Six friends open a brewpub. It’s not an unusual story these days, except Malt Brewing is landing in Bulimba, once the spiritual home of the Bulimba Gold Top but a suburb that’s had little to do with beer since (other than Oxford 152’s brief, pre-ALH foray into micro brewing).
“Each of us brings a different discipline to what we’re doing,” says founding owner, Jay Neven, who’s acting as project manager for the brewery. “We’ve got a really diverse group of people with a common vision and passion for craft beer and this area.”
The owners have hired Matt Cuthbert, previously from Sydney’s Rocks Brewing Company, as head brewer. There will be 11 beer taps, pouring entry-level brews, more experimental batches and one cider.
The brewery has replaced a homewares shop down the quieter end of the street. The space will have an Astroturfed beer garden out the front, and an inside bar area with a full view of the brewing operation. It’s a feature that Neven hopes people will gravitate towards when the space opens in December.
“We want people to enjoy and understand what’s going on here,” he says. “[The open brewery concept is] a ‘wow’ factor, but also an educational experience.”
A large Forno Bravo wood-fired pizza oven has been installed, but Neven is keeping wraps on who will be slinging the dough come opening.
“We could have done a really big kitchen with all these crazy dishes, but we just want to double down on what we’re good at,” Neven says. “We’re not trying to complicate it.”
Malt made local news early this year when Quest Newspapers reported it faced resistance from a small number of local residents. But Neven says the story was unnecessarily negative and that there’s plenty of local excitement for the project.
“They weren’t opposed to the idea — they were quite positive — but rather were concerned about a couple of aspects,” Neven says. “We listened and modified parking and the opening hours to cap them at 10pm. We changed the business model because we wanted to be engaged with the community. That’s really important to us.”
Malt Brewing Co will open at 41 Oxford Street in mid-December. maltbrewingco.com.au