Gypsy brewers CoConspirators will soon be opening the doors to their first permanent brewery and brewpub.
Scheduled to open in mid-2020, the brewery is located at 377 Victoria Street in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick. It will feature a 195-seater brewpub with a 12hL Alpha Brewing system, as well as a kitchen.
CoConspirators was founded by two couples – Jacqui Sacco, Tim Martin, Maggie and Deon Smit – three years ago and has been brewing nomadically for around three years in various Melbourne breweries.
The search for a brewery of their own has taken the team just over a year.
“We’ve always wanted to have our own retail space,” Sacco tells Beer & Brewer. “We came across this space and the stars aligned. We officially took over the lease from the first of week of January.”
CoConspirators is currently finalising things with the local council and expects to know if everything has been approved by February.
“It’s all gone really well; the council have been very supportive,” adds Sacco. “We’ve gone to our neighbours and we’re getting some really positive feedback from all the locals in the area.”
There is space for more tanks should CoConspirators want to increase production. At present, the brewery will be brewing beer solely for the brewpub, with the rest of the wholesale beer still being brewed on a contract basis.
The brewpub will also brew beers that will be exclusively in-house and sold only at the venue.
“Ultimately, that space will always be a retail space and in the future, it’s about looking for a production brewery,” explains Sacco.
CoConspirators has many sustainable plans for the new site, including solar panels and a communal digestive system. This new aerobic digestion technology processes brewery and food waste (like spent grain), turning it into grey water, which can then be used in bathrooms and toilets or to water plants in the brewpub.
“It’s called an Orca,” explains Sacco. “The City of Melbourne has one, a communal digestive system that a lot of the restaurants in the area use. It reduces food waste and the requirements for rubbish. We’re investigating whether our waste can be used.
“We’re definitely putting solar in. We’re also working on the roofing, getting that insulated.”
The team chose Brunswick because they are all local to the area, but also because Brunswick is already an area rich in breweries, with CoConspirators’ brewpub sitting between Foreigner and Inner North.
“We’ve got long-term plans, we’ve just started discussing whether we can do this Brunswick Trail and connect all of us together,” says Sacco. “We can have this little hub. A lot of the places down in Brunswick are really close to where we are too. That’s a plan that we want to do.”