Neil checking the filter bed

Brew 3-Cream Ale

Third time lucky. Brewer Neil Moran was joined by Top Shed Mates Jon Howe and Steve Davis to make our 3rd 100 Litre batch.
We are slowly getting the hang of our little Nano Pilot brewery. As part of this brew we got a chance to taste the fruits of our efforts from Nano Brew 2. Here’s Alison having a sip and sharing her thoughts.

Do we put cream in East Coast Cream Ale?


Greg milking his Jersey. No cream was used in our Cream Ale.

Cream Ale? Drink WHAT? But I’m lactose intolerant!

Relax. We don’t put actual dairy cream in Top Shed’s East Coast Cream Ale. However, we can promise you that if you get it fresh off the tap it sure does taste clean, creamy and delicious. Hats off to our brewers Dave Allen and Liam McKenna their help and advice on this journey into the historical and misunderstood style of beer.

Another big thank you to Thor Milton for putting us on to an article regarding cream Ale style. Here’s an extract;

Cream ale, the bastard son of German lagers and English ales, was actually born in America, unlike most styles of beer. In the mid-1800’s, American ale brewers started losing business to German-inspired lager breweries, so, as any innovative business will do, they figured out a way to adapt. They invented an ale that drank like a lager, which later became “cream ale.”


Neil found us a buyer. It's a secret for now.

G W Barth Coffee Roaster 90 kg

Update: Barth sold to a secret buyer and proceeds have been used to purchase more stuff to make Beer. 

Neil found us a buyer. It's a secret for now.

Neil found us a buyer. It’s a secret for now.

Here is a picture of another prospective buyer who we had hoped would keep the Barth in Byron Bay. Oh well.

Taking the Barth for a Test Roast.

Taking the Barth for a Test Roast.

After successfully bringing back our 1960’s Barth Coffee Roaster from a pile of bits and parts we are now in the process of taking it apart again. We had hoped to get it fully commissioned at the Shed we rented on 1026 Friday Hut Road but that did not work out. History almost in the Making.

Here are some photos, videos and links of the restoration led by Neil Moran and Justin King. We have a number of people interested in working with us to realise our Specialty Coffee Roasting Dreams for Top Shed. We also have a few people sniffing around to see if they might take the Big Barth off our hands.

Flickr Albums. Click on the main image to get to the Albums.

Friday Hut Top Shed

GWBarth-Top Shed Friday Hut

16-18 July 2013

We are making a Cap for the ROK Grinder

A sneak peak at a bit of history in the making. We’ve teamed up with local Byron Designer Nathan Pollock to come up with a custom cap to cover the beans in the ROK Manual Coffee Grinder. This cap was designed to keep the coffee beans from jumping out of the hopper. We are also doing tests to confirm that the cap reduces noise and helps reduce and even eliminate static.





Organic Cream Ale

Top Shed is looking at making some more history in the next few months. After several successful and well received test brews of our East Coast Cream Ale we have decided to go back to the drawing board. Don’t Panic. It’s going to be Organic!

Brewmaster Liam in St. Johns and Brewmaster Dave in Morpeth are working on sourcing organic barley, organic corn and organic hops to concoct an Organic Cream Ale Collaboration.

Once we have successfully sourced suppliers it will not take us long to sort out this next Top Shed Craft Brew.


Liam McKenna Smelling the Roses

We hop(e) you can smell what we are stepping in. Here’s Liam McKenna having a big sniff of a new strain of hops we got to bury our heads in at the Craft Beer Conference in Philadelphia in May.


Philly Love Your Craft Style.



Making with Beer Workshop

Brewmaster Liam McKenna recently posted a gem on “Alegar” which has motivated us to put up this post and put it out there to see if people would be interested in a workshop oriented around making things with beer.

Makes sense for a Brand that claims to be about #historyinthemaking

With so much talent and local produce I am sure we can get way on top of what this guy has made with alegar.


