Blackman's Brewery

After witnessing the success of the first Great Australian Beer Festival in Geelong, the organisers told The Crafty Pint that their aim was to turn the city into something of a craft beer capital for Australia. The festival's ongoing success and the boost given to the local beer scene by the arrival of Little Creatures in 2013 suggests they were on to something.

But developments in recent years suggest one of Geelong's near neighbours, the surfing hub of Torquay, may have lofty goals of its own. Since the Odyssey Tavern first brought a kaleidoscopic range of craft beers to the Surfcoast Highway, the Frontbeach Cafe has followed suit on the edge of the surf itself. And now Torquay has a brewery to call its own thanks to local boy Renn Blackman and his partner Jess Guidice.

When we say "local boy", it's strictly true as Renn was born and raised half an hour down the road, but it's equally true that he's well travelled too. Before taking over the iconic Surfrider restaurant in Torquay's Bell Street, he first trained as a brewer at Edith Cowan Uni in WA before embarking on stints at The Monk in Freo embellished with a spot of keg washing at the Sail & Anchor across the road before the brewery was closed down. There followed a spell at the Old Swan Brewery on the banks of the Swan River in Perth before he joined the Aussie enclave at London's trailblazing Camden Town Brewery.

The lure of home brought him back to True South in Blackrock in 2013 and when he and Jess were ready to head to the other side of Port Phillip Bay to open Blackman's they brought the True South brewery with them. The Newlands kit was installed at the rear of the building and rapidly expanded while the former restaurant was given a stripped back industrial aesthetic, complete with taps protruding from white tiles behind the bar. Meanwhile, Mr Blackman senior was on hand to help turn Blackman's into the welcoming venue it is now, not least by building his son a beer garden from reclaimed WA timbers.

His input hasn't gone unrewarded as Renn and Jess decided to name the beers after members of the Blackman family; there's Bob the spiced witbier, Reg the IPA that Renn hopes will be the beer his brewery becomes known for, and so on. And fine beers they are too, with Renn showing from the off that his time on the road wasn't wasted.

A friend he met on his travels was brought in to ensure the food side of the business was in step with the beers too. Mitch, the man behind Beersine – the Perth-based business that specialises in cooking with beer and creating beer dinners, worked with Renn at The Monk and spent three months helping set up the kitchen, designing the menu and guiding the chefs so they better understood the relationship between beer and food. He left a few of his goodies, such as Brettanomyces chilli sauce, behind too and returns for regular beer dinners.

It's proven to be a combination of friends and family that saw Blackman's hit the ground running, and quite right too. After all, who doesn't love a tale of local boy done good?

Name
Blackman's Brewery
Address

26 Bell Street
Torquay
VIC 3228

Phone
(03) 52615310
Website
Hours

Seven days from midday

Tours

4pm daily

Current Crafty Cabal offers

Two for One Tasting Paddles at Blackman's

Show me more

Blackman's Brewery Regulars

Blackman's Brewery Unfiltered Lager

You could be forgiven that when a small brewery based in regional Australia adds a lager to its lineup its, as much as anything, a means of trying to offer something locals unaccustomed to heavy hitting IPAs can relate to. But if you look at Renn's brewing education it takes in time at The Monk in Freo, whose midstrength pilsner is a former AIBA trophy winner, and Camden Town in London whose Hells pretty much reinvented lager for craft beer-loving Brits (with a respectful nod to Meantime). So, he… Read more
Style
Unfiltered Lager
ABV
4.6%
Bitterness
28 IBU

Blackman's Brewery Winnie Cider

Brewer's notes: Cloudy, fruity, left of centre, unfiltered cider, Winnie is a little bit C-R-A-Z-Y! A dry sty;e that has a tart, effervescent finish.… Read more
Style
Cider
ABV
4.6%

Blackman's Brewery Arthur Smoked Porter

The beer that ticks the box marked "dark beer" in the Blackman's core range is another, like the Reginald IPA, that pulls no punches. It's a porter with all the trimmings, weighing in at a not insignificant 6.3 percent and featuring smoked malt from Germany's home of the rauchbier Bamberg. The outcome is a deeply black and weighty beer with a touch of that unique sweet smoke aroma sitting atop layers of chocolate, burnt caramel and nuttiness. … Read more

