Burnley Brewing

Back when they were at university together, Neil Mills and Phil Gijsbers decided to start a café. It’s an unusual brewery origin story but, then again, Burnley Brewery is a little unusual.

In the years that followed, Phil started a few more cafés and Neil eventually ended up entering the world of beer via brewing equipment supplier Spark Breweries & Distilleries. Throughout this time, the two of them would still talk about starting a brewery together. The problem with their plan was that the timing – and the space – was never quite right.

Enter Renton Carlyle-Taylor, who was running Romulus & Remus and fancied a change; suddenly, serendipity was on their side. The Italian restaurant had spent years as a popular haunt at the easterly end of Bridge Road, that part of Richmond where nobody is quite sure whether or not it’s its own suburb. Admittedly, when Renton decided it was time for a change, he didn’t quite imagine installing a brewery in one corner but when Neil and Phil brought the idea to him he couldn’t say no.

So, late in 2017, Burnley Brewing was born, adding an extra dimension to Bridge Road’s good beer scene, while also bringing a new kind of brewery to Melbourne. In part, that was thanks to the brewery retaining some of what made the restaurant so appealing: the booths that had long been filled with families sharing antipasti remained a place for sharing, though now it wasn’t just food but tasting paddles being passed around; the space’s light shades remained, complemented by the north-facing windows that bring natural light flooding in and keep the brewery’s pastel logo shining bright.

Unsurprisingly, considering the new brewery’s former inhabitant, Burnley’s focus has been as much on good food as it has been on the beer pouring through the taps. With Romulus & Remus’ staff retained, the brewpub inherited a wealth of hospitality experience along with a menu based around house-made pastas and pizza. To that has been added more traditional pub fare – burgers, steaks and the kind of snacks that go hand in hand with beer.

But, of course, at its heart, it’s now a brewery; so bringing this all together is the beer – 14 taps of the stuff. They’re the work of brewer Michael Stanzel, a Melburnian who spent years learning to brew (and malt barley) in Germany before returning home. Indeed, his background as a brewer is a winning combination for an inner city Melbourne brewery: he’s just as comfortable brewing a Reinheitsgebot compliant lager as he is throwing fruit into a stout.

For the first few months of the brewery’s life, the beers were contract brewed as the Burnley crew waited for not one, but two brewhouses to arrive. The first of those to be installed was the brewery’s Dandenong South production site, while the second now sits in one corner of their Bridge Road home.

The production brewery focuses on the beers destined for wider release, with the first two of those a Pale Ale and Vienna Lager that are available in 440ml cans. Meanwhile, the smaller, 500 litre brewery sitting in corner of their Bridge Road home is in a state of constant flux, Michael having set himself the challenge of using it to come up with a new beer each and every week. When ready, the majority travel directly from bright tank to your beer glass.

Whether it’s thanks to the tanks that line the front windows, or the bar that wraps around the brewhouse, or even the staff’s willingness to recommend their favourite beer and food combination, there’s no doubt you’re in a brewery. It just happens to be one that feels a little more refined than most.

Name
Burnley Brewing
Address

648 Bridge Road
Richmond
VIC 3121

Phone
(03) 9429 3042
Website
Hours

Midday to late

Tours

Brewery tours daily

Current Crafty Cabal offers

2-for-1 Beers Every Day at Burnley

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Burnley Brewing Regulars

Burnley Brewing Nitro Coffee Brown

Tapped November 30th, 2018
Burnley Brewing’s Coffee Brown cans may have been released as the brewery celebrated its first birthday but the beer has been a part of the operation since the very beginning. Eager to make a beer that was distinctly “Melbourne”, head brewer Michael Stanzel asked one of Burnley’s owners, Phil Gijsbers - who also happens to own These Days Coffee Roastery - to score him some beans. The benefit of Phil owning both a roastery and a brewery goes beyond the presumed discount when trading between… Read more
Style
Nitro Coffee Brown Ale
ABV
5.3%

Burnley Brewing Pils

Tapped November 30th, 2018
When Burnley’s head brewer, Michael Stanzel, was 22, he made the move to Germany to study brewing in the land of lager and hefe. And, if the second lager to join the brewery's core range is anything to go by, it seems like he paid attention during those (presumably) exacting days learning about pilsners. Pils is a beer that – a little like the brewer himself – is built with traditional sensibilities but has at least one foot planted in the modern world. Made according to the Reinheitsgebot… Read more
Style
Pilsner
ABV
4.5%

Burnley Brewing Pale Ale

One of the two Burnley’s beers that first made it out into the world beyond their brewpub, this a beer that sits snugly in into the world of modern pales. Its light malt body allows the experience to be almost entirely about the hops, of which Cascade and Galaxy are front and centre. It pours a light, hazy straw colour, with tropical flavours of guava and passionfruit that leap from the beer. There’s also a touch of pine and some juiciness in there, but it’s not a beer that falls too deep… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
ABV
5.1%

Burnley Brewing Vienna Lager

When you spend your formative brewing years in Germany, at some point you’ll get to know you way around lager. And that’s the case with Burnley Brewing’s head brewer Michael Stanzel, who moved to Germany’s west to study brewing soon after finishing school. While Vienna sits some way to the south of Germany, this beer still showcases his knack for making clean lagers, including those with richer malt bodies. Vienna Lager was one of Burnley’s first beers to make it into cans, and it’s… Read more
Style
Vienna Lager
ABV
5.6%

Burnley Brewing Specials

Burnley Brewing Coffee Brown Porter

Tapped September 1st, 2018
When one of your owners owns a bunch of cafés and a coffee roastery, surely it’s only a matter of time before you look to make a coffee porter. That’s the case with Burnley at least, where Phil Gijsbers smuggled some cold drip coffee out of These Days Coffee Roastery and delivered the contraband straight to head brewer Michael. While the expectation for a coffee porter may be a beer that focuses on roasted notes, that's not the case with Burnley’s offering. Though you'll pick up a touch of… Read more
Style
Coffee Porter
ABV
5.7%

Burnley Brewing Kellerbier

Tapped September 1st, 2018
Literally translated as “cellar beer”, kellerbiers date back to the earliest days of lager, to a time when these beers were only brewed in the coldest months of the year and stored in caves until they were ready. Centuries later, it's still a beer style that’s popular in Germany, though it hasn’t taken off quite like many of the beers it spawned. But, with Burnley’s head brewer Michael Stanzel having learned to brew in Germany, it’s a beer he wanted to recreate in Melbourne. He did… Read more
Style
Kellerbier
ABV
5.1%
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