Thirsty Devil Brewery opens in Albury

The Thirsty Devil Brewery has opened its brewery and taproom in South Albury on the Victoria and New South Wales border.

Founded by friends Tony Lean, Anthony Maw and Reece Bockman, Thirsty Devil was built from a love of homebrewing and the passion to provide a space for the local community.

“I was a self-employed screen printer for 40 years and have been homebrewing for at least 20 years,” co-founder Tony Lean told Brews News.

“It became an addiction so we decided to venture into the brew world and set up a brewery, Albury needed one badly.”

Despite the need for a brewery, it proved difficult to find a venue.

“Albury lacked a decent outdoor dining experience so we built two beer gardens on our site and the call for craft beer was needed,” Lean said.

“[It was] very difficult to find a suitable building in the Albury industrial areas, but we were lucky enough to find a building that was being vacated in four months, so that gave us time to fight with the council about setting up a brewery in town.”

Issues with council caused delays with the development application process, as it was uncharted territory for the area. Lean advised other breweries-in-planning to collaborate with consultants or even local breweries.

“The development application took nearly six months to get approved,” Lean said.

“I would suggest anyone looking to build a brewery [to] contact as many other breweries as they can to get advice, I’m happy to help with NSW breweries.

“Licensing and councils can be hard work, we used a consultant for our licensing and I recommend that strongly. Getting the liquor licence wasn’t that hard, but you have to know your stuff.

“Council were terrible to work with, I think this was their first brewery build in Albury and they had no idea of what to do.”

The venue

The Thirsty Devil venue itself is a brewery with a taproom bar and is licensed for 150 patrons, with a capacity to fit around 300.

“Our main goal was to serve it to the people and get some feedback on our styles,” co-founder Tony Lean said.

“We do have a canning line but [are] still experimenting to get some on the shelves to sell at our bar, I have given myself 12 months to perfect the canning before going into wholesale.

“Our venue has a function room as well so we actually have two bars on site to fill.”

All brewing is done on a system provided by local suppliers Cheeky Peak Brewery in Wodonga.

“Our system consists of two 200-litre, two 400-litre and one 600-litre fermenters, with another 400-litre on the way,” Lean explained.

“We have a 500-litre brew system and can double batch very easily in a day.”

The brewery currently offers eight beers including two Mid Strengths, a Pale Ale, IPA, Red Ale, Porter, Pineapple Vanilla Milkshake IPA and Ginger Beer, with limited releases in the works for summer.

Following a strong opening last month, Lean acknowledged the support from the local community.

“Over the evening we estimated close to 500 people went through at various times and we have been busy every day since, so a great local following,” he said.

“We worked on our brewery every single day for five months. It’s draining on the body but now we are open, it’s well worth it.”

The Thirsty Devil Brewery is now open at 289 Townsend St, South Albury, NSW.

Brewery openings are presented bySpark Breweries and Distilleries, the finest in-venue and production brewing systems available, with local design and support.

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