In 2006 Ron and Renata Feruglio created Temple Brewing Company. Without a commercial brewery of their own, they operated as gypsy brewers by producing three core beers plus a couple of special releases at other people’s microbreweries across Victoria. Those three beers – a pale ale, ESB and saison – quickly gained a reputation as high quality interpretations of traditional styles and saw them awarded consecutive AIBA Silver and Bronze Medals between 2007-201o, as well as a Gold Medal in 2010 for the ESB.
During the past 18 months the Temple beers have not been seen on bottle-shop shelves. The keen home-brewers turned commercial craft brewers had been focusing all their efforts into establishing a permanent home for Temple Brewing.
On the last Monday before Christmas 2011 the Feruglio’s dream of opening their own commercial brewery and bar came to fruition. Located metres from the popular Lygon St in East Brunswick, Melbourne, along a strip of warehouses, the building’s black facade leads you through the large wooden doors into this contemporary sanctum. Following a quiet launch with family, friends and the local beer industry, Temple Brewery & Brasserie is now open to the public.
The venue consists of the brewery that is directly visible from two bars over two levels, with a capacity for 120 people. The custom design and build of both the brewery and bars have the Ferugilo’s heart and soul written all over, showcasing a passion for the history and traditions of beer. The walls are lined with a timeline of beer milestones. In the upstairs bar a feature wall recalls an extract from Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest known works of literature and written references to beer.
The fully operational brewery has already produced enough beer to supply the bars’ 20 taps. The marble top bars, with the word TEMPLE fashioned in concrete across them, stand as alters for the beers they pour.
Ron and Renata made a conscious decision to have all three pieces of their venue’s puzzle in place before opening to the public. While they could have been brewing and distributing their beers for some time, it was important to them to also have a bar to serve their beers and a kitchen to provide food that complements the enjoyment of the beer.
“Everyone was asking us why it was taking so long, but this is what we wanted to do originally,” Renate told Australian Brews News. She explained that the long road to obtain the appropriate permits was ultimately served best by helping the coucil and their relevant authorities understand their plans for their temple. It is not just a boozy venture but a whole package for enjoyment around good beer.
“To be honest, we were a bit naïve that it would take this long”, Renata said.
“We decided to do bar, kitchen and brewery at the same time. We could have just put a brewery somewhere but we want you to be able to come and drink our beers, try the seasonals and then you need food to really enjoy good beer.”
The Brasserie’s menu provides innovate yet appropriately ancient-suggesting beer snacks or mini-feasts, such as Pickled Quail Eggs and Vegetables , Welsh Rarebit made with the Brunswick Dragut, Drowned Pork Sop (open pork sandwich) and nacho style chilli in a bag.
Temple Brewing’s core range of their American Pale Ale, Japanese Soba Ale (made with buckwheat) and popular Saison have returned just as they were before, much to the relief of both the Feruglios and their fans.
Their current seasonals include the new Brunswick Draught, a 4.8% abv ale that utilises the much maligned Pride of Ringwood hop, as well as a touch of Willamette. This well-balanced beer, with a pleasant aroma and a enjoyable bitter finish, will surely cause many Pride of Ringwood detractors to reconsider their position on Australia’s infamous hop variety.
Also now pouring is the Bicycle Ale, a 4.2% American Blonde ale that has been brewed with seven different hop varieties.
“It’s a beer for the locals”, noted Wilson Hede from behind the bar.
“You can have several and still ride your bicycle home.”
Autumn will suitably see the return of Temple’s other former beer, the Extra Special Bitter.
Tasting paddles are available for those wishing to sample the entire range of brews.
Temple’s bottled beers will return to retail shelves in the new year and will enjoy a national presence through the distribution of Phoenix Beer. The Brewery & Brasserie also hold a general licence to sell take-aways, with 6 packs of the 330ml beers expected to be a hot item.
Keeping things simple and local, the Temple gospel will be spread by their social media presence on Twitter, Facebook as well as their newsletter which you can sign up to on their website. However, it is word-of-mouth from beer and food lovers all over that will be the key channel for the good news of Temple Brewing.
Temple Brewery & Brasserie
122 Weston Street, Brunswick East, Victoria.
Opening Hours: 11am til 11pm Monday to Saturday. 11am til 9pm Sundays. Closed on Public Holidays.