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Habitat for Brewmanity found in South Melbourne

Brewmanity Beer Co will soon be bringing a whole lot more of their core principles of good beer, good deeds and good times after they won council approval to build a multi-level home in South Melbourne.

Tipped to open on Tope Street by February next year on a site adjacent to the Bells Hotel, a new 12-hectolitre brewhouse will have a dedicated building while a planned beer hall (and a rooftop space above it with Melbourne city skyline views) will be housed in an old glass factory.

The announcement comes after a long journey for the contract brewers to find a home of their own since launching in 2015, which even included almost signing a lease in nearby Prahran in March last year before the deal fell through in COVID-19 uncertain times.

But for co-founder, and former Melbourne Football Club captain David Neitz, it’s a perfect outcome, all things considered, for the business as the region south of the city witnesses a burgeoning brewery scene emerge. It’s also a move that will see their beer in more hands than ever before which will ultimately increase their ability to support their major charity partner FightMND in finding a cure for Motor Neurone Disease. For every beer Brewmanity sells a contribution is made to the cause and they’ve been able to raise $250,000 and counting since.

“Obviously a lot of the focus has been in the north from a craft beer perspective, but for us, to be part of this emerging scene south of the Yarra, is really exciting,” David told Beer & Brewer (pictured below). “We’re very cognisant that we’re still in a COVID environment, but we’re hopeful, that by the time we open the doors, that while we might not be in an entirely post-COVID world, we will be in a much better position to manage things and to get things started.”

Having contracted at the likes of Colonial and Hawkers in the past, and currently with Holgate, Brewmanity will continue with that arrangement for some of their production. But with a new taproom to service, and the hunt for a head brewer now underway, David said the opportunity to create limited release cans and kegs in-house, and branch out in to styles they hadn’t necessarily had the wherewithal to do in the past, was “the most exciting thing about this whole plan”.

“We’ve been around now for basically seven years and you do think ‘how do you possibly survive without your own place in that amount of time?’. But we’ve been lucky in terms of our off-premise support, from the likes of independent bottle shops and also Coles and Woolies. So we’ve found ourselves in a reasonable position but it has been a tough slog at times.

“But with this major next step we’re really excited to bring things in-house, particularly with new and exciting innovative beers. We can’t wait for it.”

After the deal to set up shop in Prahran was off the table David and fellow co-founder Jamie Fox met the Bells Hotel owner Sam Tresise through a “friend of a friend” which in turn led to settling on their current site and for Sam to come on board at Brewmanity as a business partner.

“Sam had a desire to get involved in brewing before he spoke to us but he knows he’s a publican and he said ‘I’ve got no real idea about the brewing side, and you’ve got no idea about being a publican, so perhaps this is an opportunity for us to come together and do what each other is good at and make something happen’. And I guess that’s what happened.”

Stay across the developments of Brewmanity’s new home coming to fruition via their Facebook page.

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