Top Shed East Coast Cream Ale

“Few beer styles can be said to have developed in the United States. Steam beer and its East Coast cousin, cream ale, are two. Born of economic necessity and raised on the eve of Prohibition, the style has matured into a treasured cornerstone of the North American brewing heritage.”


Top Shed Lager in the makingThe Top Shed Cream Ale is not only a delicious and full bodied ale, it’s different from other beers and we like that. Our brewing process is done with respect, pride and admiration for the early origins of what makes a true cream ale, a cream ale. Though it differs from other types of beer, no corner is cut in any of the brewing processes. We do this because we love what we do and we love to provide great beer.
To educate our Top Shed followers and general beer lovers we want you indulge yourself in this well phrased summary regarding all things into the History of Cream Ale. But that’s not all. Don’t put down your glass just yet, there is lots more on the Cream Ales “History in the Making”. Below is a shamelessly and audaciously cut, pasted and edited article. All with good intentions and respect for the original publisher and of course, Cream Ale. I hope you enjoy it as much as we at Top Shed have.
Originally Published by Ben Jankowski – Brewing Techniques Volume 7, Issue 3.

Cream Ale — An American Classic

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.54.24 PM            Is it a lager? Is it an ale? Its pedigree may not be pure, but cream ale has satisfied American drinkers for nearly a century.

Not many beer connoisseurs would care to admit it, but tucked away in many a beer basement or refrigerator behind the pale ales and the latest Belgian beer is a bottle or two of cream ale. When confronted with the evidence, these enthusiasts will staunchly defend cream ale as a beer that is easy to drink and just tastes good.

Whether it’s classification is an ale, lager, or hybrid, cream ale has flourished as a style since the late nineteenth century. It is alive and well at several regional breweries in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Seeking to tempt customers with a familiar taste, some brewpubs and micros are also beginning to produce cream ale, delighting many beer fanciers who fondly remember cream ale as the beer of their youth. The upsurge of interest is a fitting tribute to a style, like steam beer, is distinctly American.

German Roots, American Competitiveness

            The first step in the development of cream ale was the American lager beer revolution in the mid-1800s. Until Anton Schwarz popularized adjunct brewing around that time (1) — combining the cheapness of rice and corn with the high protein, and thus high diastatic power, of American six-row barley— most ales brewed in the United States reflected the English style, consisting of running beers (ales served immediately after primary or secondary fermentation), IPAs, porters, and stouts. But the large German immigration of the mid-1800s introduced Americans to lagers. Wherever the Germans settled, they began brewing, drinking, and selling lager. By the late 1870s, lager beer had eclipsed ales as the beer of choice in most regions of the country.
Welsh and Yankee brewers in the Delaware Valley region of Pennsylvania had established Philadelphia as a center for ale brewing, but around the beginning of this century, the adjunct lagers being sold by the area’s new German brewers began to make inroads into ale sales. The public was beginning to prefer American lager’s light, clear, and effervescent appearance. Ale brewers responded to this demand by creating a top-fermented product similar to an American lager. Using ale yeast (or possibly even a combination of lager and ale yeasts, though no concrete evidence exists for the use of lager yeast in the early cream ales), they could produce beer more quickly than the lager brewers could, thereby potentially increasing sales and market share. It may also have meant that they could use the same worts for both lagers and ales and benefit from economies of scale. These new beers were termed “brilliant,” “sparkling,” or “present use” ales, with the nickname “cream ale” sticking as the common name. Cream ales of the early twentieth century were described as having the appearance of a lager beer, but a fairly pronounced ale taste and character (2).
By the eve of Prohibition, cream ale had become a viable style in established ale-drinking regions. Although ale producer Ballantine (Newark, New Jersey) did brew cream ale into the 1960s, ale breweries that survived the 18th Amendment were merging with lager brewers, who thus gained ales by acquisition. These brewers included Christian Schmidt (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Narragansett (Providence, Rhode Island), F. & M. Schaefer (Brooklyn, New York), Hudepohl (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Stegmaier (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania). Today, the breweries that carry on the tradition of bottled cream ales include Genesee (Rochester, New York), Lion (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) with Stegmaier’s Liebotschaner, and Hudepohl-Schoenling with its Little Kings, which just celebrated its fortieth year of production.
A certified beer judge living in Oyster Bay, New York, Ben Jankowski has been home brewing for eight years and writing for five. This is his eighth article for BrewingTechniques. He has won two Quill and Tankard awards from the North American Guild of Beer Writers for his articles on beer styles. His writing can also be seen in Celebrator Beer News.
Some authors have postulated that steam beer brewers adapted East Coast cream ale hybrid techniques to their products. Because lager yeast was used in steam beer, whereas ale yeast or a combination of ale and lager yeasts was used in cream ale, I believe that steam beer brewing techniques evolved independently of cream ale.
As to who coined the phrase “cream ale,” no evidence points to any particular individual. I believe that the phrase was used by various breweries taking part in fairs and expositions occurring in various cities in the late nineteenth century.

