Dollar Bill Brewing

It's not easy to bring something new to the Australian beer landscape now it's populated by hundreds of breweries and you can find quality venues with rotating tap lineups in country towns. But it's fair to say Dollar Bill Brewing have managed to stand out from the crowd from the moment they first appeared.

For one, the first ripple they sent through the industry came in the shape of a funky, barrel-aged, hopped cider. Then, when they were ready to bring their first beers to market, they started out with the sort of styles most drinkers advance to after years of exploring: barrel-aged blends inspired by the lambics of Belgium. Better still, the beers were brilliant, knocking drinkers sideways and, despite their very limited release, flying into the upper echelons of our Best New Victorian Beers list.

The family-run venture launched by Fiona and Ed Nolle from their home in Ballarat hasn't put a foot wrong since. The barrel-aged blends and fruited farmhouse ales have continued to impress palates wherever they've landed; their first "core range" beer, Learning To Breathe collected a trophy at the 2019 Indies just weeks after release. And they've stamped their distinctive personalities onto a local beer world that's been eager to welcome them.

Add in a background that takes in one of the country's leading winemakers going by the nom de plume "Attorney at Large" Miguel Sanchez, a label designer who's also responsible for an entire country's currency, regular runs from Melbourne to Ballarat with freshly-filled barrels, plus a portable Quarter Bar (25 cents in a dollar; 25 taps on the bar) and this isn't your typical brewing company.

Indeed, while the Nolles might have brought Ed's beers to market late in his brewing career – he and Miguel had been homebrewing together for almost two decades before the first bottles hit retailers – they've arrived in a space many would regard as the cutting edge of brewing today.

Before 2020 is out, they'll have opened a cellar door at their off-grid property a few kilometres outside Ballarat. Not only will it be a place to showcase their diverse range of innovative beverages, but it's a place where the location will become ever more part of said beverages, not just via spontaneously-fermented beers but via the creation of what Fiona calls a "garden of beer".

And what is a garden of beer? In the case of Dollar Bill, it's land filled with "fruit trees, a market garden and animals, including fish-stocked dams, all focused on creating wild beer with a particular terroir while applying the concepts of permaculture, sustainability and minimal impact."

As for the brewing company name, it tips a wink to Andy Warhol, Smokey And The Bandit and Wu-Tang Clan (you're as likely to talk Pharcyde as fermentation with Ed and there are listening suggestions on the labels). It also comes laced with a hearty dose of irony; no one who started out making 300 bottle batches of beers four years in the making has "getting rich" top of their list of life goals.

Taken together, it's a potent package for anyone interested in the history and the future of beer, or who enjoys seeing good people having a good time doing something they truly love. Roll on the days of sipping sours in that garden of beer...

Dollar Bill Brewing

166 Millers Road
VIC 3352

0419 882 778
Regular events

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Dollar Bill Brewing Regulars

Dollar Bill Learning To Breathe

Release first core range beer. Check. Win prestigious national trophy. Check. Dollar Bill were never struggling for friends or fans in the beer world from their earliest appearances. But they secured critical acclaim in 2019 when Learning To Breathe, a barrel-aged golden sour that's designed to be the beer they'll keep releasing, scooped the Champion Mixed Culture Beer title at the Indies. It's more restrained than some of their more grandstanding affairs, such as the years-old Grand Cru blends,… Read more
Barrel-Aged Golden Sour

Champion Mixed Ferment Beer – Indies 2019

Dollar Bill Brewing Specials

Dollar Bill Black Is Beautiful

Tapped November 7, 2020
The Black Is Beautiful project was kicked off by Texan brewery Weathered Souls earlier in 2020. It's a global collaboration in which breweries were invited to create a beer based upon the same stout recipe to raise awareness for injustices faced by people of colour as well as funds for related causes. Ballarat's Dollar Bill were one of the Aussie brewers to get involved, taking the Weathered Souls' blueprint and shooting it through with their unique DNA to create a blended sour imperial stout. The… Read more
Blended Sour Imperial Stout

Dollar Bill Candy Paint

Tapped June 5, 2020
Candy Paint is the second Dollar Bill release to come bearing the dragon-wrapped dollar sign of their trophy-winning Learning To Breathe and another that's been some time in the making. Technically, it's a two year barrel-aged pseudo lambic rested on sour cherries, but in the flesh it's rather more flamboyant than those words suggest. For a start, there's the vibrant crimson colour – one as bold as any you'll have encountered in a beer – and then there's the character: this is liquid alive with… Read more
Australian Wild Ale with Cherries

Dollar Bill Cider Ways Vintage 2020

Tapped May 1, 2020
Brewer's notes: Wild-fermented cider made from a blend of Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Packham pears, dry-hopped with US and Australian hops, matured in French barriques. Hop driven citrus fruit and piney resin blend with acid and funk in this complex farmhouse cider. Ready to drink now but will cellar well for several years.… Read more
Wild-Fermented, Barrel-Aged Cider

Dollar Bill Summer Parlay 2020

Tapped February 1, 2020
Brewer's notes: Summer Parlay 2020 is an Australian wild ale brewed by Dollar Bill fermented with indigenous yeasts from Pinot Marc and blended with spontaneous fermented ale. It is then aged for 12 month in French barriques before bottling.… Read more
Australian Wild Ale

Dollar Bill Spring Parlay 2019

Tapped October 1, 2019
Brewer's notes: Spring ushers in an exciting new season of longer days and warmer weather. Cold mornings give way to sun filled days and bright red sunsets. Our Spring Parlay is a complex sour ale primary fermented in stainless then aged eight months in barrels used to create some of Australia’s finest dessert wine. Lambrusco Maestri Apassimento barrels add cocoa and dried fruit complexities along with aromas of leather and tobacco, lactic and acetic acidity.… Read more
Red Ale aged in Apassimento Barrels

Dollar Bill Winter Parlay 2019

Tapped July 1, 2019
Brewer's notes: A botanical sour ale created from our blend of two-year-old barrel-aged saisons and six-month-old wild barrel0fermented ales aged in pinot noir and chardonnay barrels steeped on selected herbs and enhanced with herbal extracts. Old World meets New World, herbal and sour. Selected botanicals with intense aromatics and calming attributes create the perfect fireside sipper.… Read more
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