The Beer Factory

Pilsner in glass

Driving past the old Transfield site on Station Road, Seven Hills, a friend of mine noticed a sign on the side of the road saying “Brew your own beer here” and asked if I knew what it was all about. Was it just another home brew shop, or something different?

Definitely something different. The Beer Factory is like a commercial grade microbrewery, where consumers like you and I can walk in off the street and make a batch of beer. I’m not sure what their business plans are, but I can see this appealing to two groups of people.

  • People who don’t want to commit to homebrewing, thinking that it is possibly unsanitary, takes up too much room in your house, or just too much time and equipment is required, but want to save some money and enjoy top quality beer.
  • People who have made their own beer at home, who want to see how real brewing is done, from first principles, who might want to continue furthering their knowledge and experience about making beer.

I was taken on an brief tour of the premises by the owner, Stuart. The official opening was on the July 29, where anyone could rock up and see the operation for yourselves, and try a few different beers from the tap.

You purchase a recipe from The Beer Factory for about $150 (a number I gleaned from the chat, not official pricing). The recipe tells you the ingredients you need to make your style of beer, and how to make it. The Beer Factory has 200 recipes to choose from, at least 60 of which directly correspond to commercial beers you can buy at the bottle-o. If you wanted to make VB or Corona, you could, but many of the other recipes seem especially appealing. Each batch makes up 50 litres of beer.

You take your ingredients and put them into the big kettle, and boil them for about an hour. After that, the wort is passed through a heat exchanger into your fermentor. Then you add the yeast, and place the fermentor into the fermenting room – a 16.2°C sealed room which allows the yeast to work. This is the temperature the room was before opening – not sure of the practicing temp, or if they vary it for specific yeasts.

You then make an appointment to come back in 2 or 3 weeks time to bottle. You can bring your own bottles (if you have 150 bottles lying around like I do) or buy them from “The Beer Factory”. The beer is then triple filtered to remove all the sediment, cooled and carbonated, then put into your bottles. As a home brewer, I can see the appeal of not having yeast in the bottle, but I admit I like the idea of secondary/bottle conditioning.

As the beer is carbonated, you can drink it on the spot. Apparently it’s not unusual to lose a reasonable percentage of the beer during the bottling process, especially if you bring a few mates along to help. Bottle caps are included in the price, and they will even make labels up for you if you’d like. I personally have been thinking about making my own labels, but will probably use Avery labels as a short term solution.

The guys at The Beer Factory can help the novice brewer with the entire process. The only step they can’t do for you is add the yeast (probably for legal reasons). Even if you aren’t a big beer drinker, this looks like being an excellent opportunity to learn how real breweries produce the amber nectar.

Note: This post edited 01/08/2006 to hopefully provide clarity and reduce confusion.

13 Replies to “The Beer Factory”

  1. Thanks for checking that out Dan,’cause as you know I was wondering what this was all about. Do you think it’s too much of a niche market or will this be a successful venture?

  2. I imagine there will always be a market for beer, Tim. Whether this particular enterprise strikes the right balance between effort, affordability and quality only time will tell.

    I will say this, however. If people are impressed with the beer I can make in my loungeroom, they will be blown away by the apparatus at ‘the beer factory.’

  3. I stopped in on Saturday afternoon to check it out. I had been past and seen the signs etc., so stopped in for a look.

    I’ve got to say, I was most impressed. The presentation of the place is immaculate.

    A young lady took me through the process and showed me how it worked – it is pretty much idiot proof.

    I guess if they can commercialise it, it will be a successful venture. When speaking to the lady who took me around with the pedigree of those involved, I can’t see it not working.

  4. It is not at all the same as how real microbreweries or even large scale breweries produce their beer. what about mashing? at 16.2 degrees, you also cannot brew a lager or a true ale.

  5. Welcome to all the visitors from AussieHomeBrewer forums. Let me assure you all that I am not in any way affiliated with “The Beer Factory” at Seven Hills, nor with the user “FinsUp” on your forum.

    I wrote this post to describe what I saw when I ducked into “The Beer Factory” a couple of weeks ago. I could not find any similar businesses on the net (although the link someone made to Ubrewit is helpful.

    This blog is my personal web log, originally created to record the home brews I had made. Reading it again, I can see how some might read this article as a promotion, really it was just my experience walking in off the street, written as an opinion piece. I apologize to anyone who mistook my opinion for advertising.

  6. I came across this thread last night and thought I would take the opportunity to respond. I am the owner and manager of The Beer Factory Seven Hills that Dan visited and commented on. Firstly, as stated, Dan has no affiliation with us, although we obviously appreciate his observations and positive comments – which reflect the experience of most people who have visited us. Our aim is to offer anyone who loves a beer a great range, a unique experience, and open the broader publics’ eyes to the range of possibilities that exist beyond the obligatory ‘slab’ of VB or New – at a price that is more than affordable, and encourage involvement in creating your own beer rather than simply buying from the large grocery chain ‘box movers’! Whilst we do not go through the mashing stage, the quality and standard of our ingredients and equipment speak for themselves. I will happily stand by the quality, freshness and taste of the beers produced here any day!! The feedback from visitors and customers has been incredible, and we invite anyone who is truly interested in enjoying a good beer to come and visit us. We are a small family owned, standalone business committed to raising interest and involvement in brewing and tasting great beers. Cheers, Stuart Boag The Beer Factory Seven Hills

  7. I agree with Ash. You need two cool rooms, one for lagers and one for ales, otherwise you’re not achieving your objective of “open[ing] the broader publics’ [sic] eyes to the range of possibilities that exist beyond the obligatory ’slab’ of VB or New” by brewing everything with one strain of yeast.

    Anyway, good luck with your venture. Anything that gets the public interested in better beer is a good thing.

  8. Hi Vicki,

    As stated above this site has no official relationship (or even an unofficial one) with the beer factory. I just visited there once.

    Probably best to give Stu a call about gift ideas. Phone number is available via white pages online.

    Dan.

  9. Stuart,

    As your website is not operational currently – could you give an idea of price range, and whether different literage applies for different types of brews?

    Ta, Matt

  10. Hi Matt,

    As stated above this site has no official relationship (or even an unofficial one) with the beer factory. I just visited there once.

    Probably best to give Stu a call about gift ideas. Phone number is available via white pages online.

    I doubt Stu visits my blog to check on the latest posts so you may be waiting some time for a response.

    Dan.

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