What Makes a Cream Ale?

Although cream ale is descended from American lager, several factors distinguish the two styles. Unlike American premium lagers with their clean, crisp palates and pre-Prohibition lagers with their higher levels of malt and hops, cream ales today are characterized by faint fruity esters in the palate, reserved hopping rates, and kräusening or sugar priming to create an effervescent product.
            Taste: The faint fruity flavor is achieved either by using a top-fermenting or a lager strain with warm primary fermentation temperatures. Many historical examples of cream ale and its predecessor, sparkling ale, had finishing gravities below 3 °P (S.G. 1.012). (See box, “Some Cream Ale Specifications,” at right.) These highly attenuated beers may also have been double fermented; brewers in Pennsylvania reportedly used an ale yeast for primary fermentation and a lager strain for secondary maturation (4), ensuring finishing gravities in the vicinity of 1.010.
            Priming: The German method of kräusening (priming with fermenting beer) and the American technique of priming with sugar are essential to the style. Kräusening for cream ales occurs either in the secondary (after racking) or at the end of primary fermentation (before racking) (5). This practice produces a lively carbonated product, with residual sweetness and mouthfeel imparted by unfermentables. Priming the ale with sugars in the maturation tanks is an alternate way to induce a secondary fermentation; the sugar adds a roundness to the beer.
            Grain bill: Grain bills for cream ales are straightforward. American six-row and flaked maize are the traditional ingredients. The introduction of adjunct brewing was important to the style’s development, because corn and rice produced a lighter-bodied and lighter-colored beer than pure malt could (7). Early cream ale brewers used as much as 30% adjuncts in early cream ales, taking advantage of the excess diastatic power of the six-row malt. Starting gravities for historical cream ales were between 13 °P (1.053) and 14 °P (1.057). (See box, “Some Cream Ale Specifications,” on page 27.)
Some Cream Ale Specifications
According to the Beer Judge Certification Program style guidelines, cream ale is “an adaptation of the American light lager style, chiefly involving fermentation of the beer as an ale followed by a period of cold conditioning. Grain adjuncts such as corn or rice can be used and the beer is light-bodied. Pale straw to pale gold color. Low hop bittering and some hop aroma. Usually well carbonated.” According to the Association of Brewers style guidelines, cream ale’s O.G. should be 1.044–1.056, F.G. should be 1.004–1.010, alcohol content should be 3.4–4.5% (w/w) or 4.2–5.6% (v/v), bitterness should be 10–22 IBUs, and color (°SRM) should be 2–5. Below are characteristics of some cream ale past and present.

