Dandenong on Melbourne’s periphery has another craft brewery, giving the suburb the makings of a new craft beer hub.
Newcomer Bojak Brewing is located just off the highway, opposite the Greaves Reserve sporting fields and opens to the public this Friday.
Sue and Dale Messina both quit their “day jobs” to found the venture. Dale, who has been homebrewing for seven years, was working in his family’s construction company as a draftsman, while Sue was working as a policewoman and court prosecutor.
Because Dale has come from a family business that’s entrenched in Dandenong, Sue said, opening the brewery there has always been on the cards.
“Us working together as a family was important and that’s obviously quite evident in the name itself,” Sue explained.
The couple named the brewery, with a little tweak in spelling, after their two boys Beau and Jack.
“Family is everything, they support, they help, they guide and give advice,” Sue said.
“That’s been a really important step in the process as well and we couldn’t have done it without their understanding and assistance to make this come to fruition.
“If we weren’t going to do it now, we were never going to do it and I think it takes a fair ability to trust and take that leap with us.
“Both sides of the family have been really supportive and helpful in that regard.”
For Sue, quite apart from the family element is the fact that Dandenong is a “suburb of growth”.
What’s more, a $170 million soccer stadium has been proposed for the area, with the local council and Development Victoria currently working on concepts. State Government funds have yet to be secured.
The Bojak brewpub interior is a mix of designs with everything from brick-like wallpaper to wooden paneling.
The Bojak name is depicted in the logo, which was designed by a school friend of Dale’s. It only takes a quick tip from an observer to see the letters layered one on top of the other in a neat circle.
Sue will be running the brewpub kitchen to start off with, which has been laid out meticulously, ready for the Friday punters.
The 5hL Braumeister brewhouse is headed by Dale and sits in the new and spacious brewery space.
Having followed the advice from other breweries in the area, key to Bojak’s fit out has been ensuring there is ample space to scale production if and when necessary.
To begin with, Bojak beer will be brewed exclusively for the brewpub, although Sue said that they are open to selling one-off kegs to venues in and around Melbourne.
A soon-to-be-named hand canning machine sits just behind the bar, and will be used for takeaway crowlers. The couple hope to package their beers in the not-too-distant future.
Brewpub visitors will have the opportunity to become a member of Bojak Brewing for $50, whereby they will receive a T’shirt, a crowler of a beer of their choice and a VIP card that garners 10 per cent off food, wine and beer.
Launching with four beers on Friday, Dale will be pouring his Summer Ale, an American Pale Ale, a Hazy IPA and a Kolsch-style Draught.
Bojak Brewing is located at 5 Bennet Street, Dandenong, VIC.
Brewery openings are presented by Spark Breweries and Distilleries, the finest in-venue and production brewing systems available, with local design and support.