For too long Bendigo had been without a significant commercial brewery to call its own. In fact, for too long, one of Australia's largest regional cities had been without pretty much any craft beer full stop.
Then, starting with the The Dispensary Enoteca and continuing with the efforts of Bendigo Beer, things began to change .
Finally, in July 2013, Doug Brooke and his partner Melissa Church threw open the doors of Brookes Brewery and the transformation was complete. Housed in a former abattoir on the edge of Bendigo, it's a brave new venture from a man who has spent his life in the corporate world of oil and airlines before deciding to take destiny into his own hands and turn a passionate pastime into his life's work.
Bearing his surname but with a logo inspired by the boxer who lent Bendigo its name, the brewery launched with a range of traditional ales and lagers and plans to find tap points and fridge space throughout Doug and Melissa's newly adopted hometown. That said, it wasn't long before they were casting their eyes further afield and planning to take their APA, Bohemian Lager, IPA, Brown Ale and seasonal releases to the busy Melbourne market and beyond.
The intention remains to become a beer and brewery that's synonymous with Bendigo, hence developing beers that bear the city's name.