Wahl-Henius Specifications, 1908:
For cream or present use ale, 14 °B: 70% malt, 30% unmalted cereal or 75% malt, 25% sugar, 1.5 lb hops per bbl (1).
Nugey Specifications, 1948:
For 100 bbl of 13.6° B cream ale: 4,000 lb malt, 1,000 lb refined grits, 400 lb corn sugar, 75 lb domestic hops for 1.5-hour maximum boil, 25 lb imported hops for 10-min boil (5).
Sugar: Sugar imparts a warm mouthfeel to the style, providing alcohol when added to the primary fermentation, and, when added to the secondary, the unfermented sugars leave a sweet taste on the palate.
Whereas most American lagers rely on corn and rice adjuncts alone, cream ales always contain some form of sugar added to the boiling kettle. Originally, this was glucose, often derived from grapes, and later dextrose (corn sugar) and invert syrup came into use. Sugar in some cream ales comprised as much as 25% of the grain bill. At levels above that, it will impart cidery flavors.
Hops: Cluster was the standard bittering hop through the early 1960s (and probably still are for many beers), and various aromatic hop varieties were used for finishing. Turn-of-the-century hopping rates are difficult to determine, but at least one reference provides a hopping schedule for a brilliant ale that would calculate out to about 40–60 IBUs using the Clusters of that era (1) — certainly far more bitter than the lagers of the time. It is likely, however, that IBUs of 25–40 were more likely during that era. Hops are no longer as high-profile in cream ales as in other styles, but they do impart some aroma and subtle tempering of the malt. Some brewpub cream ales have been dry-hopped, but it is unknown if this was a standard practice for the style in the past.

Cream Ale Recipes
Exposition Cream Ale courtesy of the author

90% six-row malt
10% flaked maize
Add in kettle
50 g/gal corn sugar
Hops (22 IBUs)
4.2 g/gal Cluster, 60 min before end of boil
1.4 g/gal Tettnanger, 45 min before end of boil
1.4 g/gal Crystal, 30 min before end of boil
Wyeast #1056 American Ale, #1007 German Ale, or #1338 European Ale
O.G. 1.054
F.G. 1.012
Dough in malt and flaked maize and protein rest at 122 °F (50 °C) for 20 minutes, then 144 °F (62.5 °C) for 20 minutes, and 156 °F (69 °C) for 20 minutes. Mash out at 168 °F (75.5 °C). Add sugar to kettle. Primary fermentation at 52–56 °F (11–13.5 °C), and secondary at 32–40 °F (0–4.5 °C). Sugar prime or kräusen if desired.
Delaware Valley Cream Ale
Courtesy of Lou Farrell, Thunder Bay Brewing


