The Mill Brewery

In recent years, Collingwood has been making an ever stronger claim to be considered Melbourne’s leading craft beer suburb. Myriad bars and pubs that call it home are constant champions of local beer, a mantra they often apply to spirits, wine and food too.

To those venues you can add a growing number of breweries – the likes of Stomping Ground, The Craft & Co and, from early 2017, The Mill Brewery – that have brought brewing back to a suburb where it was once an historical hub.

While he may have chosen an already well-established good beer locale when picking a site for The Mill, founder and head brewer Mirek Aldridge had been mulling the concept of opening his own joint long before IPAs were regularly poured through the taps of Smith Street. Indeed, he says the brewery was more than a decade in the making.

Inspiration came while enjoying a Little Creatures Pale Ale with his brother at the brewery’s Fremantle home, inspiration that led him to homebrewing and a rapid progression from kits to all grain brewing.

As his interest in brewing turned into an obsession, Mirek told friends, family and anyone else who would listen about his intention to open a brewery, all while working in the film and TV industry on some of the country’s finest “trashy dramas”.

Finally, towards the end of 2016, he took over an old mechanics garage in Sackville Street, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the junction of Smith and Johnston Streets, and began designing and building the small brewpub himself. Taking its name and logo from the hand-cranked Corona mill that did him proud during his homebrewing days, The Mill first opened its doors in March 2017.

The back of the warehouse is taken up by a 600L brewhouse, while the front bar is divided between shared tables, a vintage arcade machine and a table tennis table. It’s a setup that makes full use of its industrial setting, with rows of skylights and the large roller door allowing light to flood in during daylight hours.

Red gum tables line the walls indoors with the bar itself taking centre stage. The license allows tables and chairs to fill the brewery’s driveway, which gives the bar the feeling of a neighbourhood pub.

On most nights, that driveway plays host to regularly rotating food trucks for anyone looking for an easy excuse to stay put long after knock-off drinks. Indeed, while those after knock-off drinks make up a good part of The Mill’s clientele, it’s also evolved into a bar for locals as well as those on the search for new beers and breweries; as things stand, visiting the brewery is the best option for anyone wanting to try the beers as only a handful of kegs tend to make it outside the four walls where they’re brewed and into Mirek’s favourite neighbourhood bars.

When the Mill first opened its doors, it poured just three beers, some of them, like the pale ale and The Dark Lord Black IPA among the recipes Mirek had been brewing for years at home. Now you can select from a line-up of ten, most one-offs or seasonals and many brewed in collaboration with other local and not-so-local breweries, including Tallboy & Moose, Bodriggy and Hobart’s The Winston.

The close of 2017 saw The Mill released its first bottled beer too, a Lark Distillery barrel aged imperial stout dubbed The Great Russian – the perfect seasonal release for Melbourne summer.

It may have been a decade in the making but, as Collingwood’s craft credentials continue to grow and The Mill finds itself in good company, we’re pretty sure Mirek and those enjoying the fruits of his labours agree it was well worth the wait.

Will Ziebell

Name
The Mill Brewery
Address

40 Sackville Street
Collingwood
VIC 3066

Website
Hours

Wed & Thurs: 4pm to 10pm
Friday: 4pm to 11pm
Saturday: 1pm to 11pm
Sunday: 1pm to 9pm

Current Crafty Cabal offers

Free Tasting Paddle On First Visit

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The Mill Brewery Regulars

The Mill Brewery The Dark Lord Black IPA

Tapped March 15th, 2017
Dark Lord is a name that comes with serious pedigree in the world thanks to the legend that is and that surrounds 3 Floyds' Russian imperial stout of the name. So, if you're going to adopt it for one of your own, there's probably a bit of pressure. The Dark Lord from The Mill is a beer that Mirek Aldridge had been brewing and tweaking at home for years before launching his brewery: a black IPA weighing in at 6.66 percent ABV. Black IPA seems to have become a pretty broad church since the oxymoronic… Read more
Style
Black IPA
ABV
6.66%

The Mill Brewery Tropicool Pale Ale

Tapped August 1st, 2017
Tropicool wasn't always intended as a permanent member of the tap lineup at The Mill but its popularity ensured it grabbed a guernsey soon enough. It stands apart from the other pale ale it sits next to thanks in the main to the choice of hops, with punchy new varieties Idaho 7, Mosaic and El Dorado doing their thing. They do it in such a way it's easy to see why the beer found favour in the current climate, with pineapple and citrus leading the way in a tropically minded drop in which bitterness… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
ABV
5.0%

The Mill Brewery Mostly American Pale Ale

Tapped March 15th, 2017
Another of the core beers always pouring at The Mill, Mostly American does what it says on the tin, delivering a pale ale with mostly American ingredients, with some German hops and English malt along for the ride. With iconic US hop Cascade leading the way, it's more akin to the old school American pales like Sierra Nevada than the fruitier new wave. Earthy, piney and with a pretty hefty bitterness, it's the brewery staff's go to beer.… Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
ABV
5.5%

The Mill Brewery Jack D-Licious Golden Ale

Tapped March 15th, 2017
One of just a handful of beers you'll always find pouring at The Mill and named after one of owner Mirek Aldridge's mates who held his birthday at the brewery, Jack D-Licious (not his real surname) is a beer designed to tick a couple of boxes: the beer for those new to craft and not wanting to be hit too hard on the palate and those who are simply after something simple to sit on. There's a smidgen of fruitiness from the Amarillo hops, some biscuity malt flavours and a dry more than bitter finish.… Read more
Style
Golden Ale
ABV
4.9%

The Mill Brewery Specials

The Mill Brewery I Can't Believe It's Not Juice

Tapped November 6th, 2018
It’s been a long time between packaged releases for The Mill Brewery. Close to a year ago, the Collingwood brewery came out with The Great Russian, a Lark Distillery whisky barrel aged imperial stout with an ABV above ten percent. This time around, the crew at the Mill has gone for a slightly more warm weather appropriate approach by releasing cans of one of the taproom’s top sellers, the New England IPA I Can’t Believe It’s Not Juice. Coming in a label that makes no secret of the fact the… Read more
Style
NEIOA
ABV
6.8%

The Mill & The Mill Imperial Red Ale

Tapped March 1st, 2018
Given the occasional – and occasionally very high profile – stoushes within the beer world around names and trademarks, you couldn't help wonder if there may be some repercussions when The Mill Brewery opened in Collingwood last year when been The Mill craft beer bar had already operating in Brisbane for the past few years. And, indeed, there have been repercussions. Yes, the crew from the latter hooked up with the former's founder and head brewer Mirek to make a beer together. They opted for… Read more
Style
Imperial Red Ale
ABV
7.7%

The Mill Brewery The Great Russian Barrel Aged Stout 2017

Tapped December 22nd, 2017
When it came time to create its first bottled beer, The Mill Brewery didn't mess around. At the height of summer, the Collingwood brewery released The Great Russian, a barrel aged stout that spent six months soaking in Lark Distillery whisky barrels. Since the un-barrelled stout from whence it came weighed in at 8.1 percent ABV and the Lark laden equivalent registers a full 2.2 percent ABV higher, you can be sure the whisky makes itself known. Aromas of peat with a hint of woody vanilla leap from… Read more
Style
Whisky Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
ABV
10.3%
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