Dainton Family Brewery

The very nature of craft beer ensures that the industry is awash with personalities and quirky characters. Sure, there are very sensible people working in it too, people who spotted a business opportunity in beer and bring a suitably businesslike approach to their operations.

Then there are those who might break into a (mighty impressive) rendition of songs from Les Miserables at the most unexpected of moments, compose dark poetry for their beer labels, think nothing of treating the ingredient list for a single beer as if it were a small novella, or engage people in deeply tangential and mind-boggling conversations about everything and nothing.

Actually, that’s a lie. There aren’t “those” who would fit such a description. There is only one. And that one is Dan Dainton, the man who – in advance of building his own brewery and thus expanding output – advertised not for a sales rep or brand ambassador but instead for an “Intergalactic Fun & Beer Legend” – the title that adorns the winning applicant’s business cards to this day.

He’s the man who, with his dad as his main business partner, launched Dainton Family Brewery in the middle of 2013 following stints as a brewer at the James Squire Brewhouse in Melbourne’s CBD and at Holgate Brewhouse. He launched with Red Eye Rye, a superb hoppy, spicy red ale that months later took top spot in one of our Blind Tasting Panels, and has followed up with a series of equally creative (and usually rye-tinged) beers.

From 2013 to the middle of 2016, Dainton operated as a gypsy brewery, brewing batches at breweries all over Victoria and usually, according to Dan, spending much of the time encouraging his hosts to put more hops into a brew than they’d tried before. From the middle of 2016, however, Dan and family will be owners of their very own brewery – albeit rather later than they'd hoped.

Following a search for premises that stretched from Milawa in the north to Castlemaine and Warburton, they found an 2,000 square metre site in Carrum Downs, two minutes off the Monash Freeway. It is now home to a 30 hectolitre brewery capable of 1.5 million litres per year from the off, as well as a 60 seat tasting room that may have a kitchen added at a future date. Once behind the wheels of his shiny new toy, the intention is to make even more hoppy beers as, says Dan: “There isn’t a system in Australia that can handle some of the hop-crazed beers I want to make…”

The core range now features the hoppy as anything Insane Uncle IPA, super-sessionable, Kiwi-hopped Impale Ale, Samurye Lager and the aforementioned Red Eye Rye with other beers, such as Grand Pappy’s Whip imperial red and Sneaky Son Smoking Stout, appearing seasonally. Barrel ageing began in 2014 with the "Manhattan Ale" collaboration initially carried out with top Melbourne cocktail bar, The Everleigh, and now an annual release, and the barrel-aged Skeletor's Stout following late in 2015. It's all part of Dan’s plan to create beers that are “incredibly approachable” but also a little off the wall and "hitting the flavour extremes" within styles.

“A little bit like myself,” he says. “As you delve deeper there’s all kinds of shit going on!”

The beers should stand out from the crowd before they hit your palate too. Their "cooler-than-a-hipster" graphic designer God Awful has, in close collaboration with Dan, come up with a new raft of labels and the results are among the very best in Australia.

As for the "Family" of the brewery name (and frequently the beer's titles), the influence stretches beyond his dad as business partner. It was a combination of being fired from a job by his uncle and receiving a home brew kit from his mum – "The only decent Christmas present she ever got me" – that started him on the road to brewing. More recently, his honeymoon, following marriage to a woman who doesn't drink beer, took them along the West Coast of the USA visiting breweries, including a candlelit dinner at Stone, while dad Kev, we're assured, is a mad scientist.

The brewery they've helped inspire promises to be a treat for beer lovers across Australia and residents of the Melbourne's southeast alike. The former can look forward to more of Dan’s delicious beers, brewed on the same system every time. The latter will have yet another local brewery to check out, one where they may even find themselves serenaded with show tunes from the brewhouse…

Name
Dainton Family Brewery
Address

560 Frankston Dandenong Rd
Carrum Downs
VIC 3201

Phone
For sales, call 03 9775 0334
Website
Hours

Thursday to Sunday

Tours

TBC

Current Crafty Cabal offers

Free Tasting Paddle At Dainton

Show me more

Dainton Family Brewery Regulars

Dainton Family Brewery Samurye Lager

Tapped August 17th, 2015
Dan Dainton has a particular love of rye. It's in most of his beers somewhere and, now, in the title of two of them too. The Samurye is his first lager and, like his first commercially released ale, the Red Eye Rye, places his favourite (non hop) ingredient front and centre. Rye isn't alone in making up a left of centre grain bill in this lager either – white rice makes an appearance to keep things sprightly on the palate too. Samurye is to slot in from the off as part of the newly reworked and ··· Read more
Style
Rice Lager
Strength
4.5%