96% two-row Harrington malt
4% Munich malt
Add to every 5 gal water
1 tsp gypsum
Add in kettle
90 g/gal dextrose
Hops (20 IBUs)
2.8 g/gal Perle, 60 min before end of boil
4.2 g/gal Northern Brewer, 45 min before end of boil
1.4 g/gal Willamette, dry hop in secondary
Wyeast #1007 German Ale or #1056 American Ale
O.G. 1.046
F.G. 1.010
Dough in malt and rest at 122 °F (50 °C) for 20 minutes, then 156 °F (69 °C) for 40 minutes. Add dextrose to kettle. Ferment in primary fermentor at 58–62 °F (14.5–16.5 °C). Condition in secondary at 48–52 °F (9–11.5 °C), with addition of dry hops. Prime or kräusen in the secondary, if desired.
Today’s Commercial Cream Ales
From their glory days early in this century, cream ales declined in strength and flavour until, in the not-too-distant past, they were virtually indistinguishable from lagers at the few remaining breweries that produced them, and their starting gravities were often at or below 11 °P (1.044). Happily, two of the stalwart breweries that continuously produced the product are brewing retro cream ales.
The Lion Brewery manufactures the former Stegmaier cream ale Liebotschaner. This beer has won four gold medals in the American lager/cream ale category at The Great American Beer Festival. Brewer Leo Orlandini uses a combination of two-and six-row malt with corn sugar in the kettle for a deep golden ale having a starting gravity of 12.5 °P (1.050). Fifteen IBUs of Mt. Hood, Saaz, and Cascade temper the malt, and the beer is primed with corn sugar in the secondary.
Cincinnati’s Hudepohl–Schoenling Brewery brews perhaps the best nationally known cream ale, Little Kings, originally a product of the long-standing Schoenling brewery (which also made a dark cream ale). In 1958, the brewery tried to stimulate sales of the product by introducing the beer in green bottles. Ohio law at the time stipulated that ales were not permitted to be sold in 12-oz. bottles, so the company instead sold the ale in 7-oz. bottles. Sales escalated, and the beer gained a cult following in the South and Southwest in the late 1970s. Today, Little Kings is sold in 44 states and exported to the United Kingdom. The Little Kings of 1999 is slightly higher in gravity than it used to be (1.053 today; 1.049 in 1989), and is brewed using six-row malt and corn grits. Cluster and Saaz hops amount to 20 IBUs, and the beer is fermented by a proprietary strain of lager yeast (called “ale yeast” by employees to differentiate it from the company’s other lager yeasts). Paul Abrams of Hudepohl-Schoenling says this yeast gives the beer a spicy flavor not found in other strains at the brewery. The beer is kräusened and aged for six weeks.
One of the more notable brewpub cream ales of the 1990s was produced in Philadelphia at Dock Street Brewery. Brewer Lou Farrell teamed with veteran brewer/consultant Bill Moeller for a recipe that won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 1992.
“Cream ale is a complex style,” Farrell said recently. “There are many components to balance and little room for errors, since the malt and hops are used with a light hand and any technical flaws will show.”
The recipe appears on the previous page. Two-row malt was used with some Munich for color and slight dextrin building. The key to this beer is the time-honored tradition of kräusening. After racking into the secondary and letting the beer drop clear, adding 20% of newly fermented kräusened beer will drop the apparent extract from 4 to 2.5. The finished beer will be highly carbonated (“spritzy,” says Farrell) with hints of lemon zest.
Not known for a cream ale tradition (though some might suggest that golden ales come from the same stock), Canada is beginning to pick up the style. The Sleeman Brewing Company of Guelph, Ontario, produces cream ale from a recipe used in 1895 by John Sleeman’s great-great-grandfather, and packages it in clear bottles. Molson has just released Dave’s Original Cream Ale, and the cask-conditioning craze has not passed this style by, for the Wellington County Brewery (Guelph, Ontario) is making a cream pale cask ale.
Brewing Cream Ale
Brewing cream ale can be a rewarding experience, provided you can keep an open mind about adjuncts. Many beer enthusiasts have embraced the pre-Prohibition Pilsner style for its taste and the historical value of using adjuncts, and the same holds true for cream ale. Although many brewers do appreciate adjuncts for their value to American beer profiles, far too many others consider corn, rice, and sugar anathema and avoid them at all costs. Cream ales cannot be accurately reproduced without adjuncts, for malt alone could not supply their distinctive character.