Blackman's Brewery Reginald IPA

The beer that Renn hopes his brewery will become known for is far and away the biggest hitter in the brewery's core range. A West Coast US IPA reinvented for the Surf Coast, it does just what you'd expect, with citrus, pine and stone fruit aromas leaping from its rusty amber body. A full, soft malt backbone ensures they don't do much in the way of damage to your bitterness sensors in a beer that you can see finding favour with the beer geeks when they drop in.… Read more
Style
IPA
ABV
6.2%
Bitterness
65 IBU

Blackman's Brewery Ernie Golden Ale

Now, we've not met Ernie but we're going to assume he's got a bit of character about him. Why? Well, while for many brewers the aim of a golden ale has been to rein in all hints of extravagance from both hops and malt to create something innocuous, the Blackman's Ernie – "made with sessionability and Sinatra in mind" – is quite the standout. Clearly, Renn has done it his way and loaded up enough Aussie Ella and Galaxy hops to ensure the drinker is welcomed in by a wave of floral and… Read more
Style
Golden Ale
ABV
5.0%
Bitterness
28 IBU

Blackman's Brewery Bob Wit

The tasting notes for the Blackman take on the Belgian witbier style describe Bob as "eccentric" and a glance at the ingredient list confirms it's a little out of the ordinary. While the style is one to which fruits and spices are often added, the lineup doesn't usually include coconut alongside the citrus zest and coriander, but it makes an appearance here to add another layer of interest to a beer that's designed to offer refreshment for people walking off the beach and a little bit more. It's… Read more
Style
Belgian Witbier
ABV
4.3%
Bitterness
15 IBU

Blackman's Brewery Specials

Blackman's Brewery Sea Spray IPA

Tapped November 12th, 2018
The Blackman's Brewery crew has never been shy when it comes to celebrating their surrounds and those around them. There's the beers named after family members, past releases tied to surfing competitions taking place just along the coast from their Torquay home and collaborations with local artists too. And, with this beer, they've gone and actually included some of their surrounds in the shape of seawater lugged from the nearby beaches and poured into an IPA. It's not the first time we've come across… Read more
Style
Seawater IPA
ABV
5.8%

Blackman's Local Standard Ale

Tapped November 2nd, 2018
Over the past couple of years, we've seen a sharp rise in the number of breweries adding beers designed for their locals – often bearing a name referencing their locale too – as well as mid-strengths to their offering. Here, with its Local Standard Ale, Torquay's Blackman's is doing both at the same time. At 3.9 percent ABV, it's a little higher in booze than many mids, but still well within "session" territory. It's also one that packs a pretty potent punch on the hop front, firing… Read more
Style
Session Ale
ABV
3.9%

Blackman's Brewery Loral Or Yanny IPA?

Tapped September 3rd, 2018
Way to interfere in a Saturday evening gathering, Blackman's Brewery... No sooner had the twin cans of Loran Or Yanny? hit the surface in the kitchen before the host is playing the Yanny or Laurel clip on his phone, his speakers and jamming headphones onto people's heads. Which, presumably, means the Torquay brewers have hit onto something with their latest pair of IPAs. The concept, inspired by the fact there's a hop called Loral, is to provide a bit of education for drinkers while garnering a marketing… Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
ABV
6.2%

Blackman's Brewery Tomato & Basil Gose

Tapped August 1st, 2018
There's little that's off bounds when it comes to brewers and ingredients these days and, for the most part, when we read about something new or quirky there's a frisson of excitement. Whether "tomato & basil" falls into that category is a moot point, bringing with it thoughts of pizza beer or Shapes accidentally dropped into your glass... Thankfully, the brewers at Blackman's have clearly applied the unlikely additions with subtlety. What's more, given this isn't their first rodeo… Read more
Style
Tomato & Basil Gose
ABV
4.8%

Blackman's Brewery Smooth Stout

Tapped July 5th, 2018
It's felt a little like opposite day at times with the beers coming our way for sampling recently: plenty of dark beers seemingly designed to come across as more sessionable than their ABV would suggest and vice-versa too. Sure, there's been the odd barrel aged release designed to be as big as possible in every sense, but we digress... Were we to put Blackman's latest tall can into either camp, it would be the latter, with our notes claiming it "bats above its average in terms of impact and… Read more
Style
Stout
ABV
4.7%
Stockists

