Good Folk Brewing opens in Newcastle

Good Folk Brewing has opened its brewpub in the Newcastle suburb of Hamilton, after a two-year development journey.

The business was founded by brothers John and Phil Elsley, who had worked in hospitality for over 10 years and had a love for homebrewing.

Paired with the family’s experience in owning various craft beer venues such as The Blind Monk, building a brewery was a natural step, according to Phil Elsley.

“[It] was easy as [the brewery] was next door to our current bar and had been empty for a few years,” he explained.

“[We’re] very happy with the location given it is on a main street in Newcastle – Beaumont St, Hamilton.”

While it was easy finding the right venue, Elsley explained how long the development application process can take.

“Local council didn’t have any particular major hurdles, however were incredibly slow. It took a painstakingly long time to get approval,” he said.

He also provided some advice for other breweries-in-planning.

“[The] only advice I could have would be to have patience,” Elsley said.

“It did take two years from the time we decided to start a brewery till we got our Occupancy certificate.”

In terms of the venue itself, Good Folk Brewing is a brewpub licensed for 140 patrons, with the brewery having a 20hL system.

James Horne, who previously worked with Tribe Breweries, Hope Estate and IronBark Hill Brewhouse, currently serves as head brewer and his beers include a Tropical Pale Ale, Lager and an IPA.

Special releases include a Sour, IIPA, Rice Lager and a Hazy Pale.

When asked what the most difficult part of opening a brewery is, Elsley said it’s time and money.

“It is a long time with big expensive bills such as new drainage systems, flooring, professional compliance reports for everything from sound, lighting, electric, exhaust, etc,” he said.

“A lot of money going out for paperwork with no money coming in for some time.”

Good Folk Brewing is open seven days a week at 80 Beaumont Street, Hamilton NSW 2303.

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