Tasting Cream Ales
I recently sampled two cream ales with Phil Markowski, brewer at the Southampton Publick House in Southampton, New York.
Genesee Cream Ale was first. The color was straw or light gold. “It has a dry malt, myrcene hop character,” Markowski remarked. “There is a slight cidery note in the flavor, with more sugary sweetness than malt sweetness.” The beer was faintly hopped, with a head that disappeared quickly.
The other beer we tasted was Stegmaier/Lion’s Liebotschaner. This cream ale had a deep gold color similar to that of Pilsner Urquell, with a head that kept a small halo around the pint glass. “There’s a perfume sweet nose and more malt character than Genny,” Markowski said. The beer had a peach ester in the nose. Moderate body, malt, some warmth from fermented sugars, and a small amount of hop aroma rounded out the flavor profile.
At other tasting sessions, Little Kings was found to be in favor with West Coast evaluators. Straw in color, the beer was quite sweet, with a distinct sulfur aroma, smooth mouthfeel, little if any hop taste, and a clean finish.
By comparison, my Exposition Cream Ale was found to be moderately golden in color, with a bit of perfumy hop note and pear ester in the nose and much less sweetness than the LK. The beer appeared to have some DMS in the middle, and finished clean, with a slight tartness.
The recipes shown are good starting points around which to design your own cream ale. The ingredients you choose depend on how closely you would like to approximate those traditionally used in the cream ales of the early twentieth century. A gravity of 1.050 is good target gravity. All-grain brewers who wish to be traditional should use 8–9 lb. of six-row malt in a five-gallon batch, depending on their extract efficiencies. Flaked maize is the adjunct of choice in the mash tun, with anywhere from ½ to 1 lb being sufficient, although some sources suggest that 20% of the grist is minimum. The flakes should not be milled, but can be tossed into the grist as they are. (Depending on the geometry of your mash tun, they may contribute to a stuck mash.) If a moderately deeper gold cast is desired in the ale, add 1/3 lb of Munich or Vienna malt to the mash. A step infusion mash can be effective for maximum extract efficiency (see recipes). Extract brewers are also able to produce a good cream ale by using 6.6 lb of light malt extract along with 8 oz of maltodextrin. Whether mashing or extracting, some form of sugar should be in the boil, so 2/3 cup of corn sugar or invert syrup is recommended. Treat the water at your discretion; soft or slightly hard water is acceptable, in keeping with the water profile in the mid-Atlantic region that spawned the style.
The choice of hops is a matter of taste, but keep in mind that the bitterness should be 15–25 IBUs. Moderate-alpha bittering hops such as Cluster, Brewers Gold, and Northern Brewer work well, although high-alpha triploids such as Nugget, Eroica, and Southern Cross have also been used for bittering. Aroma hops to consider include all noble varieties and their triploid offspring such as Mt. Hood, Liberty, Crystal, and Santiam. Styrian Golding, Willamette, and Cascade will also work well. Dry hopping in the secondary with a low-alpha hop is an option to consider.
The choice of ale or lager (or both) yeast is entirely up to you, but look for one that will attenuate the beer down to 1.008–1.012. Some well-attenuating ale yeasts include Wyeast Laboratories #1056 (American Ale), #1007 (German Ale), and #1338 (Alt). Lager yeasts include Wyeast #2112 California Lager and #2272 North American Lager. Primary fermentation with either lager or ale yeast should be somewhat warm at 56–62 °F (13–17 °C). Secondary maturation should be either at cellar temperature at 48–52 °F (9–11 °C) or, in the hybrid tradition, lagered at 35 °F (2 °C) for three weeks.
Cream ale is one of the few styles for which priming with sugar to induce carbonation before bottling is accurate to style. Three-quarters of a cup of corn sugar or glucose will create a lively carbonation rate for 5 gallons. Kräusening with 1½ cups of gyle will also have the desired results.
For kräusening, professional brewers can use any newly fermented blonde beer; Wahl-Henius recommends a 10% rate taken 36 hours after pitching, but Lou Farrell recommends a 20% kräusening rate regardless of batch size. Home brewers who don’t have newly fermented beer lying around can boil 1½ cups of light malt extract, cool it, and add it to a carboy, then add the beer to be bottled. The beer will carbonate in the bottle 7–10 days after filling.
A Style Not to Be S-corned

