Perseverance has been the key for the owners of Yulli’s Brews in opening a production brewery and venue.
Yulli’s Brews started out at a vegetarian restaurant in Surry Hills and co-owner Karl Cooney said the brewery has been in planning, in one way or another, for around four years.
Karl said that while their development application and licensing were straightforward, the project had its complications.
“What was more challenging was some of the infrastructure requirements that were placed on us,” Karl said.
Located in an industrial area, the building required some foundational and fire safety work to open it up to the public.
“Rather than being a real thorn in our side we tried to treat them as the parameters within which we had to work,” he explained.
The 20hl brewhouse consists of four vessels with seven 40hl fermenters and two 40hl bright tanks.
It was ordered from China and was installed in late 2017. The first brew went through the system in January 2018.
James said that liaising with the Chinese manufacturer “is not easy at the best of times” but that they used Neal Cameron and Brewtique as middle men with the process taking about five months from order to delivery.
At the time of the venue launch Yulli’s has put 45 batches through the new brewhouse, totalling more than 150,000-litres of beer.
According to James around 60 per cent of the beer goes into cans with the brewery selling packaged product to BWS stores in Sydney and Byron Bay and through Dan Murphy’s Connections.
Before the new brewery was up and running James was brewing and packaging at Australian Brewery, from whom they’ve recently bought a canning line.
James is expecting it to be delivered in the coming weeks. “It’s a line we spent a lot of time on while we were brewing out there,” he said.
James credits recently appointed Head Brewer Tom Davies as having a positive impact on the quality of the beer.
He said that Tom, formerly of Australian Brewery, also knows the canning line “very well”.
The intention for Karl and James is to make the brewhouse a part of the venue space. Karl said he wanted to “blur the boundary between the industrial area and the venue side of things so people feel like they’re a part of it all”.
The brewery venue launched with an all vegan menu featuring native Australian ingredients. Karl said he aimed to “create a menu that was more appropriate to a brewery and a beer drinking environment”.
He explained that in a brewery setting customers will yearn for a different experience to the Surry Hills restaurant.
James described having a retail front to the brewery as “epic for us”. It provides the opportunity to produce limited release beers which he said “is at the core of what we want to do as a brewing company”.
Brewery openings are presented by Spark Breweries and Distilleries, the finest in-venue and production brewing systems available, with local design and support.