Blackman's Brewery

And select good beer retailers in Geelong, Melbourne & regional Victoria

Blackman's Brewery Juicy Juicy Bang Bang Double IPL

Tapped June 7th, 2018
One of the highlights of 2017 for many local beer drinkers was Blackman's Juicy Banger, the India pale lager that launched their Lager Collective series before becoming part of their year round lineup and making our Best New Victorian Beers of 2017 list. So what has the Blackman's team done: given you more. Juicy Juicy Bang Bang takes the original and soups it up across the board: more hops, more booze, more oomph. Unsurprisingly, it's a state of affairs that's turned out a beer that's fuller and… Read more
Style
Double IPL
ABV
7.5%

Blackman's Brewery & IGNI Soured Lager

Tapped June 7th, 2018
For this lager, Blackman's worked with Geelong restaurant IGNI. But the collaboration didn't end there. No, they decided to get some local artists involved too, bringing in four of them to design labels for the beer. So, before we get to the inside of the can, a quick tip of the hat to (from top left clockwise) Hadyn of Torquay's We Are Purpose, Nick Mills, Casey Burill and Mel Macilwain. As for what's inside, it brings together two of the Blackman's brewers' favourite things: lager and sour beer.… Read more
Style
Spiced Sour Lager
ABV
4.6%

Blackman's Brewery Angry Reg DIPA

Tapped February 19th, 2018
As time goes by and craft beer continues its seemingly inexorable rise, the education of both drinkers and retailers becomes an ever more important part of the process. Knowledge around how beer should be treated after it leaves the brewery so it reaches drinkers' glasses in the best possible condition is something the beer industry – brewers, retailers, passionate consumers, media – has been addressing in many and varied ways, particularly when it comes to highly hopped beers. And here, with… Read more
Style
Double IPA
ABV
8.8%
Stockists

Silverlake Social

Plus select outlets in VIC, TAS, QLD & SA

Nowhereman & Blackman's Coast To Coast IPA

Tapped February 7th, 2018
Nowhereman Brewing’s Lager Party WA Beer Week event with Blackman’s Brewing offered the perfect opportunity to collaborate. So, on that warm November evening, as Renn Blackman and Nowhereman head brewer Paul Wyman sipped the clean drinking delights of bottom fermentation, their efforts from earlier in the day were beginning to bubble. Prior to starting out in the pro brewing game, the collaborators had been to beer school together and previously worked together at The Monk, in Fremantle, too,… Read more
Style
American IPA
ABV
6.0%
Bitterness
75 IBU

Blackman's & Barrow Boys You're Turning Violet Gose

Tapped December 11th, 2017
At the start of the year, Blackman's released a blackberry gose. It was perfect timing as the Crafty clan happened to be enjoying a spot of summer camping nearby. Or so we thought. By the time we made it to the brewery mid-afternoon, every single can Renn and his crew had filled had already been picked up by locals. As we said back then, it was a sign of the times if ever there was one: a salty, sour, fruity beer selling out at a regional brewery in hours. Unsurprisingly, they're repeating the trick… Read more
Style
Fruit Gose
ABV
4.8%
Stockists

Blackman's Brewery

And other good beer venues around VIC

Blackman's Brewery Lager Collective: Citra Black Dynamite & Zinger Slinger IPL

Tapped November 14th, 2017
Early in 2017, Blackman's kickstarted its Lager Collective Series. As one of the few small breweries in Australia with as great – if not a greater – fondness for lagers as for ales, the idea was to showcase just how diverse the style could be. The first release was the Juicy Banger IPL, a beer in which they layered on big citrus and grapefruit aromas and flavours and won many fans in doing so. Two more beers have followed, with all three now out in cans at the same time. Citra Black Dynamite… Read more
Style
Hoppy Lagers
ABV
5.9% & 5.8%
Stockists

Good beer stockists across Australia

Blackman's Brewery Smokin' Beets

Tapped July 28th, 2017
Renn Blackman has deservedly carved out a reputation as a brewer of clean, tight and, usually, to style beers. But every now and then he likes to get a little loose on the brewhouse, and that's the case with the Torquay brewery's latest limited release, a winter saison. It's a collaboration of sorts with ingredient supplier Bintani, which has supplied Renn and his team with a new saison yeast from Fermentis. To see how it performs, you'd have thought they might opt for a simple saison recipe. But… Read more
Style
Smoked Beetroot Saison
ABV
5.2%

