Jayne Lewis and Scott Meager at the Steampacket Hotel in Williamstown. Source: News Limited
A BREW to celebrate 150 years of wetting Williamstown drinkers’ whistles will be the feature of a heritage beer and cider festival in the suburb next month.
The ale, a concoction by Yarraville Two Birds Brewing’s Jayne Lewis, has been made in honour of the Steam Packet Hotel’s 150th anniversary of being granted a liquor licence.
It will be part of the Williamstown Heritage Beer and Cider Festival, a one-day event at Robertson Reserve featuring 23 different beer, cider and wine makers.
The festival will also include live music and food.
Steam Packet Hotel publican Scott Meager the beer was devised to taste like one that would have been served in the pub’s formative years.
“I wanted a beer you would have drunk if you walked into the pub in 1863. What sort of beer would you get?” Mr Meager said.
“But she (Jayne Lewis) said you needed to make 40 kegs to make it worthwhile and suggested I have a festival.”
Ms Lewis said the beer, which the pair were to start brewing last week, would be a darker pale ale.
“We’re planning to do something a bit cloudy as we were thinking brewers wouldn’t have used much filtration and the water was probably a little on the cloudy side at the time,” she said.
“We are also going to use some local ingredients such as a coastal plant.”
Mr Meager said the first licensed venue on the site of the Steam Packet Hotel, in Cole St, was called the Ship Inn.
The timber building burned down at least twice and was rebuilt as a boarding house and bakery before the present blue stone building was built in 1864.
He said the pub’s most unusual patron was a donkey, photographed enjoying a carrot at the bar in 1969.