The Public Brewery

Like Field of Dreams, minus Kevin Costner and the schmaltz, The Public Brewery is living proof that if you build it they will come. 

Prior to the multifaceted venue opening, the closest we came to encountering craft beer in this neck of Melbourne's outer east was making a couple of batches of homebrew with a guy called Brendan Guild when studying for a beer judging accreditation. Yet, thanks to the vision of local cafe owner Dale White, Croydon is now home to one of the best looking and busiest brewery venues in Victoria. And, in a nice quirk of fate, Brendan came on board as its founding brewer, ditching a career in HR to follow his – and Dale's – dream.

It's a dream that covers a lot of bases and one that began when Dale noticed that a former grain store and auction house that was falling into dereliction was going to be pulled down and replaced with a factory. He wondered whether it wouldn't be better put to use as a venue with a brew-your-own facility at its centre; he'd enjoyed a day at a similar business years earlier, albeit one where the hospitality side of things had left much to be desired. What if he could create his own, pass on the joys of the experience he'd had, but do it better?

Thus began the process of securing the site, drawing up plans to clean, strip back and rebuild the old warehouse, then waiting to see if this part of outer Melbourne was ready for the sort of beers being lapped up in its inner suburbs. 

At the end of 2013, The Public Brewery began to open in stages. First came the bottleshop stocking nothing but Yarra Valley wines and independent Victorian beers, then a venue with bar, kitchen and beer garden (growing herbs and hops for use inside), finally the various brewery elements: eight 50 litre brew-your-own kits and a 250 litre microbrewery upon which they started brewing their own beers.

And, straight away, they came. With nowhere between Melbourne's eastern suburbs and the Yarra Valley offering anything like this, especially in such carefully considered, rustic, charming surrounds, the place was soon busy – with families, beer lovers, wannabe brewers – and has never looked back.

On the beer front, the brewery has for the most part, focused on creating approachable beers with broad appeal – pale, red and brown ales plus a craft light beer that's a project close to Dale's heart – while also collaborating frequently with friends from the Victorian industry. Those friends are always allocated a spot among the venue's taps to showcase their wares. And, with demand for the Public's beers growing, an offsite production brewery opened at 100 Acres in Warrandyte in early 2016.

All in all, it's safe to say they were right in their hunch that this part of Melbourne was ripe for something crafty.

The Public Brewery

13 Lacey Street
VIC 3136

(03) 9725 5864
Open Hours

Wed & Thurs : 4pm to 9pm
Fri & Sat: midday to 10pm
Sunday: midday to 9pm

On tap at The Public Brewery

This is a directory listing. To find out more, head here

The Public Brewery Regulars

The Public Brewery Maku Hemp Session Ale

Tapped July 4, 2019
In Chinese mythology, Maku is a goddess connected with the elixir of life and often she shares a close bond with hemp. Being the world’s oldest domesticated crop and one often associated with sustainability practices, the connection seems a reasonable one. It’s a link The Public Brewery hope to draw upon in their latest endeavour, a collaboration with the Yarra Valley Hemp Company designed to showcase the crop’s versatility. The first release under the Maku banner is labelled Hemp Session Ale… Read more
Hemp Ale

The Public Brewery Little India Session IPA

Tapped October 25, 2017
The Public Brewery in Croydon decided early on to put energy into designing a light beer that would satisfy their desire to offer a sensible option over the bar while delivering an impact that would satisfy those looking for something approximating a bigger crafty beer. The Featherweight has gone on to do that for them, finding its way onto many a beer list as the light option too. And now they've come up with a mid-strength that aims to do similar, albeit ratcheted up a few notches. Little India… Read more
Session IPA

The Public Brewery Featherweight

Encouraging responsible drinking as well as an environment that's welcoming for people of all ages at his venues is a core part of what drives Public Brewery founder Dale White. Thus the development of a crafty light beer has been central to the brewing side of the business from fairly early on in the Croydon brewery's life. That beer is Featherweight and is one into which head brewer Brendan Guild has poured much of his attention. The "Craft Light" weighs in at just 2.9 percent ABV but… Read more
Light Beer

The Public Brewery Funky Town Brown

Originally titled the Get Down American Brown until brewer Brendan realised fellow Melbourne-based brewing company BrewCult had a beer of the same name, Funky Town is The Public Brewery's take on US style brown ales. Typically, such beers take as a starting point the brown ales first popularised in the UK several centuries ago and ratchet up the dials. Here, however, while some of the dials – those marked "hops" and "malt" – have been given a hefty flick, the one marked "alcohol"… Read more
American Brown Ale

The Public Brewery Red Falcon

A beer that tells you what's in store from the moment you read its name (if you're a bit of a beer nerd at least). The red is obvious: here's a red ale that floats colour wise around amber / chestnut. The Falcon is a reference to Falconer's Flight, a hop blend from America's Pacific Northwest named after one of the pioneers of the beer scene there and designed for hoppy beers such as IPAs. Here the pellets are added to a hearty malt base that's all about creamy toffee, caramel and toasted flavours.… Read more
American Red Ale

The Public Brewery 100 Acres Pale Ale

In the early months of operation, it seemed that barely a brew of The Public Brewery's pale ale went by without it being tweaked or used to showcase a different hop variety or combination of them. Now, however, with output significantly upped thanks to the opening of a second production facility (at the 100 Acres site in Warrandyte) it seems that the brewers have settled on a formula they're happy with. It's a formula that takes the idea of an American pale ale but looks to create it with all Australian… Read more
American Pale Ale

The Public Brewery Specials

Public Brewery & Bad Shepherd Make American Wheat Great Again

Tapped March 3, 2017
Depending where you exist on the political spectrum, you may feel that The Donald's rise to the pinnacle of power in the US offers little that could be regarded as good. That said, he's been a godsend to satirists and the wider world of humour (intentionally and otherwise), with his impact even being felt in the Australian beer world. Such as here, where The Public Brewery and Bad Shepherd got together to make a beer: an American wheat that borrows its title from his campaign slogan and its decal… Read more
American Wheat

Public Brewery

Bad Shepherd

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