Camden venue to serve local award-winning homebrew

CHEERS: Macquarie Fields resident Michael Hodge's (left) homebrew will soon be served by Upstairs at Fred's owner Steve Wisbey. Picture: Simon Bennett
CHEERS: Macquarie Fields resident Michael Hodge's (left) homebrew will soon be served by Upstairs at Fred's owner Steve Wisbey. Picture: Simon Bennett

Camden beer lovers will soon be able to taste an award-winning drink with a distinct Macarthur flavour.

Camden venue Upstairs at Fred's has agreed to serve Michael Hodge's home-made beer, which recently won grand champion homebrew at the Camden Show.

It is the third straight year the Macquarie Fields man has won the competition.

Mr Hodge, who is an electrical technician by trade, thanked Upstairs at Fred's for its support.

"It's certainly a good thing and can only help my brand," he said.

Mr Hodge, 40, began homebrewing about 12 years ago because he didn't like the taste of most beers served at pubs.

"I was always into craft beer and for trying different beers," he said.

"In the early to mid-2000s, it was the thrill of the chase to try new beers. I decided to read everything I could about homebrewing and started.

"I got some new equipment and joined the Razorback Brewers Club, where I now teach newcomers."

The father-of-two said he enjoyed having the chance to brew original drinks, or try replicate popular craft beers.

His Belgian kriek lambic beer was named grand champion at this year's Camden Show.

"I like to try traditional beers, or new beers on the market and think 'can I make that'? I am about pushing the boundaries," he said.

Macquarie Fields homebrewer Michael Hodge with Upstairs at Fred's owner Steve Wisbey. Picture: Simon Bennett

Macquarie Fields homebrewer Michael Hodge with Upstairs at Fred's owner Steve Wisbey. Picture: Simon Bennett

Mr Hodge, who brews his beer on his patio at home, said there two key rules to creating a good drop.

"Attention to detail and good sanitation are crucial."

Mr Hodge said he had a simple test to see if his homebrew was popular.

"If someone was at a pub and willing to go back for a second one, that's when I know my beer is good."

Upstairs at Fred's owner Steve Wisbey plans to unveil Mr Hodge's homebrew when he holds a Macarthur Beer Day Out festival in the next month.

Mr Wisbey said Mr Hodge's homebrew would be served alongside well-known craft brewers such as Eden Brewery and Hayward Brewery.

"It's an opportunity for Michael to get a wider appeal," Mr Wisbey said.

If someone was at a pub and willing to go back for a second one, that's when I know my beer is good.

Macquarie Fields homebrewer Michael Hodge