Canberra’s love for craft beer is well known and there’s now another brew in the mix, this time aimed at the growing Nepalese community in Australia. Mountain Yeti Brewing Co is blending cultures to bring a little bit of Nepal to Canberra.
Co-founders Rajesh Adhikari and Sudarpan Shrestha met as IT university students in Canberra and bonded over their shared Nepalese heritage and love of craft beers. They noticed that the beers were always imported when they visited local Nepalese restaurants for dinner and they began to wonder if there was a market for Nepalese-style beer made locally.
“We wanted to bring something for our community: provide them with a local beer option while also blending the flavours and styles of Nepalese and Australian beers,” Rajesh told Region.
“That fusion is our niche.”
That niche is a growing market. Recent census data shows Nepali is the third-most spoken language in the ACT, and the community is growing. Hence, Mountain Yeti Brewing Co. They’re what is known in the industry as ‘gypsy brewers’, renting out space in other breweries to make their product or contracting the process to a third party.
They did their first batch in the Snowy Mountains at Tumut River Brewing Co and their brewer Martin is now making the beer at Canberra’s own Zierholz Brewery.
Their flagship beer is the Wild Citrus IPA, a hoppy beer that packs a punch at 6% ABV. It pairs nicely with spicy food and is the perfect drink to go with a big serving of Nepalese momos.
Their other beers include The Notorious Lager, a very approachable mid-strength and the Honey Hunter Pilsner, which pays tribute to Nepal’s traditional wild honey harvesters and features organic Nepalese honey. Their latest beer is Lakhey, which showcases traditional culture.
“Our Lakhey beer is some cultural representation for the Newar community. It’s not something a lot of Australians would be familiar with, but we wanted to bring that vibe here.”
They are yet to settle on their core ranges of beers, so there will be more varieties still to come. And they’re thinking about ways to incorporate different traditional flavours into their brews, perhaps using traditional rice wine techniques or more Nepalese ingredients.
While the business was started to bring a taste of Nepal to Canberrans, Rajesh and Sudarpan are also passionate about giving back to their communities back home in Nepal. They regularly partner with not-for-profit REACH for Nepal, which works on sustainable development projects in remote areas of Western Nepal.
“We are also raising funds for the people affected by the November 3 earthquake in the Jajarkot area of Nepal. We’ve raised $1000 so far, and we’re still collecting donations.”
Mountain Yeti beers are currently available at a few Nepalese restaurants in Canberra, like Hungry Buddha and Kathmandu Momo House, and they’re also on the shelves of a couple of bottle shops. Rajesh says they’re looking into more ways to bring their beers to the people.
“We’re hoping to start up a beer garden. And, of course, if we do, we will definitely be serving momos!”
Visit the Mountain Yeti Brewing Co website to see a full list of stockists, and follow them on Facebook or Instagram to stay up to date with events. Rajesh and Sudarpan would also love for people to donate to their Jajarkot earthquake fundraiser page. More details here.
Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.