There aren’t many brewers on Phillip Island, despite how much the locals love a cold frostie. And even so, Ocean Reach Brewing came about unintentionally. What started as a home-brewing hobby developed rather quickly into a microbrewery enterprise.

Ocean Reach’s first official beer cracked open in 2016. Owners Simon and Alex Bismire recall the obscurity of launching with a porter in summer. But in a way, it sets the tone for the brewery’s humility as the pair bottle and package all the beers on the island, together with the help of Simon’s dad, Wayne.

Named after a popular surf break at Cape Woolamai, the trio ride their own wave in the brewing industry with a balance of respecting traditional methods while leaning into experimental beers, such as its Peaches n Cream, Coffee & Bun – White Stout and its summery Citrus & lychee sours.

The Ocean Reach core range comprises four beers; its Pale Ale, IPA, Lager and Porter. You’ll find these on tap in most venues on the island. Or reach Alex directly by visiting her at the brewing taphouse located on the main shopping strip in Cowes.

Originally, the beer was brewed here, too, with a 300-litre vessel and all labels stuck on by hand. Within 18 months, Ocean Reach Brewing had grown five times the size and needed to move into a much larger space located in the island’s industrial estate. As head brewer, this is where Simon’s more likely to be found, producing upwards of 100,000 litres per year.

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Updated: July 6th, 2021

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