Mr Banks Brewing Co

Back in 2016, beers bearing the name Mr Banks started appearing across the Mornington Peninsula and in a handful of Melbourne venues. While the appearance of new breweries is pretty commonplace these days, it did raise one question: who was Mr Banks? Was he the guy on the side of the cans? Was he the bloke behind the brewery? Or was he some combination of both?

Not quite, it turns out. Banks was a dog. Specifically, it was the dog owned by Chris and Penny Farmer, the couple behind a new brewery in Seaford. In turn, Banks the dog was named after a fictional man: Adam Banks, the Mighty Ducks’ star player.

It seems fitting that Mr Banks was named after Chris and Penny’s dog, particularly since the brewery is very much a family story. By the time they launched, Chris had more ten years of “obsessively homebrewing” under his belt, while Penny’s background in accounting made her well positioned to handle the financial side of the brewery.

What’s more, it was while running his dad’s business that Chris first pondered starting his own brewery, with him and a mate regularly brewing together and buying whatever equipment they could get their hands on. The push to go professional came when Chris’ old man decided to sell his business, leaving Chris faced with the option of either taking over the family business or starting a new one.

After finding a home in Seaford, Mr Banks became a reality and tinnies of Chris’ pale ale were sent into the world. It was a beer he’d been refining for years and a steady stream of new releases soon followed. Some made it into the core range; others were kept to limited runs or appeared as seasonals.

Those beers also happened to stand out from the crowd thanks to the detailed, frequently eye-catching images decorating each can. Though the work of different artists and graphic designers, they’re united by a focus on fun, and highlighting that Mr Banks is a small brewery run by a young family. It’s an approach given even more freedom in the brewery’s many limited releases.

It wasn’t long before the small brewery soon couldn’t keep up with demand so Chris and Penny expanded into a new one complete with a new bar late in 2017 on the same site. What was previously a brewery and small cellar door turned into a serious beer destination in Melbourne’s south-eastern fringe.

It’s an open space filled with old couches and shared tables, large murals and festoon lighting, with every detail seeming to serve as a reminder that Mr Banks is about the good times. That includes space to shoot hoops next to the beer garden and a pool table across from the bar.

At time of writing, the kitchen was still taking shape, with the bar instead making full use of the local restaurants that surround it, along with the food trucks invited to take up temporary residence out front. Meanwhile, the brewery introduced a new look core four in the second half of 2018 (see below).

You’ll often find a fair number of local families at the venue, and this is very much by design too. The couple wanted to ensure it was a place kids could enjoy themselves, with a freezer full of Frosty Fruits and PlayStations on hand to help in that regard.

Given its location at the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula, it’s also a handy stop for visitors making their way to and from the local beaches, wineries and breweries. And, given it’s also only a short walk from the nearest train station, it’s not uncommon to witness beer fans from further afield wandering lost through this outer-suburban industrial lot wondering which converted panel beaters will be the one they are seeking.

Considering Seaford’s proximity to Frankston, the family-friendly brewery is also helping with the rehabilitation of the much-maligned town’s reputation. Every hoop scored outside, every Tony Hawke level unlocked inside, and every beer enjoyed both inside and out contributes to a picture a million miles from the stereotypes peddled by comedians for decades. All thanks to the Mighty Mr Banks.

Will Ziebell

Name
Mr Banks Brewing Co
Address

12 Hi-Tech Place
Seaford
VIC 3198

Website
Hours

Friday: 3pm to 9pm
Saturday: midday to 8pm
Sunday midday to 6pm

Current Crafty Cabal offers

Two For One Beers at Mr Banks

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Mr Banks Brewing Co Regulars

Mr Banks Oatmeal Stout

Tapped September 1st, 2018
An Oatmeal Stout has appeared as a winter seasonal in the past at Mr Banks, but is now part of the family of four sharing the same look from the Seaford brewery. It's also the sole beer to step away from the pale end of the colour spectrum, hotfooting its way pretty much as far to the other end as is possible. Thick and full-bodied, with oats lending it a smooth texture, stylistically it sits pretty much smack bang in the middle of stout territory. There's a hint of roast on one side and some sweet… Read more
Style
Oatmeal Stout
ABV
5.5%

Mr Banks West Coast IPA

Tapped September 1st, 2018
You can trace a line between Mr Banks' Extra Pale Ale and this West Coast IPA, a new addition to the core range introduced in the second half of 2018. It's hazy and pale and serves up some of those candied tropical fruit characters of its stablemate too. But then it adds its own personality. While not as aggressive as many of the beers that defined the style, the bitterness here is feistier, sharper and more pointed than its little sibling, while you can pick out pineapple, pine, lime and grapefruit… Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
ABV
6.2%

Mr Banks Extra Pale Ale

Tapped September 1st, 2018
Mr Banks has long had an XPA as part of its lineup; now it has an Extra Pale Ale instead – "Extra Pale and Extra Hoppy" according to the blurb. That extra hoppiness takes the form that's proving so popular in current climes, with candied tropical fruit and berry aromas one imagines is akin to working on the production line at a Starburst factory. Those tropical fruit lolly flavours persist on the palate, with a little resinous bitterness settling in to underpin matters.… Read more
Style
XPA
ABV
5.0%

Mr Banks Lager

Tapped September 1st, 2018
One of the ways in which Mr Banks first caught drinkers' eyes in and around its Victorian base was through its can designs. From the off, they featured bold illustrations that became bolder and more flamboyant over time. As of spring 2018, at least when it comes to the brewery's new core range, the Farmers have decided to streamline things a little, creating a quartet of beers in which only a strip of colour sets them apart. Among the four is this Lager, which pours very pale with a little lemon… Read more
Style
Lager
ABV
4.2%

