7 cent Brewery

As origin stories go, there are few more colourful than that of how three mates who met while studying engineering at uni came to name their brewery. The three home brewers had been brewing away in a shed at the back of one of their parents' houses, plotting their impending move into the world of commercial brewing, knocking back the odd beer and wracking their brains for an inspired name. Darkness fell, the beer continued to flow, inspiration remained absent.

In the small hours, at a loss, they looked for distraction and found it in the form of an old, discarded sofa. As any sensible soul would, they torched it and continued their evening in the glow of its flames. The following morning, they surveyed the wreckage of the night before and there, among the charred ground and springs, were some long out of circulation coins: one and two cent pieces. They totalled seven cents.

Today, the charred ground has just about grown back and the commercial brewery that is 7 cent is well and truly up and running. If you need any idea of what they're about, two things should give you a clue. The first beer they ever poured for punters was their Belgian strong dark ale B4, weighing in at 9 percent, and it was served through a handpump. Then, when invited to supply a keg for one of the "New Aussie brewery" taps at the Good Beer Week Festival Hub in 2013, they chose to offer up a Japanese ale featuring brown and white rice, Jasmine green tea and a sake yeast. It was the first keg to blow at the opening party...

The threesome is Matthew "Bousa" Boustead, Doug "Dug" Bremner and Brendan "Bakes" Baker, all still working in various engineering jobs as they get 7 cent up to speed step by step. And it really is step by step. Using their own hands and some judicious purchasing on eBay, they built their brewery in the aforementioned shed for a total outlay of just $20,000, including cool room. And, initially at least, they've been saving up to expand it by brewing one six hectolitre batch of their core beers per month (as they only had one tank) and squirrelling away the profits from the keg sales. These beers are embellished with more-than-monthly single keg releases from the home brew kit where it all started.

Most 7 cent beers tend to begin as recognisable styles before being amped up a notch or three. These days, barrels sourced mostly from local winemakers – plus a couple that once contained the Bridge Road / Nogne O Aurora Borealis collaboration – are making ever more regular appearances, both for ageing beers such as imperial stouts and barley wines and for producing sours; on one visit we found them eagerly juggling tubes containing various strains of Brettanomyces and working out the right combo to throw into a particular beer.

Up until late 2014, all beers had been keg only before a limited run of their Big 'n' Beardy Russian imperial stout became the first of what will be occasional bottle releases. Slowly but surely, more stainless steel is being funded which means more batches can be produced so that, ultimately, they'll leave Bousa's parents alone and find their own home. In the meantime, if you're into the weird and wacky in your beers, keep an eye on them. And any old sofas you've got lying around.

Name
7 cent Brewery
Address

Lock Rd
Gisborne South
VIC 3437

Phone
0422961200
Website

7 cent Brewery Regulars

7 cent B4 Belgian Strong Dark Ale

The first beer poured for the public set out the 7 cent stall in bold fashion: 9 percent of dark, fruity, warming Belgian beastliness. Of the core range, this is Bousa's (pronounced bowser, not boosah as we'd thought), leading his comrades to speculate that perhaps in a past life he was a master confectioner, or more likely a little orange man with a green perm who sung merrily all day long. No, we're not sure either. Anyway, the four B's stand for Bousa’s Big Black Belgian and it is just that, ··· Read more
Style
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Strength
9.0%

7 cent Hard Deck American IPA

Their mantra is taking styles they like and then creating big and bold versions of them. When you're playing with West Coast IPAs, it's hard to go much bigger and bolder than the originals, but 7 cent give it a good go with this hop-heavy take on the style. This is Dug's baby, one they describe as carrying out a "ruthless assault on your nasal cavity" from a launchpad that takes the shape of a suitably meaty malt base. Apparently, Dug would say it needs more hops, but we're told he would ··· Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
Strength
6.6%

7 cent Whapping Wharf ESB

If ever a beer was to scream: "I AM MALTY!" this is it. You only need to glance at its thick, auburn body swirling in your glass to know the 7 cent boys haven't held back on the specialty malts for their bold take on the English ESB (Extra Special Bitter) style. It's Bakes' "pride and joy", a beer designed to bring joy to sailors hanging around the wharves of old in Bristol and making no attempt to "New World" is up for their home crowd. Designed to be served with a ··· Read more
Style
ESB
Strength
5.5%