Dainton Family Brewery Insane Uncle IPA

Dan Dainton makes no secret of his love (some may say obsession) with hops. He can't get enough of the buggers and tells us he has a dream beer – a 12 percent hop bomb – that no brewery yet built in Australia would be able to handle. Until that day arrives, he's able to content himself with adding lots of hops to beers such as his Insane Uncle IPA. It's a beer that takes heady inspiration from the US, piling on additions of Columbus, Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic to create a beer that, over the course ··· Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
Strength
6.0%
Bitterness
55 IBU

Dainton Family Brewery Specials

Dainton Family Brewing ESB / Double Red / Oatmeal Stout

Tapped May 16th, 2017
Brewery founder Dan Dainton is back at the brewing helm and appears to be wasting little time creating new beers, with no less than four appearing in black liveried 500ml cans in quick succession. One is the returning Insane Uncle IPA, which we've written about before, but the other three are new arrivals. Approaching them in the order you'd probably drink them over the evening, let's start with the ESB or English Special Bitter. Here, it's best to take Hargreaves Hill's beer of the same name as ··· Read more
Style
ESB / Imperial Red Ale / Oatmeal Stout

Dainton Family Brewery All Black & Blood Orange

Tapped November 14th, 2016
Now that it's canning line is fully operational and the first two core tinnies are out and about, the Dainton brewers have been able to have a bit of fun. Fun in the form of 500ml cans filled with one-off releases, kicking off with this pair: the All Black New Zealand IPA and Blood Orange Berliner Weisse. The All Black appears to have been made to suit the look Dan and co has opted for with its limited releases: bold black livery with a silver "D" front and centre. And, while it might just ··· Read more
Style
Black IPA & Berliner Weisse
Strength
6.4% & 3.5%
Stockists

A Point of Difference Liquor

Blackhearts & Sparrows

Carwyn Cellars

Grape and Grain Liquor Cellars

Hopheads

McCoppins

McCoppins Abbotsford

Nillumbik Cellars

More stockists...

Dainton Family Brewery XSA

Tapped November 14th, 2016
The second can to join the American Pale Ale as part of the evolving Dainton core range is the XSA. It's the latest entry into the local acronym lexicon, bastardising the "Is it really a style?" XPA (Extra Pale Ale) a step further to represent Extra Session Ale. In other words, imagine taking a session ale (whatever that means – in this case, something of mid-strength booziness) and then give it something extra (in this case hops). It's the Holy Grail for many brewers: creating a beer ··· Read more
Style
Mid Strength Pale Ale
Strength
3.5%
Bitterness
37 IBU
Stockists

Dainton Brewery

Far Side Beer

Dainton Family Brewery Pale Ale

Tapped October 7th, 2016
It can be hard keeping track of what's going on at Dainton Family Brewery, what with new beers and new looks for old beers coming thick and fast. Then again, if you know main Dainton Dan, such fripperies are perhaps to be expected. The latest new look is one that's been trailed for a while: the brewery's first canned beer (other than the CANimals released via Hops to Home earlier in the year). And with the first can comes another new look: the dramatically gothic labels of recent bottled releases ··· Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
Strength
5.2%
Stockists

Dainton Brewery

Far Side Beer

More stockists...

Dainton Family Brewery Black Sheep Brunch Stout

Tapped July 20th, 2016
Their long-awaited brewery and venue is finally open and their brewery is pretty much ready to start making beer. All of which means this beer could well be the last brewed by Dan Dainton and his merry band of assistants on a multitude of breweries around Victoria – and it's one the Dainton crew reckon is one of their best too. In other hands, the addition of coffee (in extract form) and flaked oats to a stout may well lead to it being tagged a breakfast stout, although here they've gone for brunch. ··· Read more
Style
Oatmeal Stout
Strength
5.5%
Stockists

Dainton Family Brewery Tap House

Dainton Family Brewery Bad Daughter Choc Orange Porter

Tapped May 29th, 2016
If British wood products company Ronseal were to lend their well worn tagline to a brewery for a beer, they'd no doubt give this new draught only release from Dainton lengthy consideration. While they liked to declare that their wood stain "does exactly what it says on the tin", it's fair to say that this beer "does exactly what it says on the decal". Well, the bit about Choc Orange, at least. It's fair to say that the rich, dark brown drop is eminently chocolatey and even more ··· Read more
Style
Chocolate Orange Porter
Strength
5.7%
Bitterness
40 IBU
Stockists

More stockists to come...

