start with.
"Last Tuesday we canned it, on Thursday we got it to the Red Hill Hotel (in Chewton), where I work one night a week.
"It was in bottle shops on Friday. I took a couple slabs in and they have already sold out.
"Pale ales are not too challenging (for people to drink), so I can start with something familiar, do it a few times and try something darker next winter."
The debut batch of Old Slang included eight kegs and 200 slabs.
For Wills, seeing the first pour of his own beer was the peak of his excitement.
"When I saw it being poured at the pub, that was moment it felt out there. And it tasted it good too," Wills said. "We did a lot of batches of testing because I wanted it to be a beer I enjoyed.
"(The Red Hill Hotel) is nearly through 50 litres already. They had a soccer awards night on Friday and it took a hammering then. Since Friday we have already gone through 15 slabs for bottle shops and pre-orders.
"We are seeing if some other places might stock it. The Bridge in Castlemaine might give it a go and we have approached a few other places locally.
"There's been a good response but I'm weary of the honeymoon period. People want to try it but hopefully it results in repeat customers. I'm really concentrating on Castlemaine at moment to build a following."
Wills said he hopes to see his beer be served in Bendigo as well.
"I'm going to try and get it up to Bendigo in a few places soon," he said. "Hopefully some will stock it locally but people can check the social media pages to see where we're stocking."
You can find Old Slang Brewing on Facebook.
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