Despite the tangily refreshing oak spiciness of their Chardonnays, the Ecksians weren’t the kind of people to let a brewery burn.
—Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent
We didn’t take a brewery tour but went straight to the visitor’s centre. At the entrance we were each given a crown cap which was an equivalent of a discount voucher in the beer garden, or in Minecraft terms, a crafting ingredient – if you put together a crown cap and a 50 cents coin you would get a glass of fresh beer – pure magic!
I had never tried freshly brewed beer before and was simply amazed by its taste. Cascade Draught from tap was so refreshing, so… live, that I seriously started thinking of taking a taxi to the motel and even mulled the idea of buying a house a walking distance away from the brewery.
Just tasting that beer was a sufficient reason for visiting the place, but there were others too. The heritage garden in which the visitor’s centre was located could truly be called a beer garden; not the sort that you see in Sydney pubs – crowded, noisy, paved, littered with tables like an obstacle course – but a genuine corner of tamed nature. Gently sloping green lawns invite you to bring a picnic basket, buy a glass of fresh beer at one of the stalls unobtrusively scattered across the garden, and enjoy the views of fountains, flowers, Mt Wellington and, of course, Cascade Brewery building.
The building stands tall and proud against the backdrop of Mt Wellington. Its stately features hewn of stone breathe history… and future too. Unlike its modern flimsy industrial counterparts built of corrugated iron, Cascade Brewery’s massive structure has a castle-like quality which has already stood a solid test of time. In fact, a test of time and fire. Despite the impression Australians made on Sir Terry Pratchett, the brewery did burn in 1967 bushfire. A Bruny Island cruise guide who told us about it made a pause and, seeing no reaction, shook his head in disappointment and repeated in teacher’s tones “Once again, in 1967 we lost Cascade Brewery. Show some empathy!” I remembered Cascade Draught and readily joined a chorus of sympathetic sighs.