Dainton Family Brewery Twisted Twin

Tapped March 30th, 2016
What is it with big cans and big beers? It seems local brewers can't resist the temptation to up the booze when they up the volume. Pirate Life's IIPA is probably the best known example but now, as a means of getting its new double IPA to people (and perhaps offer a "nudge, nudge" to people in advance of its own canning line arriving later in the year), Dainton Family Brewery has decided to send the Twisted Twin DIPA out in nigh on one litre beasts. There are kegs of the 8 percent hop bomb ··· Read more
Style
Double IPA
Strength
8.0%

Dainton Family Brewery Manhattan Ale 2016

Tapped March 28th, 2016
As ways of ingratiating one's brewery with a journalist writing about beer, dipping the top of a bottle you plan to present to them half a dozen or more times in wax – laughing while doing so at the impending battle said journalist will face getting into the beer – is an unusual one. Still, it was very good of Dainton Family Brewery to sneak us a bottle of its new Manhattan Ale, even if the resultant battle took up 20 minutes. Perhaps the brewery team was that convinced of the quality of the ··· Read more
Style
Barrel Aged Belgian Rye Ale
Strength
9.7%
Stockists

And select craft beer venues around Victoria

Dainton Family Brewery Santa's Cherry Sack Attack

Tapped December 13th, 2015
One thing that we can't deny here at Crafty Towers is that we like to write. Were we to calculate how many words were emitted into the public sphere via the site and its associated newsletters each year, it would probably represent some sort of crime against humanity. However, with the head Crafty Pinter technically on holiday on the other side of the planet (no such thing as holiday in Crafty Land, obviously), we've been leaning heavily on our band on contributors to keep the flag a-flying. And ··· Read more
Style
Cherry Sour
Strength
5.8%
Stockists

Cherry Tree Hotel

Cambrian Hotel

Dr Morse

More stockists...

Dainton Family Brewery Red Eye Rye 2015

Tapped October 14th, 2015
The forthcoming Dainton Family Brewery brewery may be sat around waiting to be installed, but the new look beers keep coming. The latest beer to receive an update is Dan's first ever release, Red Eye Rye. It now comes with another of artist Dan Fabris' portentous labels featuring a satanic Red Riding Hood and glimmering red hops, not to mention some more dark poetry from brewer Dan Dainton. The beer itself is a little different to previous batches, mainly in that it's down to 4.8 per cent ABV from ··· Read more
Style
Rye Red Ale
Strength
4.8%
Bitterness
29 IBU
Stockists

Leaving the brewery from October 14 to contact Evin if you want some...

Dainton Family Brewery Skeletor's Stout

Tapped August 20th, 2015
Dainton's first foray into the world of oak saw the brewery create a beery version of the Manhattan cocktail for their friends at award-winning Melbourne bar, The Everleigh. It now has a stablemate, albeit one that in conception is about as far from the home of Woody Allen films, 12-piece blues bands playing subway stations, Strawberry Fields and the "I NEED MONEY FOR WEED" guy as you can get. This time around, Dan Dainton swaps the avenues of Manhattan for the battlements of Castle Grayskull ··· Read more
Style
Barrel Aged Stout
Strength
6.4%
Stockists

One of just two kegs is launched at The Royston on Aug 20

Wine Republic

Olinda Cellars

Prince Wine

Acland Cellars

Paul's IGA Ringwood

The Vin

Cookie

More stockists...

Dainton Family Brewery Bastard Brother

Tapped July 1st, 2015
There seems to be something of a fondness for pillorying the world of Christianity within elements of the craft beer world. The religion's brushes with children have been sent up by Beer Here on the label for its awesome Malus Pater, while here Dainton Family Brewery and designer God Awful adorn a Belgian Rye IPA with a skinhead monk armed with baseball bat. It makes sense insofar as this is a beer with a personality as complex as one would expect from a baseball bat-wielding monk. Indeed, there's ··· Read more
Style
Belgian Rye IPA
Strength
8.0%
Bitterness
115 IBU

Dainton Family Brewery Sneaky Son Smoking Stout

Tapped July 1st, 2015
As Dan Dainton makes clear, while he may be a hop fiend, he's also keen to push the boundaries of any beer style that takes his fancy. Stout in its various guises appears to be something that often takes his fancy and this dapper, smoking skeleton-adorned beer is one that showcases his desire to pair "incredibly approachable" with "hitting the flavour extremes". That said, it is an 8 percent smoky stout so judge "incredibly approachable" with that in mind. At its heart ··· Read more
Style
Smoky Stout
Strength
7.5%

INDUSTRY JOBS

Join the Spirit of Sydney Distillery Team

The Spirit of Sydney Distillery was launched in 2013 as part of the same group of producers that includes ···

Feral is expanding its sales team in Perth

Feral Brewing has been blazing a trail for Australian beer for close to a decade and a half now and continues ···

Help The Public Brewery Grow... Again

The Public Brewery has enjoyed impressive growth since opening its first venue in Croydon. It now operates ···

Hit enter to search or ESC to close