Shedding light on the latest news, reviews and information on the
South Australian brewing industry

Pikes beer company
Tonic ale
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By : Beer Adelaide
Aug 2015
Henry Pike arrived in South Australia in 1878 and settled in the township of Oakbank, in the Adelaide Hills. Henry started a handyman business and worked for many local companies in the area including Johnstons Brewery in Oakbank. Johnston's brewery was one of the largest breweries in the state at the time, and they owned many hotels in the local area.

After a disagreement with the Johnston family, Henry took it upon himself to start a new brewery in the area and compete directly with Johnstons brewery. The new brewery was no more than 100 meters down the road from Johnstons and was brewing beer by 1886.

Pikes beer was instantly popular and was widely consumed in the Adelaide Hills area. Henry died in 1904 and the family continued the business. Johnstons Brewery stopped brewing beer 1914 leaving Pikes Brewery as the main Adelaide Hills.



The brewery survived World War 1 and the great depression, but competition from the South Australian Brewing Company eventually stopped the brewery brewing beer by 1938, though they continued to manufacture softdrinks and cordials until the 1970's



From the beginning of Pikes Oakbank Brewery they brewed a beer named Oakbank Beer, from which there current labels for Pikes Pilsner, Sparkling Ale and Stout are based on. And they also made a Tonic ale from the late 1890's up until the 1960's. The Pike family have revived the historic recipe for the Tonic Ale and have released it on draught and now in bottles.



Style - Herbed Spiced Beer
Strength - 2.3%
Size - 330mL Bottles & Draught
Colour - Light pale yellow in colour.
Aroma - Spice & herbs with lemon grass and a slight sweetness.
Malt - Little to no malt flavour.
Hops - Nice bitterness with lemongrass and floral tasting herbs.
Overall Taste - Mostly lemongrass and herbs.
Overall - A great light tasting drink, almost a softdrink. Very refreshing and would be great on a long summers afternoon.





I have also tried the Tonic Ale as a mixer in a Gin & Tonic, very different to the usual Gin & Tonic I am used to, but still very nice and well worth trying if you also like to indulge in gin from Australia’s many gin distillery’s.


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