FROM a brewer's perspective, the creation of small scale maltsters such as Ballarat's House of Malt and Riverina-based Voyager Malt is music to their ears.
"It allows us to create a product that really is a local thing, rather than just a commodity," said Anthony Perovic manager of Ballarat-based brew pub The Mallow.
"We have worked together with Drew Graham from House of Malt on our Hello Darkness dark beer, and we feel it is the most Ballarat beer ever, featuring locally roasted coffee and cacao nibs and vanilla from another local business," Mr Perovic said.
"It's great to be able to make a truly local beer."
Owner of The Mallow Dallas Robb said Ballarat was emerging as a beer hotspot, with a well regarded brewing course at the local Federation University and several craft breweries.
The Mallow also fosters a strong home brewing scene, in no small part through its Brew Wars event, which saw home brewers prepare a beer onsite at the pub.
"There's a lot of interest in good beer at the moment," Mr Robb said.
Stuart Whytcross, Voyager Malt, said the popular Barellan Beer, made from barley sourced locally around the northern Riverina town, was an example of how a small maltster could provide a brewer with something different.
"You know exactly where the barley has been produced and it is a real point of difference, the local farmers love the fact the beer on tap in the pub comes from their own crop."
Mr Whytcross said the most popular beer, Golden Grain ale was in a style favoured by those in the area.
"We were conscious we did not want to go and make something in a style that nobody in the area wanted to drink, so we've got an easy drinking, golden ale style beer, which is going well.
"Normally the beer is only available in Barellan so it also provides an opportunity for tourism and that could be something we see more of, people checking out local beers as they travel."