Aether Brewing owners Dave Ward and Jimmy Young have gone their separate ways. Ward has now taken full control of the Aether brand and its new 28,000-litre brewery in Northgate, while Young, who is no longer a partner in Aether, has taken over the original Aether site in Milton and turned it into Milton Common.
“It has actually [been] quite amicable,” Young says of the split. “[Aether] just grew so fast and we sort of detached from each other. We’re lucky to have two different venues that we’re suited better to.”
The separation comes after a fast rise for Aether Brewing, which opened in Milton in 2016, quickly becoming a local craft-beer favourite. This year Ward and Young scaled up production with their 580-square-metre production facility and taproom, Aether HQ.
It makes sense that head brewer Ward is carrying on the Aether brand. Last year, he told Broadsheet about his plan to expand nationally by opening numerous Aether venues around the country. As for Young, he wants to engage the local community by opening up the two-level Milton site to more events.
“We never really maximised the space [before],” Young says. “Previously we were seen as a brewery, and as a brewery alone. By opening up the space, we’re broadening our reach.”
Young has already started hosting events such as macramé and painting classes, and an art show that opened this week. The space now has much more artwork and greenery, softening the industrial look.
As for the 3000 litres of brewing capacity, Young wants to start collaborating with different brewers from around the country in the new year. This beer will be sold exclusively at Milton Common, alongside a number of brews from local and interstate breweries. And yes, you can still find Aether on-tap. In addition to beer, there are now more cocktails and spritzes on offer.
The food menu has remained the same — there are burgers, pizzas and small plates — but a more Asian-inspired menu will debut at the start of next year.