Discover Merri-bek’s breweries
Temple Brewing: A temple of innovation
22 Weston St, Brunswick East
Born in Brunswick East, Temple Brewing Co. is a beacon for craft beer enthusiasts and is widely known for its premium, award-winning beers and great atmosphere. Its story is one of resilience and reinvention. The original brewery and bar was founded in 2011, but ran into difficulties and closed its doors temporarily in 2013. New owners took over, breathing new life into the brand, offering a new look, a new feel, and, most importantly, new beers.
Today, the brewery offers a core range of beers including Weston St IPA, original favourite Bicycle Beer, Okinawa Sour, and New World Order Stout, as well as a rotating lineup of limited releases and exclusive specialty brews. Head brewer, James Mullins strives for quality beers with a focus on drinkability, and has a passion for researching different beer styles. The naming and labelling of Temple’s beers is a collaborative process, with each label telling a story that links to the hop or flavour of the beer.
Temple has been recognised for its quality beers, winning two gold medals and three silver medals in the Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) in late 2018/early 2019. In fact, every beer entered into AIBA and the Indies Beer awards has won a medal between 2019-2022. The brewery’s unofficial policy is to only release beers that have won a gold or silver medal, and the team is always striving for excellence, through innovation and experimentation. This innovation extends to the kitchen, where head chef, Leandro Veiga developed a hugely popular South American-inspired menu including seafood casserole and Brazilian BBQ.
Temple Brewing Co. complete with its dog-friendly, heated beer garden and upstairs function space overlooking the brewery, is a thriving destination for quality craft beers and events that bring the community together. With all beers made onsite at the brewpub, you can be sure the beer you’re drinking is the freshest it can be.
Inner North Brewing: Good vibes only
10A Russell St, Brunswick
Inner North Brewing Co. is a lively brewery, bar, and bottle shop with a warm atmosphere, great beer, and strong sense of community. It’s truly a hidden gem – located in a Brunswick side street, off a side street. But once you find it and settle in at the stunning sage green-tiled ‘Cheers-style’ bar, you’ll feel instantly at home. Inner North opened in 2017, when there were not many breweries in the area, and has since become a firm favourite with locals.
Founder and head brewer, Zack Skerritt, has an engineering background and a passion for brewing, which led him to transform a dingy warehouse into a warm and inviting space. The vision was big and the process was a labour of love, with the first order of business to let the light in. An old coolworks building, the space was heavily insulated with 12 tonnes of roofing material. The brewery now features an abundance of natural light, creating a church-like experience. The timeless interior is filled with plants, lamps, and wood accents, creating a respite from screens and sports.
On tap, there is a wide range of beers, including traditional styles, easy-drinking pales, lagers, malt-driven beers, and more. The brewhouse produces 800-litre batches, with new recipes and single keg releases always on the menu. Zack and full-time brewer, Jimmy brew whatever they feel like drinking, which could be a Pumpkin Ale and Blood (beetroot) Beer for Halloween or Kiss From a Rose Stout (with rosewater). The venue also hosts events such as a bi-annual cornhole tournament, trivia nights, cheese and beer tastings, and hosts a run group that meets for a run and a beer each Friday.
The Inner North team works hard to foster a strong sense of community. The dog-friendly outdoor space with umbrellas and a striking mural invites lingering, while the 100 Pint Club rewards regulars. Members are rewarded with a free giant tasting paddle, a plaque on the wall with their name on it, and invitations to ‘graduation days’. Inner North Brewing may be hard to find, but one thing’s for sure – it’s very easy to love.
Gales Brewery: From homebrewing to hot spot
28 Gale St, Brunswick East
Dave Williamson is the proud owner of Gales Brewery in Gale St, Brunswick. Dave’s been in the space for years, running an electronics manufacturing business with his business partner. That business was winding down but he wasn’t ready to retire. With 40 years of experience in homebrewing and an undeniable passion for beer – including his famous pizza and beer parties for friends and neighbours – Dave decided to turn his hobby into something more. He began the lengthy process of transforming the space in 2018 and put together the system himsel, finally opening the doors in July 2022.
There’s no passing foot traffic in this industrial pocket but Gales is building a local following through word of mouth and brewery tours. Once inside, punters can chat with Dave at the bar, while sampling a tasting paddle which might include a pale, session ale, IPA, dark beer, wheat beer, porter or stout. Dave also loves to experiment with small single keg runs, like a popular chestnut brown made with fresh chestnuts peeled behind the bar, and orange zest.
The brewery is industrial yet welcoming with polished concrete, high walls and steel columns. The space is filled with warm light and softened by timber, wallpaper, plants, and a decaying concrete structure. It’s clear that the details are important to Dave, from the corner booth cushions to the large bifold windows that let in a fresh breeze. Even dogs are taken care of, with a biscuit made by Dave’s sister.
There’s a real sense of community at Gales. If it’s not Dave pouring beers, it’s likely one of his regulars who now works behind the bar. Bar snacks are delivered with a smile or visitors can order in delivery or walk and pick up food locally. Dave alongside brewer Tom, a chef and the resident flavour expert, are still learning on the job and perfecting the flavours of their beers. But Dave is grateful for the opportunity to turn his lifelong passion for homebrewing into a successful business – he credits both luck and a lot of hard work. You get the sense that this is only the beginning.
