WHO WE ARE & HOW IT ALL BEGAN
When Frank and Corinna arrived in Australia from Germany in 1982, Frank, then aged 24, had a problem. The then local mass-produced beer was not to his liking, so he got into home brewing. The Prancing Pony idea existed long before even a serious thought was given to opening a real brewery. Probably around the time Corinna threw Frank out of the kitchen, because he nearly burned the place down with his boil on the stove.
Refining his craft in the shed, Frank dreamed up a label to stick on the bottles- only so he could tell which beer was which, and to entertain Corinna (‘make me a Black Ale’, she once said). The labels got more colourful, including imaginary medals not won at the time, and of course the imaginary brewery name, ‘Prancing Pony’.
After long careers in the corporate world, both Frank and Corinna grew tired of working on projects for others. They wanted to create something tangible, something cheerful and pleasant, something with flavour. Naturally, crafting beer came out on top of the ‘potential business ventures’ list. Long ago, Frank and Corinna first met in a pub. Over a beer, they talked all things motorcycles while enjoying Blues music.
One day in 2011, Corinna said to Frank ‘Open a brewery’, to which Frank replied, ‘You’re nuts, it’s three times the work and less than half the pay’. But Frank contemplated the idea and reminded himself of his own motto: ‘If you want to do something, don’t talk about it… just do it’.
So eventually Frank relented, and the pair banded together with a couple of close friends, and together they opened Prancing Pony Brewery (for real) in 2012.
Today, the brewery continues to operate independently with 100% Australian ownership.
BREWING & BEER PHILOSOPHY
Right from the start, Frank wanted to brew uncomplicated beers with uncompromised quality and flavour, but that still tasted like beer. Beers that were Rarely Tame, but Always Reliable. This mission would extend to new beers and special releases; brewing with only malt, hops, yeast, and water- promising approachable beers with no nasty surprises.
Our team of brewers draw inspiration from traditional recipes for many of our beers; and for others, they experiment with non-traditional hops, unusual malts, or brewing and fermenting technologies.
Originally, Frank engineered our 10HL brewhouse (he’s pretty clever like that). When we reached capacity in 2016, it was passed on to newcomers to the Craft Beer Industry, making way for a new State of the Art, German engineered, 30HL semi-automated, 3 brew-vessel Braukon brewhouse. We are proud to be part of the Braukon family of brewers world-wide, and our team love using this highly efficient equipment.
We believe that well-brewed beers need to be packaged well, with quality and freshness in mind. It made sense for us to match our brewing equipment with high quality packaging equipment. In 2015, we installed a 12-head counter pressure Leibinger bottling line, and a Renner labelling machine. In 2019, we installed a canning machine in the production space.
Beers delivered outside SA are shipped using refrigerated transport, and we prefer to ship smaller amounts more frequently to ensure that our beers arrive fresh.
Sustainability is a core pillar of our business, and we endeavour to minimise our carbon footprint wherever possible. Some of our practices include recapturing water from the brewing process, sourcing renewable energy through solar panels, re-purposing spent grain into animal feed, giving food scraps to local farmers, and building an energy-efficient operation.
BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY & COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Frank and Corinna wanted the Prancing Pony to be more than just another business. They wanted to create a community-embedded establishment that would make a difference and take a proactive approach in supporting social and environmental causes.
Some of the initiatives to date have included:
- The ‘No Grain, No Beer’ campaign – raising funds for farmers affected by drought.
- The ‘Brew Gooder’ campaign – raising funds for clean water in rural Africa.
- The ‘Resilience’ campaign – with proceeds going to bushfire relief.
- Weekly meat tray raffles at the Brewshed– supporting the CFS (Country Fire Service).
- The ‘Puck Futin’ beer release, a collaborative effort with Barossa Valley Brewing and Route 9 Distillery, raising funds for humanitarian relief in Ukraine.
- ‘Pony Pints for Flood Relief’ – proceeds from every Pony pint at these participating venues were donated to the Drought Angels Farmer Flood Appeal.
- The ‘Rarely Tame Lager’ – a special release beer in partnership with Zoos SA that raised awareness and funds for the Przewalski’s Horses, also known as the ‘P-Horse’. P-Horses are a critically endangered species found in Mongolia, known as the last truly wild horse. $10 for every carton sold was donated to Monarto Safari Park, to assist in their conservation efforts.
- Karma Kegs at key Brewshed events such as ‘Beers, Bikes and Blues’, and Oktoberfest – with all revenue from the keg going to the Salvation Army.
- International Women’s Day event – with a portion of ticket sales donated to White Ribbon Australia.
AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
Prancing Pony Brewery has received over 100 awards from various craft beer award events and challenges nationally and internationally.
Almost all Prancing Pony beers have won medals or trophies, however the pinnacle of these would have to be winning the ‘Supreme Champion Trophy’ at the International Beer Challenge in London in 2016 for the India Red Ale (the highest accolade that can be won for a beer at the IBC).
In 2015, Prancing Pony Brewery also won the ‘Best Small Australian Brewery’ award.
OUR HOME AT THE BREWSHED
We might be biased, but we think the Brewshed is an awesome place to enjoy a beer. Located in Totness (near Mount Barker and only a four-minute drive from the iconic Hahndorf), the Brewshed is a family-friendly brewery, open 7 days a week. The Brewshed offers a full view of the brewery in operation, and the kitchen delivers a wide selection of pub classics and specialty seasonal menus. The Pony is famous for its wood-oven pizzas, burgers and snack foods that match perfectly with your craft beer.
Get together in our dining room or beer garden (well behaved dogs are very welcome) and revel in a space we built ourselves using recycled materials that have been creatively repurposed, sparking a homely, welcoming environment for friends and family to gather.
Look around our rustic venue and ponder the previous life of the decorative doors and windows, the pair of jeans used for the cushions on your chair, or the workbench (complete with a clamp) that has been repurposed with love and given new life. Look deeper and notice the hand-made beer paddles, light shades made of Ikea mixing bowls, the wall of beer cartons and the antique rocking horses. The Brewshed is the home of the Pony- eclectic, special, and welcoming to all.
With an inviting, welcoming social atmosphere, we offer live music on Sundays and cater to non-beer drinkers with a selection of quality wines, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages on offer.