Two months after beloved Melbourne homebrew shop Grain and Grape closed down, two former employees are opening up their own venture, Backyard Homebrew Co, continuing to supply the Melbourne homebrewing community.

Co-owners Matt Collinson and Pete Lowndes decided to start Backyard Homebrew Co. amid concern from the local community that they wouldn’t be able to access homebrew supplies following the closure of Grain and Grape.

“Because of Grain and Grape closing, there was a big gap in the inner west for homebrewers. The reason I wanted to open the shop is that homebrewing has been a hobby of mine for about 15 years now, and I’ve got a lot of passion for making beer and obviously enjoying it as well. I love the homebrewing community and what it has to offer. I just want to keep that flame going that Grain and Grape has,” Collinson said.

Just like Grain and Grape, Backyard Homebrew Co. will offer more than just homebrewing products, and Collinson is committed to supporting and growing the local homebrewing community.

“Pete and myself have a lot of knowledge about beer making and winemaking, and we’ll bring that to the community. We’ll also be supportive with brew clubs like Westgate Brewers, by offering sponsorships and sponsorship prizes. We’ll also make sure to have a relaxed, fun experience with the community,” he said.

Backyard Homebrew Co. is currently in a soft opening stage, aptly operating out of Collinson’s backyard, with a hard opening of the retail store coming on 1 July. The initial range includes grain, hops, yeast, and gas exchanges, and Collinson is looking forward to expanding the range over time.

“Currently we’re stocking Joe white Malt, which is fairly common, and we’ve brought in Weyermann malt. I’ve worked with some of Weyermann’s specialty malts, but not the base malt, so I’m excited to see how that goes.

“The most exciting thing right now is getting our Wyeast shipment in, which is liquid yeast from America. It’s something Grain and Grape had over the years, and it’s a nice product with a broad range of different styles of yeast. It’s very consistent and performs really well,” he said.

In the future, Collinson is excited to introduce new products into the brewing community, and expects to undertake some travel to find new and exciting equipment, yeast and barley to bring to Backyard Homebrew Co.

“I’d like to be able offer something unique and set us apart from the competitors with something new and interesting.”

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