Few beer styles can be said to have developed in the United States. Steam beer and its East Coast cousin, cream ale, are two. Born of economic necessity and raised on the eve of Prohibition, the style has matured into a respected cornerstone of the North American brewing heritage.


        Greg and Pal  My thanks to Leo Orlandini, Lion Brewing Company; Paul Abrams, Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Company; Jaime Jurado, Gambrinus Company (Cincinnati, Ohio); Lou Farrell, Thunder Bay Brewing Company (Englewood, New Jersey); Martin Lodahl; and Stephen Beaumont. BT also wishes to thank Jeff Renner and Dave Sapsis for their input.

All contents copyright 2016 by MoreFlavor Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this document or the related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher.

(Note I am in contact with the author to get written permission for this post-gbc)





Small World Fast World

Small World.

A week ago we met Taylor and Dayle. A week before that Taylor met Kirsten and Cass at the Farm in Byron Bay. On that day Taylor and Dayle met Heath. One week later we have met again and in a week we will be collaborating on an event at Top Shed’s The Friday Hut.


The Barber of Byron-Heath Bernhardt

The Barber of Byron-Heath Bernhardt



Fast World.


Will be making ugly mugs pretty again @ Top Shed Brewers Fridays starting 4th March 10am-8pm (men and boys cuts). 1026 Friday Hutt Road Binna Burra. Come and have a beer and a snip. Call on 0426 814 423 to book

Top Shed Cream Ale

It’s amazing how quickly history can be made in these modern times. What would have taken years to accomplish only a few decades ago can be done in months. What a great time to be living.

Here is a brief history to date of Top Shed Cream Ale. What a serendipitous and delicious story it is.

Please note this is very much a work in progress and our plan is to keep updating this post and probably one day turn it into a page of its own.

Greg Cromwell wanders into the Commercial Hotel and finds a little brewery being operated by Dave Allen

Greg and Dave meet–hit it off. Dave agrees to brew some Lager for Top Shed. He also brews a Cream Ale.

Greg Cromwell and Jason Ferris taste Cream Ale and love it.

Top Shed launches with a big party at Cromwell Farms and folks get to try our Lager (recipe we developed) and the Cream Ale.

People Loved both. Cream Ale recipe revised to to differentiate it from the Lager in terms of colour and Top Shed Red Dog Cream Ale is born.

Dave can’t make enough beer for us. Over capacity in Morpeth. Greg finds a brewery in Sydney to take over production. Top Shed Red Dog  Ale is produced, loved and sells out. Another batch his produced with a minor tweak to adjust colour–more Red — less brown. The Dog and Cream have been dropped from the name to prepare for another Cream Ale that is in the works*.

October 1, 2015-Email Brief sent to Liam

A collaboration from the most Easterly Point of Australia (Top Shed) and the most Easterly point of North America (Liam McKenna).
Opportunity knocks.
In the tradition of fire, ready and aim the end game here is to get us a recipe for a new Cream Ale that we can add to our current line of Top Shed Brews.
Top Shed Lager
Top Shed Red Dog Ale
Our goal is to brew a Cream Ale next week. To do this all we need is a recipe that will complement the two brews we have now. By complement we want something that is different in colour, taste and what we hope will end up being our flag ship brew. We are counting on you to put the McKenna dichotomy of thinking and doing to the test.
Ball Park Specs.
4.8 Alcohol
Light Golden Colour
Generous creamy head
Drinkable to the max because it just tastes so darn good





*Side Story. On a trip to St. Johns Greg wanders into another brewery and meets Liam Mckenna brewmaster at Yellow Belly. The two instantly become brothers from another mother. Plans are made to make a special brew for Top Shed and to produce it simultaneously in St. Johns, Newfoundland and St. Peter’s, New South Wales.

Newfoundland Beer History
History and Style Overview




Brothers (in Arms and from other Mothers) Liam McKenna and Greg Cromwell

A bit of “History in the Faking” Neil mocked up some labels for Cream Ale to take away camping–beer contained was Lager not Cream Ale. Just getting a bit of ready in our fire and aim.

And after the coffee came the beero's!

A photo posted by Top Shed (@thetopshed) on


Williamsburg Lennox Head We Love You


Remember when someone believed in you and gave you a go? At Top Shed we will always remember our friends at Williamsburg in Lennox Head who gave us our first “permanent” tap. Then to Top it off they gave us a second Tap. Wow. How good is that?

We remember back in the day when Williamsburg was going to be Bill’s Burger and Beer and a few other things including something with Shed in it. Well we’re glad they chose the name Williamsburg (which also happens to be one of my favourite places back home to hang out). Glad I can now hangout at its namesake less then an hour away instead of 24 hours.

Speaking of hanging out we are getting ready to take a Top Shed Posse to Lennox Head right now for some a Sunday Session. Not just beer and burgers either….music. Sweet Music.

Can’t wait to take in some South Pacific Blues and feed it with some Brews and Burgers.  Matthew Armitage will be working his magic from 4 pm today till 7 pm… I bet if we cheer loud enough and shout a round of Top Shed Lager and Red Dog he would do an encore or two.

IMG_9591 IMG_9592 IMG_9593