Blackman's Brewery Lager Collective Juicy Banger

Tapped March 23rd, 2017
There aren't too many small breweries that produce lagers on a regular basis, let alone see them as a key part of their oeuvre. Yet they're close to the heart of Blackman's head brewer Renn Blackman. There's a fine lager as part of the brewery's core range and there have been others released along the way, sometimes as collaborations. Now, they've decided to make lagers the focus of a new series, one seemingly designed to show how many different directions you can head. First of the three beers scheduled… Read more
Style
IPL
ABV
5.8%
Stockists

Blackman's Brewery

And select good beer venues

Blackman's Brewery Blackberry Gose

Tapped January 21st, 2017
A sign of the times. We received an email from Blackman's Brewery informing us they were releasing a new summer seasonal: a blackberry gose. It was to be tapped at their two venues and at the Ballarat Beer Festival on the coming Saturday. "Perfect," we thought, as we'd be passing by the brewery in Torquay on launch day so could taste at source before putting together the tasting notes. They'd canned some too – ideal for the campsite later that evening. One problem: by the time we rocked… Read more
Style
Blackberry Gose
ABV
4.8%
Bitterness
8 IBU
Stockists

Blackman's Brewery

And select good beer outlets

Blackman's Brewery Festbier: Hopfen Weisse

Tapped October 25th, 2016
Each year, Blackman's creates a beer for its Oktoberfest. The first was a lager that has gone on to become the unfiltered beauty that's part of the Torquay brewery's core range. And in 2016 brewer Renn opted to concoct a Hopfen Weisse, or hoppy German style wheat beer. If memory serves correctly, the first beer to take such a name was a collaboration between Brooklyn and Schneider-Weisse, while other Aussie versions have been seen in the past, such as Mad Brewers Hoppy Hefe and the one Brooklyn went… Read more
Style
Dry Hopped Hefeweizen
Stockists

Blackman's Brewery

Select craft beer outlets

Blackman's Brewery Angry Reg Double IPA

Tapped September 21st, 2016
Early in 2016, Blackman's Brewery's just-canned IPA Reginald took out the top spot in part I of our two-part IPA Blind Tasting, wowing our panel with its bold yet balanced character. Around the same time, the Torquay brewery released a bigger version called Angry Reg, a double IPA that ramped everything up again to 8.8 percent ABV and 85 IBU [International Bitterness Units]. It proved so popular that we'd barely noticed it was out and in need of listing on the site before it was pretty much gone. Thankfully,… Read more
Style
Double IPA
ABV
8.8%
Bitterness
85 IBU
Stockists

The Public Brewery

And select stockists in VIC, SA, QLD, TAS, NSW & WA

Blackman's Brewery Reginald IPA (cans)

Tapped May 10th, 2016
After entering the packaged beer market with bottles brewed under license off site, Blackman's has brought everything back under its Torquay roof. They've taken delivery of a Cask machine from Canada and entered the world of canned craft beer. The plan is for all of their core range beers to end up in cans, but first to appear is Reginald, the brewery's American style IPA. The reason it's first in line is because you, the people, demanded it: in an online poll earlier this year, Reginald was the… Read more
Style
American IPA
ABV
6.2%
Stockists

Blackman's Brewery

Then on national distribution

Blackman's & Barrow Boys Wet Hop Red Bock

Tapped April 21st, 2016
The Barrow Boys' gypsy wanderings around Victoria took them on quite the trip for this collab with Blackman's. It started with Barrow Boys brewer Ash heaving north to Rostrevor Hop Farm to smuggle out 20kg of fresh Galaxy hops, at which point he hit the road for the Surf Coast. The reason being that he and Renn Blackman had pledged to brew a wet hop beer together while at Ballarat Beer Festival. Both being lager lovers, they'd come up with a recipe for a red bock and figured Galaxy would give them… Read more
Style
Wet Hop Red Bock
ABV
5.8%
Stockists

