With news that award-winning gypsy brewer BrewCult had finally found a home, of sorts, Beer & Brewer caught up with Steve ‘Hendo’ Henderson to get the lowdown on the new digs.
B&B: Tell us a bit about the new bar
Hendo: The place will be called BrewCult Bar and it’s at 581 Sydney Rd in Brunswick. We’ve created a touch-point for the BrewCult brand as I often get asked, ‘Where can I try all your beers?’ There’s never been anywhere you can try all the beers in the one place at the same time…until now.
We’re pretty stoked at the accessible location too as there is the #19 tram stop out the front and Anstey Station on the Upfield line out the back.
B&B: Who’s the team behind it?
Hendo: The management team behind the bar is my business partner, Troy Taylor. He has a pedigree of creating vibrant and successful craft beer venues through his history of rebuilding the pub that became The Pourhouse in Maitland, NSW. Our manager is Matt Hofmann and despite his funny looks, he has a history of being involved with several well-known craft beer venues, including The Scratch (QLD), The Park Hotel in Werribee (VIC) and our good friends at Bad Shepherd Brewing Co. in Cheltenham (VIC).
We’re currently recruiting staff and they would like for them to be at various stages in their craft beer journey. BrewCult Bar is about the fun in learning and discovering craft beer, and not just for the beer geeks.
B&B: What style of bar will it be?
Hendo: We want to create a relaxed atmosphere that caters to our locals who have probably not heard of BrewCult or even ventured too far on their craft beer journey. But that said, there’s a lot of beer geeks out there who also love the BrewCult brand and they’ll be able to take a more adventurous path with our beer offering.
We want for all of the beer to be ‘best of breed’. Sometimes that implies local, sometimes that implies really-really-good-but-from-far-away. This reflects the BrewCult ethos.
Best of breed also applies to our beer service. All of our staff will head down the Cicerone learning program.
B&B: What will the bar serve up food and drinks-wise?
Hendo: We’ll have 10 taps where the BrewCult core range will be poured, one or two of BrewCult’s current seasonals or single kegs, three or four rotating guest taps and a rotating cider tap. There’ll be something new on every time you visit.
We’ll also have a fridge stocked with best of breed beer from around the world reflecting styles that offer the punters some progression, a small wine list, whisky and gin because brewers love Negronis or maybe that’s just me.
Food-wise…we thought about what food goes well with beer and that food is pizza. Pizza is awesome. Only weirdos dislike pizza. So think of pizza and diner food to complement it. Did I mention how cool pizza is?
B&B: How heavily will you be involved?
Hendo: Well I live only a block or two away so yeah, I’ll be quite heavily involved! You’ll often catch me there slinging beers behind the bar, educating patrons on the awesomeness of beer or doing an event with the punters.
The best part is that I still get to be a brewer! I’m also quite heavily involved with our good friends at KAIJU! and Exit Brewing, at the Dandy South Massive (what we call the brewery) where we all work on each other’s beers in different ways. It’s important that BrewCult stays true to its gypsy brewing roots.
B&B: Why did you decide to open a bar?
Hendo: At BrewCult, we’re proud of our gypsy brewer heritage and at the moment, we have no plans to change that. We could have built a brewery in an industrial estate but it would have been difficult for people to visit us. This way, we can bring BrewCult to the punters and make our outlet accessible – much like our beer. Pretty sure we’ll be opening Australia’s first gypsy brewer bar.
B&B: When will it open?
Hendo: We’re looking at opening in early to mid-November. We already have our liquor license and the venue only needs some minor renovations before we can open the doors. We’ll do a soft launch a few days before our grand opening.
To stay up to date with how BrewCult Bar is progressing, check the BrewCult Facebook page.