7 cent Brewery Specials

7 cent Brewery Wet Willie 2016

Tapped April 9th, 2016
The wet hop harvest ales continue to come, with 7 cent the latest to throw their cones into the tun. And they really are their cones as they grow a few bines of their own at a plantation in Timboon. The hops in question are Cascade and Chinook and they went from bine to beer in less than 24 hours. The beer with which they've chosen to show off their hops is an amber ale they're calling "bold" and one that featured hefty amounts of specialty malts, including rye. They tell us the beer "has ··· Read more
Style
Wet Hopped Amber Ale
Strength
7.7%
Stockists

Others TBC

7 cent Brewery Glass Case Of Emotion

Tapped October 1st, 2015
Time to crack out the Anchorman quotes as 7 cent launch their latest limited release, Glass Case of Emotion. The beer is not only named in tribute to Will Ferrell's most enduring character but features him on what is another sweet, sweet label, where he follows in the footsteps of Bill Murray. The beer chosen for such a star guest is the latest to roll out of the Gisborne brewery's barrel program and also their latest sour. And it's been quite the mission too, one of which Ron Burgundy would be ··· Read more
Style
Sour Cherry Porter
Strength
5.0%
Stockists

Valley Cellar Door Sunbury

7 cent Brewery It's The Only Way IIPA

Tapped August 26th, 2015
Having focused on banging out various sour and funky beers for a while, the 7 cent crew has returned to another of its loves for its latest (very) limited release: hops. And lots of them. It's The Only Way is even bigger than the Get To The Hoppa DIPA they released last year: a 9.4 percent ABV, 80 IBU hop bomb that they reckon will become part of their seasonal lineup now tagged the "Loose Change Range". Based on the imperial IPAs coming from the American West Coast it's described as "a ··· Read more
Style
Imperial IPA
Strength
9.4%
Bitterness
80 IBU
Stockists

Heartbreaker

7 cent Brewery 6 Fifths Dessert Barley Wine

Tapped February 14th, 2015
The 7 cent beer we listed on the site earlier this week, the Buzz Killington Berliner Weisse, had been through quite the journey before its three kegs were ready for release. But that was nothing compared to this one. We first had a wee breakfast snifter of it when we called in on the 7 cent boys at their brewery last year, at which point it was already well into its barrel-conditioning period inside oak that had already traversed the globe. Going back a few steps, the barrel from which 6 Fifths ··· Read more
Style
Barrel-Aged Barley Wine
Strength
14.6%
Stockists

Heading to stockists second half of Feb

Gisborne Cellarbrations

Leura Cellars

Grape and Grain Liquor Cellars

Plonk

More stockists...

7 cent Brewery Buzz Killington

Tapped February 12th, 2015
Sometimes it's good to poke one's head outside the craft beer bubble when assessing new beers. Case in point: Saturday afternoon. Doug from 7 cent very kindly pops in with a bottle each of their Buzz Killington and 6 Fifths, their forthcoming barrel-aged barley wine (of which more later in the week); an hour later we're at a house where the host's favourite tipples are unashamedly Melbourne Bitter and VB. Time to try out the Buzz Killington... The verdict? "That's the most different beer I've ··· Read more
Style
Berliner Weisse
Strength
4.2%
Stockists

Grape & Grain

(First keg will be tapped at the brewery's 2nd birthday party at the Alehouse Project)

7 cent Get To The Hoppa

Tapped December 2nd, 2014
If anyone needed a reminder of just how small many Aussie micros start out, an email from one of the trio behind 7 cent Brewery should do the trick. "We have recently brewed up a full batch of our Imperial/Double IPA," it starts with quite the bang. Then points out a full batch at their current capacity for a beer of this size is... nine kegs! Still, new tanks are coming, things are on the up and the Arnie-referencing Get to the Hoppa is one to tickle the fancy of hop lovers out there for ··· Read more
Style
Double IPA
Strength
8.7%
Stockists

Grape and Grain

Two Row

Mount Macedon Hotel

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7 cent Big 'n' Beardy

Tapped October 1st, 2014
We first came across this beer when it poured at an Alehouse Project Dark Side of Beer event where, over a few days, it tapped nothing but dark beers. Often they were of the large and dark variety, particularly the day we called in when it seemed to be something of an imperial fest. On the lineup were some widely acknowledged international classics and, while not all of the Aussies could live in their company, this one (if our somewhat hazy recollection – we were talking imperial beers here – ··· Read more
Style
Russian Imperial Stout
Strength
9.9%
Stockists

Slowbeer

Grape & Grain

Grain & Grape

Valley Cellar Door

Odyssey Tavern

Carwyn Cellars

Woodlands Hotel

Local Taphouse St Kilda

More stockists...

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