28 August 2018

"We want to turn Canberra into the true Can Beer Capital it should be, CanBeerA!" - Christoph Zierholz

| Ian Campbell
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Christoph Zierholz left a career in soild science to make beer. Photo: Supplied.

Christoph Zierholz left a career in soil and water science to make beer. Photo: Supplied.

A Canberra brewery is working hard to deepen the offerings of locally made craft beer in the ACT.

Zierholz has been making fresh beer at Fyshwick since 2005 using German-inspired recipes with a twist of Canberra.

The brewery’s range of seven beers are a familiar sight flowing from taps right around the capital, however, Christoph Zierholz is now determined to see his passion travel beyond pubs and bars.

“We want to turn Canberra into the true Can Beer Capital it should be, CanBeerA!” he laughs.

“Our friends at Bentspoke and the Capital Brewing Company are already offering Canberrans tasty brews to savour at home, at the footy or take with them camping.

“I want Zierholz to complement the local offerings with our range of Germanic inspired, finely crafted ales and lagers,” Christoph says.

A crowdfunding campaign is helping to fulfil the Zierholz vision.

The crew at Zierholz have been playing around with potential label designs. Photo: Supplied.

The crew at Zierholz have been playing around with potential label designs. Photo: Supplied.

Almost $12,000 has been raised in the last month; $50,000 is the end goal. Funds raised will go directly to covering the costs of canning Zierholz beer.

“Our plans are to initially bring in a mobile canning line from East Coast Canning, they come in and set up their canning system for a day or two then take it away again,” Christoph explains.

“Capital Brewing were using them initially but have since bought their own. We’re planning to do the same – essentially this is proof of concept before trying to finance of our own equipment.

“We’re a family-owned brewery so this has been an evolution for us.

“When I first started, canning wasn’t even an option and a bottling line would have cost about 1.5 million.

“Canning has only become an option recently following the boom in the craft beer market,” he says.

The first part of the plan is to can Zierholz’s flagship beer, the German Ale, before offering the brewery’s other favourites and more seasonal brews.

Given the money already raised there is a significant community of fans around the Zierholz brand keen to help make it happen.

Some of the comments on the campaign’s Go Fund Me page include:

“Thank you for what you do! Looking forward to tasting your beer at home! Let me know when the cartons can be picked up!” – Geordie Cullen

“Looking forward to cracking my first tinny!” – Michael Crowther

“Please make the hefeweizen the next one you can Christoph!” – Dave Drynan

“I would be VERY happy to see your excellent beer available in cans! Can’t wait :-)” – Ron Hackney

“Great ACT brewery creating German inspired brews. Their weizen is the best in the range and I hope to see that canned one day.” – Sean O’Connor

Loyal drinkers are also being enticed to chip in with Zierholz offering a number of incentives and rewards for those contributing via Go Fund Me.

“Our approach to this fundraiser has been to offer product-based incentives and ways for people to get involved in the exercise, even to have an opportunity to come in and be involved in brewing!” Christoph says.

“We’re getting closer every day now and currently working on finalising the can label design and details.”

Canberra has really been a part of the beer can revival, “The humble tinnie has come a long way from when it used to be the sole domain of mass-produced cheap mainstream lagers,” Christoph says.

“It is the package of choice for the craft brewer because of cost, logistics, and environmental considerations.

“There are many benefits to the drinker as well; cans lock in the flavour of beer better than dark glass bottles, no light penetrating means beer tastes fresher longer, and cans get colder quicker and take up less space in your fridge!”

This latest move from Zierholz Brewery represents growth that started thirteen years ago.

Behind the scenes at the Zierholz Brewery Fyshwick. Photo: Supplied.

Behind the scenes at the Zierholz Brewery in Fyshwick. Photo: Supplied.

Once a soil and water scientist, Christoph Zierholz took to brewing with the intent of pleasing his dad who lamented the dearth of authentic German Weizenbier in Australia after emigrating in 1984 with his wife and five children.

Christoph set out to quench that thirst by learning how to homebrew. Several local and national brewing champion titles later, Christoph set his goals higher and started Zierholz Brewery, Canberra’s first regional-scale microbrewery.

“These days we also supply the German and Austrian Embassies with beer for their annual National Day Celebrations,” Christoph says.

“Our goal now is to get our beers into your local shop so you can enjoy them at your convenience and share them with your friends. Even show off to your interstate visitors the range and quality of beers Canberra has to offer.

“For anyone who has missed out all these years, we have a cellar door restaurant and bar located in Fyshwick right next door to the brewery where you can swing by, say hi and have a fantastic German experience, we promise you won’t be disappointed!”

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