Who are you and what is your background?
My Name is Costa Nikias, Founder & Chief Brewer of La Siène Brewing in Melbourne Australia, we are a Farmhouse-Style Brewery located in the inner-city of Melbourne and since 2010 have been making Farmhouse Ales exclusively that capture a sense of place, time & season. We are inspired to make Farmhouse Ales including Saisons (French for the season) that reflects the personality of our site microbially and at some level us the makers. Our brewery is located next to 70 hectares of protected national parkland on 1 side and a running creek on another side that is teeming with diverse microflora which we encourage into the brewery to help us make beer with a sense of place.
In what city?
Where does your interest in microbrewery come from?
I was a winemaker previously and have come across to brewing out of sense calling and passion, hence the name La Sirene.
What makes your beer unique? Why?
Our Artisan Ales are made using simple ingredients mostly grown in our state of Victoria from malts to hops and using our wild yeast that lives within the brewery’s walls. We use specific techniques that are a nod to the old world such as open ferments, wild ferments using indigenous yeast caught at our brewery and 100% bottle refermentation. Another point is that we only produce Farmhouse Ales exclusively so no IPA’s
What is the size of the brewery (number of barrels per year, etc.)?
under half Million Litres per annum
What tools are essential to your life (app, software)?
Good operating forklift, great café nearby brewing fresh coffee, and Spotify access
What does your office space look like?
It’s in the brewery area, surrounded by hundreds of French oak barrels
Do you have a way to organize your days to optimize your work?
Yes, with a beer in hand
Any “tips” to improve productivity?
I like to work off lists
Can you give us a tour of your local craft beer brewery scene?
The Australian craft brewing scene is vibrant, with over 520 operating microbreweries across the country all producing some great beers in many different styles
How do you control the growth of your microbrewery?
We are always looking for Organic growth, anything more is rarely grounded enough to build upon in our experience.
What is your strategy for making your beer known? (tastings, festival, etc.)
We engage in a lot of beer dinners & tastings at restaurants rather than festivals as our artisanal ales are best enjoyed with food so the food pairing aspect is as important as the creation of the beer.
What inspires you and motivates you to go to work every day?
Great question, it’s the inspiration of being able to create a new combination and drill down a little deeper into what I am doing. I am an eternal experimentalist
What is the best advice given to you?
Start small, grow methodically and be the best you can at what you do.
What are your end and start routines?
Drink beer, drink beer
What were your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur?
Having the courage to try new things.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a brewery?
Do not do it, keep it as a hobby, this is what my brewing lecturer advised me.
Apart from your computer and your phone, what gadget cannot you do without?
At the end of the day, what kind of beer do you drink to relax?
3.9% Biere de Provision – Table Beer By La Sirene
Thank you and have a great day
photos: La Sirène Brewing Facebook