Brick Lane opens its production facility

Melbourne’s newest brewery opened its doors last Thursday night, welcoming friends and family to celebrate the long-awaited launch of Brick Lane Brewing.

With their own Dandenong South-based brewery now operational, co-founder Paul Bowker said the team are focused on launching their beers afresh, to coincide with the opening of the new facility.

“We’ve got some great new and exciting beers we want to bring to the market that are brewed out of our brewery by our brewer,” Bowker said.

“By mid to late September, the plan is to have five new beers into the market along with a new and updated version of our brand.”

Bowker said that the new facility will allow Brick Lane beers to be ranged more widely, not only on-premise, but across retail markets in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

“The key for us, is to brew a large variety of beers for different segments of the market,” Bowker said.

“We’ve got a highly efficient brewhouse that can produce both smaller and much higher volume beers.”

Built by German brewery systems BrauKon, Bowker said the Dandenong South facility is highly flexible.

“Phase one is to have a fermentation and packing capacity for three million litres per year,” Bowker explained.

“We can brew 50hl batches 10 times a day, that’s a real differentiator compared with other breweries in the market.”

“Phase two is to introduce additional fermentation tanks with the view to producing 10 million litres per year.”

Bowker emphasised that the Dandenong South facility has been designed so that other brewers can brew on the kit.

“We’ve already brought three or four breweries into the fold,” he said.

“We actively want to brew with other people.”

Bowker, who addressed his guests at the launch, said that the night was special for two reasons.

“It’s the first day we’ve had people in the brewery, and it’s the first time we’ve brewed a beer on our own kit.”

A red ale, which was tapped only an hour before festivities had begun, was the first beer out of Dandenong South, by the “Harry Potter of beer” and Brick Lane’s Master Brewer Jon Seltin.

“Everything is about the friends and the community at Brick Lane,” Bowker said.

“We want to remember everyone who attended on the night, so if you go down the back you can write your name and have it etched into a bottle, to be part of a permanent sculptural feature here at the brewery.”

Co-founder Bart Campbell, who also spoke at the launch, said that he hopes Brick Lane can turn Dandenong South into a tourism hotspot.

“Myself, Andrew and Paul and 22 other friends embarked on a journey about 18 months ago,” Campbell said.

“The story is that 25 friends got together through a common love, and that’s a love of good beer.”

“Our aim is to do things differently here, to build a brewing community for the curious,” Campbell said.

“Along the way we managed to go over budget and over time, which had nothing to do with the building but rather with the beautiful stainless steel equipment.”

“It’s been a rollercoaster.”

“Our values, set out as a group, are to be beer curious and to do good, both within the industry and with the environment, to be authentic and inclusive and no short cuts.”

“We really care about the environment, and we’ve really tried to minimise our footprint here.”

“Our spent grain will go to local farmers for the livestock to eat, and unfortunately for them, return back here to end up on our wood-fired pizzas.”

Victorian Minister for tourism, major events, sport and veterans affairs John Eren also said a few words.

“It’s breweries like Brick Lane that actually make up what Victoria is as an offering to all those interstate and international tourists,” Eren said.

Brewery openings are presented bySpark Breweries and Distilleries, the finest in-venue and production brewing systems available, with local design and support.Read more:How to start a brewing company: Part One.

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