Blackman's Brewery

Others TBC

Blackman's Brewery Bells Pro Session Ale

Tapped March 28th, 2016
Given its location within the former Surfrider restaurant building a hop and a skip from the beach in Torquay, there's an obvious connection between Blackman's Brewery and Australia's surfing culture. And, with four of the country's top pro surfers having launched into the craft beer world with Balter on the Gold Coast, the link between the two worlds gets stronger still. So it makes sense that, as the Bells Pro takes place a few kilometres down the road from Blackman's, brewer Renn conjures up a… Read more
Style
Amber Ale
ABV
4%

Blackman's & 3 Ravens Sylvan Berry Berliner Weisse

Tapped January 11th, 2016
If you're going to brew your first Berliner Weisse, you're as good doing it in the company of 3 Ravens' brewer Brendan O'Sullivan as anyone. He's picked up several awards for his home brewed takes on the style and is the man mainly responsible for the series of tastelessly tasty takes on the style released under Ravens' sibling label Mash Brewing, one of which took out a trophy in WA's awards last year. And that's what Blackman's has done, with brewer Renn hooking up with Brendan as well as a local… Read more
Style
Berliner Weisse
ABV
3.2%
Bitterness
5 IBU
Stockists

Blackman's Brewery

Blackman's Brewery Mervyn Pale Ale

Tapped December 22nd, 2015
Renn Blackman decided to brew a one-off beer for summer and came up with the Mervyn Pale Ale. Clearly things are going well for him and partner Jess at their Torquay brewpub because, with more than two months of summer left to run, they've pretty much exhausted of the first batch and have a second one waiting in the wings. Anyone that's sampled Ernie or Reg (Renn's golden ale and IPA respectively) will be aware that he knows his way around playing with fruity New World hops and it appears that that's… Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
ABV
4.6%
Bitterness
35 IBU
Stockists

Blackman's Brewery

Blackman's Brewery Imperial Smoked Porter

Tapped August 3rd, 2015
One imagines that, over time, Blackman's Brewery will become as well known for its lagers as any other beer. Not only are they one of very few small Aussie breweries that genuinely likes to make them but brewer Renn Blackman's history, including time at Camden Town Brewery, means he brews them damn well, as anyone who's become acquainted with his (now bottled too) Unfiltered Lager will attest. But, having concocted a few for Good Beer Week, when it came to choosing a beer to mark the Torquay brewpub's… Read more
Style
Imperial Smoked Porter
ABV
9.0%
Bitterness
70 IBU
Stockists

Blackman's Brewery

Blackman's Brewery Versus Camden Town Imperial Pils

Tapped June 24th, 2015
Lager loving brewers Renn (Blackman's) and former boss Jasper (Camden Town) joined forces to create a collaboration beer that was launched as part of their joint event as part of the 2015 Good Beer Week. It was one of four lagers poured on the night – two of them launching there and now making their way to a few other venues in Victoria and New South Wales. For their joint effort, they aimed high: this imperial pilsner nudges 8 percent AVB. And they also plundered an array of locally grown Aussie… Read more
Style
Imperial Pilsner
ABV
7.8%
Bitterness
55 IBU
Stockists

Blackman's Brewery

Builders Arms

Innocent Bystander

Baden Powell

More stockists...

Blackman's Brewery Rye Dark Lager

Tapped June 24th, 2015
Renn Blackman is something of a rarity among local craft brewers in that he has rather a soft spot for lagers. In part, we assume it comes down to time spent at Camden Town in London, a trailblazing contemporary British micro that made its name with a German style lager when all others were focused on making ales. With Camden Town founder Jasper Cuppaidge heading to Torquay for a Good Beer Week collaboration feast, Renn had even more reason to add to his lager collection as the pair of them served… Read more
Style
Dark Lager
ABV
5.5%
Bitterness
49 IBU
Stockists

Blackman's Brewery

Blackman's Brewery Bells Pro Pale Ale

Tapped April 1st, 2015
Blackman's Brewery is in Torquay, where the beer is brewed just a hop and a skip from the surf. It means it's not much further away from Bells Beach, one of the world's most famous surf spots and home of the prestigious surfing competitions, the Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro. The 2015 comp kicks off in April, with Mick Fanning and co no doubt ready to work up quite a thirst. So it would be remiss of Renn Blackman and partner Jess Giudice not to offer them something to quench their thirst, which they're… Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
Stockists

Blackman's Brewery

Hit enter to search or ESC to close