One of the requirements when coming down south is to have a community station job - a responsibility you take on outside your work hours for the betterment of community life. In the two seasons I have spent at Casey, I have been lucky enough to be placed on the brewery team. My first as a brew crew member and this season I was honoured with the title of “Brew Master”.
Brewing in the Antarctic has been a long held tradition, with the oldest formula found in the Casey brewery dating back to 1965. Another more modern tradition is the brew master being able to rename the brewery every year. This year it’s called the “Deadly Drop”. Named after two brew team members – Lethal and Cliff.
Working in the brewery has been an absolute pleasure. Like they say, if you do something you like for a job, you’ll never work a day in your life. I loved the brewery. I loved the camaraderie of the crew, the banter, the laughs, the tunes and the odd Q&A session. The brewery was more than just the sum of its output. It was a meeting place, a confessional, a safe place. I have personally witnessed rifts heeled, tears shed, mateships forged and barriers broken down all in that tiny space. It was a place where all walks of life mingled, worked and laughed together on an even footing. From station leaders, to doctors, pilots, scientists, weather guessers, and tradies. Even chefs ~ when not too busy. We even had Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki in there in 2019.
Alas though, time moves on. Societal attitudes change with time and the notion of brewing and supplying beer is now outdated. The brewery will be no more as of the 27 October 2021. It will be a strange feeling to turn the lock on that little room for the last time. Knowing the next time it’s opened it will be something entirely different and a tradition will be forever lost. It has been an honour to be the brew master for the last 12 months, but as we approach the end of an era it’s a hollow feeling knowing you’re the last custodian.
- Leigh “Lethal” Stevens (Casey 74th ANARE Brew Master/Electrician).