Foreigner Brewing Co

There’s something uniquely appealing about a brewery that brings together the traditions of the Czech Republic with contemporary Melbourne. Historically speaking, the former is the birthplace of pilsners and considered one of the most important beer cultures in the world.

While Melbourne doesn’t share the same long-established prominence, in more recent times it has become known as something of a leader in Australia’s craft beer industry.

Brunswick’s Foreigner Brewing Co, which first opened its doors late in 2016, manages to combine those two disparate brewing cultures. It’s the work of Mira Koman and Peter Denison, who originally hail from the Czech Republic and met through Melbourne’s expat Czech community.

Brought together by their love of beer as much as their shared heritage, the pair soon started homebrewing. Like many Australian craft brewers, Peter and Mira quickly developed plans to go professional and looked to upsize their production scale. Unlike most breweries, however, Foreigner was largely built by one of its brewers.

Mira’s professional background as a boilermaker brings with it a handy set of skills for someone looking to build their own brewery. Aside from the fermenters, he built the rest of the six-hectolitre brewery, often in spare moments fitted around his day job.

While it may be a small brewery by commercial standards, for Mira and Peter the plan was always to start small. It means most of their beer is sold a few metres from where it is made, and also gives the two of them the opportunity to talk about their story and their beer to whoever walks in. And, given the fact they are located a ten minute stroll from Sydney Road and Brunswick Station, it’s the type of brewery that Melbourne’s northern beer drinking community should be walking into.

The proximity of the brewery to all manner of public transport, as well as Brunswick’s young population, makes Foreigner’s location one likely to have some Melbourne breweries casting an envious glance. It’s located in an industrial block featuring row after row of concrete units and roller doors, behind one of which you’ll find a few tables, barstools and beer. During opening hours, expect to find those doors wide open, with vintage records being spun and bar snacks shared around.

Speaking of the beers, unsurprisingly Foreigner has a keen focus on Czech lagers, brewed using traditional methods and recipes. Both their mid-strength and full-strength lagers are packed with Saaz hops and they refer to them as “10 degree” and “12 degree” beers respectively, in reference to the way Czech brewers measure beer on the plato gravity scale.

Peter and Mira also have a level of authority to claim their lagers are as traditional as they come, particularly since the recipes were designed with their friend Petr Petruzalek, who spent more than two decades brewing at Pilsner Urquell.

Yet, keeping true to their current home of Melbourne, Foreigner also brew styles better associated with the modern beer movement. This includes the likes of American-hopped IPAs, Galaxy-packed summer ales and dark ales.

Indeed the beers – much like the rest of the brewery – show that Peter and Mira know how to pair the old world of brewing with the contemporary beer scene. And, for Australian beer drinkers, it’s a cross-cultural beer experience that adds diversity to an increasingly fascinating local landscape.

Will Ziebell

Name
Foreigner Brewing Co
Address

Factory 12, 102 Henkel St
Brunswick
VIC 3056

Phone
1300 554 606
Website
Hours

Fri: 4pm to 11pm
Sat: 3pm to 11pm
Sun: 12pm to 8pm

Current Crafty Cabal offers

First Schooner Free at Foreigner Brewing Co

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Foreigner Brewing Co Regulars

Foreigner Brewing Co Dark Ale

Tapped April 10th, 2017
Foreigner Brewing’s dark ale is a classically styled and well balanced beer that delivers aromas of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. On the palate, those roasted flavours of coffee and chocolate continue while the beer finishes slightly dry with a nicely roasted bitterness. As it warms, you'll find cocoa and a nutty quality developing, making for one of those drinkable dark beers occupying a space that makes it almost as enjoyable during long summer days as it is in the middle of winter. Will… Read more
Style
Dark Ale
ABV
5.8%

Foreigner Brewing Co IPA

Tapped April 10th, 2017
American style IPAs might come from a different ethos to the pilsners of the Czech Republic, yet they're very much where many craft beer drinkers sit these days. Thus you'll find them pouring from the taps at Foreigner's Brunswick home. In this case, the beer features Simcoe and Mosaic within a crystal clear, light and slightly amber American-style IPA. Those hops are well and truly this beer’s main attraction, with a big hit of pine and a resinous sweetness rolling together in the glass. While… Read more
Style
American IPA
ABV
5.8%

Foreigner Brewing Co Summer Ale

Tapped April 10th, 2017
Foreigner Brewing’s summer ale shows the Brunswick brewery is willing and able to brew styles well and truly outside their Czech roots. The fact the beer is heavily hopped with the likes of Galaxy and Chinook also shows that they know their way around New World hops. Australian craft drinkers’ palates have become so used to Galaxy over the past few years that there shouldn’t be too many eyebrows raised by those used to its passionfruit and citrus aromas. Yet this summer ale does offer some… Read more
Style
Summer Ale
ABV
4.9%

Foreigner Brewing Co Rixdorf Wheat Beer

Tapped April 10th, 2017
The story behind Foreigner’s Rixdorf is a reference to the fact that a couple of Czech brewers are making a German wheat beer. Rixdorf is one of Berlin’s trendier neighbourhoods, but once it was a small village outside the city that was predominately populated by Czech nationals. Much like the original Rixdorf, there’s much that's traditional with Foreigner’s wheat beer: plenty of yeast-derived banana, cloves and bubblegum that burst out of its fluffy white head. In terms of flavour, it’s… Read more
Style
Hefeweizen
ABV
5.0%

Foreigner Brewing Co Silent Hunter Pilsner

Tapped April 11th, 2017
Something of a big brother to Richard X, Silent Hunter has its own unusual backstory. Named after a hill near Foreigner Brewing’s cofounder Mira’s Czech hometown, the moniker comes from a local legend involving a woman walking in the woods with her two children. As a hunter approached, the story goes that the woman told her children to make sure they were silent. While the technical translation might be “Silence, Hunter”, that doesn’t quite work as well for a local hill and isn’t nearly… Read more
Style
Pilsner
ABV
4.6%

Foreigner Brewing Co Richard X Pilsner

Tapped April 11th, 2017
The regal-sounding (and looking) Richard X is Foreigner Brewing’s homage to one of the people who helped them most when they first started out. Petr Petruzalek is a close friend of Foreigner’s two owners and, having spent more than two decades working at Pilnser Urquell, he was well placed to help them design their mid-strength pilsner. Petr was encouraged to apply for a job at Urquell by his uncle Richard so we can assume that, without him, Petr’s life could have taken any number of turns.… Read more
Style
Pilsner
ABV
3.9%

Foreigner Brewing Co Specials

Foreigner Brewing Co Imperial Pilsner

Tapped October 14th, 2017
If you’re a Melbourne brewery founded by two Czech expats then the choice of beer to mark your first birthday should be a pretty straightforward one: take the world-conquering style which originated in your homeland and make it bigger and bolder. So that's what Foreigner Brewing Co did, by brewing an imperial pilsner to celebrate the occasion. Featuring the traditional Saaz hop and somewhat less traditional Ella, before being dry hopped with New Zealand’s Motueka, it’s a beer that to blends… Read more
Style
Imperial Pilsner
ABV
6.4%
Stockists

Foreigner Brewing Co

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