The Tasting Paddle is an Australian-run website aimed at providing a social platform for anyone into craft beer and cider in Australia, from producers to consumers. Our focus and our passion is Australian independent craft beer and cider.
The Tasting Paddle is the result of a trip to the Victorian High Country 5 years ago. Sydney-sider Captain K was visiting his younger brother, Doctor Jay in Albury when it all began. Doctor Jay knew Captain K had enjoyed the odd Squire for some time, and was starting to get into other beers he hadn’t heard of. So instead of the usual tourist trail that visitors to Albury would get (exciting, I know), Doctor Jay decided to take Captain K to visit some of the breweries he was discovering in the Victorian High Country. The destinations: Bridge Road Brewers, Bright Brewery, Black Dog Brewery and Sweetwater Brewing Company.
Captain K and Doctor Jay had a tradition of rating random things using random scales - no round numbers.To make the brewery trip a little more interesting, Doctor Jay went in search of a beer rating site that would allow them to rate in a flexible way; however none of the sites were suitable. It was either 1-5 (too simple - beer tasting is complex) or a number of predetermined attributes, each with predetermined weightings (too prescriptive - people are different). This led Doctor Jay, on the night before the visit, to create his own rating system that formed the basis of The Tasting Paddle’s unique, individualised rating system. At the time, it only included Palate (Mouthfeel), Taste and Aftertaste. Over the next two days, as paddles were tasted (some enjoyed more than others), the rating system had its first trial, and the basis for The Tasting Paddle was formed.
For Captain K, who had already had his Gateway experience, and a number of beer epiphanies, this led to his deepening exploration and later his love of and devotion to the Australian craft beer scene. For Doctor Jay, who previously tended to avoid beer because commercial lagers just don’t taste good, it was the beginning of his journey, and one that they both enjoy discovering together to this day.
To put it into one word, Independent.
If I had two words, Australian Independent.
If I had three words, Australian Independent Craft.
If I had four words, Australian Independent Craft Beer’n’cider.”?
We are willing to say, not all independant is great, in fact some of it is outright terrible. But independent is family and mates, independent is innovation, independent is choice, independent is community, independent is local. By supporting independent, we increase the revenue that is coming into the region, which helps to build up the communities across Australia. By supporting independent we are allowing local breweries to continually improve and grow, providing more jobs, better beer, and most importantly (for us) more innovative and out there beers because they can risk taking a chance - and craft beer lovers love them for it.
At the Tasting Paddle, we cannot see the future, but we know this - if independent thrives, so does great beer.
It’s true, Cider is more closely affiliated with wine given they are both fermented fruit juice (to crudely simplify it), and beer closer to spirits like whisky or scotch, which uses an unhopped Wort.
So why add Cider to our Beer site? It’s more than the fact that breweries are turning to it as a mainstay in their lineups. It comes down to our passions, independence and craftsmanship. We have seen over the last few years an increase of “fake craft” in both industries, and we believe there should be a place where you can easily find out if a company is genuinely hand crafted in Tasmania, or just made to look that way.
The other reason, and potentially more important reason, Cider is handcrafted, to perfection, and we want to celebrate that! There is more to Cider than adding yeast to a bucket load of apples, and we want to explore the processes used in more depth, and share that with you.
At The Tasting Paddle, we sat down and worked out what it is that we stand for, and what we will and won’t allow.
We will not allow any breweries, cideries or venues that are owned by third parties* to advertise with us.
We will not present any breweries, cideries or venues that are owned by third parties* to be placed onto the Homepage of the website.
We will not allow any breweries, cideries or venues that are owned by third parties* to be part of competitions or giveaways.
That’s up to you! We are driven by feedback. This goes for both users and venues. So if you have any ideas that would improve the site, if there is anything that is bothering you, or something that you would like to use on the site, TELL US! Please send any ideas, criticisms, concerns or vents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, we have a never ending list of things that we want to add to improve the site.
Launch the app!
A classified sections for jobs, equipment for sale, as well as venues for sale
A brewery tour directory
Making the suggestions more intuitive
Tasting lineups for events
These are just a few things that we are adding to make your experience better. But the site is continually worked on to keep up with expectations of the users.
* With the exception of venues owned by other Australian independent business in the craft beer and cider industry.