Melbourne’s CoConspirators Brewing Co is set to open its first taproom.
The 195-seater Brunswick brewpub is the brainchild of the CoConspirators team, Jacqui Sacco, Tim Martin, and Maggie and Deon Smit.
“We’ve been nomad brewing for three years, after my partner and my business partners met through Merri Mashers, a homebrew club here in Melbourne,” explained Sacco.
She said they had brewed with a huge range of partners over the past three years, including Bodriggy, Dainton, Wolf of the Willows and Holgate Brewhouse, to name a few.
“We couldn’t do what we’ve done without our brewing partners,” Sacco said.
“There’s not a lot of gypsies out there at the moment, some want to start with brewpubs, and that’s fine, everyone’s different
“We didn’t have the capital to start with and this was a way we could start making beer and growing our brand. We all knew the end goal was to have a place of our own.
“For us it worked, and now we’ve got our own place. We’ve been working really hard over the last three years to make this possible.”
The team will be opening their brewpub, which includes a 12hL Alpha Brewing system to finally allow them to brew their beers in house, by mid-2020.
Tim Martin is the first of the CoConspirators to go full time, and is overseeing the construction of the site,on Victoria Street in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick.
Sacco said it was important for the brewery to have a proper home.
“We sell all over Australia, and people always ask if they can come and visit our brewery and we have to say we don’t have one. It’s really important for us to have a base, that’s why we wanted to do it.
“We’ve been looking for a year now, and always wanted to [be located in] Melbourne suburbs, that’s where we live and where our base is.”
Like with most breweries, finding a location was the challenging part.
“We looked everywhere from Thornbury, Preston, Brunswick, Footscray – anywhere and everywhere.”
Finally the Victoria Street site in Brunswick opened up, and Succo explained that from there, the process was easier than might be expected.
“The council has been amazing, so great to deal with and supportive and such a great help.
“They really want to grow the area, they know it’s a hub for our style of food and beverage establishment, there are others in the area that have popped up and we just want to grow the area.”
The site is close to other suburban breweries including Foreigner Brewing Company, Inner North and Temple Brewing, but Sacco explained that there was a collegiate rather than competitive atmosphere between the four.
“We’re basically located slap bang in the middle, at walking distance to all three.
“We’re really different from the other guys, they’ve opened before us but we’ve been around a little bit longer.
“But were not trying to compete with them, we’ve already talked about arranging a little Brunswick beer trail in our area. There are so many good bottle shops, pubs and bars in the area.
“It’s more about working with the other breweries and making it work, if someone wants to come visit the Inner North, they’ll fit in us as well.”
CoConspirators are also looking at a number of sustainability measures in the brewery, including using solar panels not just for the electricity for FOH use, but also in the brewing process, as well as thermal insulation to prevent heat loss.
The team are also investigating aerobic digestion technology in the form of an ORCA, which is being trialled by the City of Melbourne Council and will allow food waste to be transferred into greywater which the brewery can use to water plants and supply to its bathrooms.
“We’ll be one of the first breweries to do something like this and if it all comes through it will be cool.”
CoConspirators Brewing is looking to open the doors on its Brunswick brewpub at 377 Victoria Street by mid-2020.
Brewery openings are presented by Spark Breweries and Distilleries, the finest in-venue and production brewing systems available, with local design and support.