In 2009 Dan Dainton first asked his dad, Kevin, to help him open a brewery. Seven years later, after he’d studied brewing at Federation University in Ballarat, worked at James Squire and Holgate, and nomad brewed around town, Dainton Family Brewery finally opened.

The duo looked everywhere in Victoria before settling on this nondescript site beside the freeway. They liked its location halfway between Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.

The plain warehouse looks much like other breweries – high ceilings, hardy steel furniture, dozens of beer taps and a food truck out front on weekends.

At the bar you’ll choose between the biscuit-y, copper-hued Red Eye Rye (Dainton’s first ever release); Samurye lager, which mixes rice, barley and rye in the boil; Insane Uncle IPA; and Cherry Sack Attack, a sweetish ale which uses real cherry juice and according to the tasting notes, “absolutely no sack”.

In the colder months it’s all about Black Sheep, an oatmeal stout (oats impart a smoother, fuller body) jazzed up with coffee; and the Bad Daughter choc-orange porter, which tastes exactly like Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

Like most breweries, it’s not a place to get legless. Kids enjoy the table-tennis table and room to run around. On Fridays and Sundays live musicians play on the huge elevated catwalk above the bar, keeping the mood light.

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Updated: August 23rd, 2023

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