THEY?RE TOPS: Andrea Rowland with a batch of Dusky Pale Ale from her brewery, the Northern Rivers Brewery Company.
THEY?RE TOPS: Andrea Rowland with a batch of Dusky Pale Ale from her brewery, the Northern Rivers Brewery Company.

Couple drinking to success of boutique beers

By DAWN COHEN

MOST guests bring a bottle of wine, but Andrea King turned up at Kevin Rowland's Canadian home with a pick-up truck and 150 bottles of beer.

Understandably, Kevin married Andrea and migrated to Australia.

Two months ago, the couple opened the Northern Rivers' only boutique brewery in Northcott Crescent, Alstonville.

Andrea, a graphic designer, was touring beer festivals and breweries in America when she visited Kevin, who was then just a friend.

"I wasn't a connoisseur before," Kevin said.

"It has been an extreme adventure in a world of different flavours."

The Northern Rivers Brewing Company produces 700 litres a week of two brews: Dusky Pale Ale ? a beer-lovers' drink of bitter hops; and Koshlong Blonde Ale ? a smoother, sweeter brew preferred by those more used to wine.

"Eventually we want the brewery to be like a tourist venture winery with tastings," Andrea said.

The couple plans to apply for a retail licence before the end of the year.

They will then be able to provide tastings and sales on site.

Meanwhile, the public can enjoy a tour of the premises. Only a handful of about 50 Australian boutique breweries operate in NSW.

While most Northern Rivers residents must wait for tastings to be held at local restaurants and pubs, guests at Ballina's Chamber of Commerce Christmas party will be treated to a drop of both brews.

Call 6628 8737 to contact the brewery.



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