Shearer’s Joy

Shearer’s Joy Historic Farmhouse Ale   4.7% a/v


19th century shearers on the label of a historic farmhouse ale

Our Shearer’s Joy was actually the first ale to ever be brewed at the unique wood-fired brewhouse in Robe. Made with ingredients that would have been used to make a beer on a farmstead in South Australia back in the 1800’s: A partial sour mash of malted barley and potatoes; lightly flavoured with homegrown hops, ginger and wild horehound – an old medicinal herb of the mint family.

As all our ales, it is brewed in a wood-fired kettle, using oak barrel mash tuns with straw filtration, open fermentation and natural bottle or keg conditioning.


wood-fire and straw-filtered oak-barrel mash tuns

Shearer’s Joy is a lightly flavoured, easy drinking and refreshing pale coloured ale. It has  a gentle tart edge from the partial sour mash, which makes it thirst-quenching. The hops, ginger and horehound add a very subtle zingy flavouring to the complex, yet light bouquet of this drop.

The inspiration for this ale came about from hearing talk of how horehound was once used to “make beer.” Horehound, now an invasive weed in most parts of Australia, was introduced to the country as a medicinal herb used for treating respiratory diseases. Its pungent aroma and very bitter flavour meant it was suitable substitute for flavouring beer when there were no hops around.


Horehound growing wild out the back of Robe Town Brewery

Shearer’s Joy is an old slang term for colonial beer in Australia. It probably originated as a name for fermented beverages made on farmsteads and stations for the shearers and labourers – for a bit of joy after work, or as a refreshment between shifts.

Robe Town Brewery’s Shearer’s Joy was first made as a festival beer for the GABS 2015 festival event in Melbourne. It has since become one of our most popular products, often the first to sell out when we visit rural markets and fairs.

Shearer’s Joy – a beverage that will bring joy to any ringer with a thirst!


homegrown hops at Robe Town Brewery