There's no rest for the wicked, nor for the bad, it would seem. Fresh from winning two silvers and a whopping five bronze medals at Australia's most prestigious beer industry awards, Badlands Brewery isn't taking a breather.
Owner and head brewer Jon Shiner's latest innovative creation that will be brewed up just in time for Christmas couldn't be more iconic to Orange either, with plans for a sour-cherry beer.
"They'll be the very first cherries from Orange going into a beer," Mr Shiner said.
"We're doing so many beers and new ones all the time. [Such as] collaborations. All sorts of stuff."
Badlands is no stranger to taking risks. In what's possibly a world-first, the brewery created a "sushi-themed beer". Consisting of seaweed handpicked from the mouth of the Snowy River, Tasmanian wasabi and even rice, it was created in collaboration with "gypsy brewer", Gypsy Fox.
Another unique batch to recently roll of their canning line is beer made with botanicals, with the intention of tasting like gin.
The Orange brewer's rule-bending approach to beer production appears to be paying off too. At last week's Independent Beer Awards seven of the eight beers Badlands entered into the competition picked up medals.
The two silver-medal winners were the Darkness London Porter and the interestingly named Acronym Abuse Ch2 Neipa - a "juicy or hazy India pale ale". While Brewbecca Kolch, Draughty Kilt, U-Boat Lager, JAXON Red IPA and Quad all brought home bronze medals for the micro-brewery.
"We were delighted with the results. Seven out of eight beers got medals, and the only one that didn't was the pilesner."
That pilesner is rather ironically the same brew that recently made it into the top 20 beers of the year list in The Weekend Australian Magazine. The publicity resulted in the brewery completely selling out of the pilesner.
Mr Shiner explained that the Independent Beer Awards were crucial to brewers like himself who were completely independent and Australian-owned when so much of the beer industry in Australia wasn't.
"It's very difficult for the consumer to know that what they're drinking isn't craft and isn't (from a) small and independent (brewery)," he said.
"Huge Japanese conglomerates control 90 per cent of the beer market in Australia... And of course all their profits go offshore."
Consumer awareness of the "big guys" seemed to be increasing in the city, he said, but in regional areas the battle often felt like it was only beginning.
"These barriers are breaking down in the cities, especially in the inner-cities," Mr Shiner said.
"But out in the regions the (representatives) still have a lot of power which means we can't get our foot in the door (of the pubs)."
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