Mr Banks XPA

Once upon a time, craft brewers would have told newcomers they would be mad not to have a pale in their range, with beers tagged "pale ale" invariably a small brewer's best selling beer. But that's less the case today, not least because there’s a whole lot of other hoppy and sessionable styles you can now choose from – XPA and session IPA among them – even if there's an argument to be made that they're still essentially pale ales with an added dose of marketing spin. When filling… Read more
Style
XPA
ABV
5.0%

Mr Banks Brown Ale

While the ukulele playing man in deserted car lot on the can might be most reminiscent of American folk legend Woody Guthrie, it’s from England that Mr Banks seems to have taken its inspiration. Maybe head brewer Chris Farmer had the songs of Billy Bragg in his head instead... Pouring a copper brown with an off white head, you're immediately hit with flavours of toasted toffee and a slight nutty sweetness. There’s also some light coffee and chocolate, while, as it warms, you might even find a… Read more
Style
Brown Ale
ABV
5.0%

Mr Banks Brewing Co Specials

Mr Banks Hawaii 5-Gose

Tapped October 4th, 2018
Is there an image that more colourfully conjures a tropical paradise than a pineapple catching a wave? If there is, the chances are good Mr Banks will have a go when summer fully rolls around. Yes, the Seaford based family brewery may have streamlined the look of its core range, but they're still having fun with the look of their eclectic limited release beers, including this, Hawaii 5-Gose, a Copacabana-coloured can filled with a gose laced with a mixture of guava, mango and pineapple. It’s also… Read more
Style
Fruit Gose
ABV
4.2%

Mr Banks Champagne For My Real Friends Brut IPA

Tapped July 19th, 2018
In its short existence to date, Mr Banks has shown a willingness to take on new trends in beer, particularly when it comes to IPA. The Seaford brewery has put out well received NEIPAs and now has trained its sights on the latest IPA craze to sweep the nation: Brut IPA. It's a style also referred to as Champagne IPA and you certainly know it when faced by these cans, wrapped in golden bubbles and declaring the contents as "Champagne for my real friends". Given the Crafty budget doesn't warrant… Read more
Style
Brut IPA
ABV
7.0%
Stockists

Mr Banks

Bottle House

And select other Victorian good beer retailers

More stockists...

Mr Banks Venice Pils

Tapped June 1st, 2018
There are plenty of brewers out there with their recipe books turned to winter right now, moving through red and amber ales into all things dark brown, black, rich, hearty and, often, barrel aged. But one of the final one-offs to leave Mr Banks' brewery in Seaford as autumn was drawing to a close looks to keep the sun beating down – even if it's just a mental thing. The Venice Pils, complete with sun-dappled shot of Venice Beach on the can, is their spin on a pilsner, a spin that's taken it all… Read more
Style
West Coast Pilsner
ABV
5.3%
Stockists

Mr Banks Brewing

Bad Shepherd Brewpub

And select good beer outlets

More stockists...

Mr Banks Oatmeal Stout

Tapped June 1st, 2017
For Mr Banks’ winter seasonal, head brewer and co-owner Chris Farmer has decided to keep things approachable, if weather appropriate, in concocting his stout. It pours pitch black, with a light brown head that hints at the beer’s creamy, oat-boosted mouthfeel. Though its flavours are mostly of the coffee, dark chocolate and roasted variety, there’s also some orange and spice notes derived from the hops. Like the flowers on the can that add a little colour to the wintry scene, there’s a touch… Read more
Style
Oatmeal Stout
ABV
5.5%

Mr Banks Red Ale

Tapped April 25th, 2018
While there's nary a fallen leaf in sight, it’s hard not to look at a can of Mr Banks’ Red Ale and not have images of America in the Fall come to mind. Maybe it’s the woman draped in red wearing a wolf as a hoodie on the front – Little Red Riding Hood as her grandmother's nemesis, perhaps; something about which Freud, surely, would have plenty to say. But it’s fitting for such a package to conjure autumn, as this red ale is very much an autumnal beer. It’s got plenty of body and sweetness… Read more
Style
American Red Ale
ABV
5.6%

Mr Banks Tart City Blackberry Saison

Tapped February 28th, 2018
Although a name like Tart City might make the mind drift to a particularly puckering and acidic gose or Berliner Weisse, for this seasonal release, Mr Banks has instead opted for a saison base upon which they've loaded blackberries. Despite pouring with a pinkish hue, in many ways Tart City is your classic saison: it’s dry, it’s yeast driven and it's pretty refreshing. The blackberries certainly contribute to the beer's refreshing qualities, while adding a fruit salad like quality to the beer,… Read more
Style
Blackberry Saison
ABV
5.6%

Mr Banks Wheeze The Juice NEIPA

Tapped February 1st, 2018
Some might still question their validity, but many more brewers and drinkers are embracing the juicy qualities of New England IPAs. Mr Banks is one of them, with the brewery showcasing the beer’s juiciness and thickness front and centre on the can: here you'll find the hazy IPA coming straight from a slushie machine. In the glass, the beer is about as opaque as a lighter coloured beer can be and, when beer hits lips, its creamy mouthfeel – boosted by the use of lactose – only confirms what… Read more
Style
NEIPA
ABV
6.1%
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