Foreigner Brewing: Tucked away Czech gem
12/102 Henkel St, Brunswick
Foreigner Brewing Co. combines the beer traditions of the Czech Republic with the contemporary flair of Melbourne. Founded in 2016 by homebrewers Míra Koman and Peter Denison, the brewery combines their shared Czech heritage and love for beer. The pair first became friends when Míra, who had recently arrived from Czech, was boarding with Peter’s mum. They quickly discovered Míra’s small home town was the same one Peter’s grandparents were from – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Foreigner has a strong focus on traditional Czech lagers, brewed using traditional methods and recipes designed with the help of a friend who spent over two decades brewing at Pilsner Urquell. The pair also brews modern styles such as American-hopped IPAs, Galaxy-packed summer ales and dark ales, demonstrating their ability to blend old-world brewing with contemporary beer styles. It’s clear Peter and Míra’s passion for beer runs deep – and the locals appreciate it.
Míra’s background as a boilermaker allowed him to build most of the six-hectolitre brewery at Foreigner himself. Located in an industrial Brunswick block, hidden away in a strip of warehouses, the brewery has built up a loyal following since 2016. Its small size brings a personal touch, with the brewers themselves often behind the bar ready to chat with customers. During opening hours, the brewery’s open doors and vintage tunes establish a welcoming and inviting atmosphere.
Foreigner also hosts various events, such as Beer Week sensory tastings, games nights and informal ‘house parties’. The brewery has forged connections with the local Brazilian community and has become a place where friendships are forged and a strong sense of community is fostered. With plans such as renovations in the mix, along with new beer and wine creations, Foreigner’s a not-to-be-missed hidden gem.
Co-Conspirators Brewing: Brewing up a storm
377 Victoria St, Brunswick
Co-Conspirators Brewing Company is the mastermind behind some of the most delicious brews in town. What started as a hobby for four friends – couples Jacqui Sacco and Tim Martin, and Maggie and Deon Smit – turned into a full-fledged obsession. Members of the Merri Mashes homebrew club, they won several homebrew competitions, giving them the chance to brew commercially and fulfil their dream of opening their own brewery.
With a shared passion for food and drink, they met up for a beer to nut out their plan and the rest is history. Starting as a gypsy brewing company, using other people’s equipment to create their products, they quickly built-up a following. After several years of searching for the perfect location, the Co-Conspirators Brewpub finally opened its doors to thirsty and excited Brunswick locals in 2022.
The brewery is housed in a warehouse that was originally used by an engineering firm to manufacture tram tracks and has been owned by the same family since the 1950s. A local architectural firm, We Are Humble, transformed the long, narrow space into a laneway-style venue with nooks and cosy spots for conversation. With 24 taps, a beer garden and a family room, the brewery can hold up to 200 people.
Each beer has its own unique personality and story, with no standard tasting notes. The Matriarch, one of the original beers – number four – is still being produced today. Taking their cue from the US craze of hazy East Coast IPAs, Co-Conspirators brewed the Matriarch as a New England-style IPA and it quickly became a crowd favourite.
Deon manages the brewing, with brewer Olmo (formerly of Hawkers) bringing his expertise to the team. The brewpub hosts events for locals and “beer nerds,” including masterclasses and community celebrations. There are also plans to expand, including a future kitchen and barrel programs. Whatever’s around the corner, community remains central for these co-conspirators – who just want to share their obsession for great beer.
The Good Brew Co. – Real kombucha, always.
54 Hope St, Brunswick
The Good Brew Co. is a solar-enabled micro craft kombucha brewery in Brunswick, established in 2007 by Dean O’Callaghan. The Hope St building is covered in solar panels and opens late and closes early so that peak times are covered by 100% solar power. Cellar door visitors can try a free tasting of Dean’s craft-brewed, 200-strain probiotic, living kombucha between 10am and 5pm daily.
Dean is passionate about the gut health benefits of his unpasteurised kombucha. Nine carefully crafted flavours are on offer, along with a selection of wellness tonics. The lavender works a treat for anxiety, the purple corn in the same brew works on hay fever, while bush tucker bubblegum uses local native ingredients like native strawberry gum and marshmallow root to tackle chest infections. Curious individuals can join Dean for a brewing workshop, run onsite on the last Thursday of every month.
The idea for a brewery bubbled away for some time before coming to life. After a stint teaching English in Germany, Dean stepped in to help his dad who’d bought a microbrewery in Healesville. Off the back of this, he began an environmental consultancy, supporting other breweries with efficiency and environmental improvements. Dean then put his deep knowledge to good use at The Good Brew Co., where sustainability is front and centre.
Dean’s regular customers are on board with his mission to reduce packaging. On any given day, they’ll come armed with their refillable bottles, ready to fill them from the kombucha kegs. Most deliveries are done using Dean’s electrified bike, which he also loads up with kegs to cater local events.
Wander down Hope St and you can’t miss The Good Brew Co. Local graffiti artists have put their colourful stamp on the exterior of the building. Inside, a lighting rig is used to light art gallery-style or other displays, while a music station creates an inviting atmosphere for visitors. Dean’s remarkable brewery exemplifies innovation, sustainability and community engagement, and is truly a one-of-a-kind kombucha destination.
Great brews? Tick. Great vibes? Tick. Whether you get around on foot, by bike or to catch public transport, this is the best way to discover your local breweries, distilleries and urban wineries
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