CoConspirators Brewing

Conspiracy theories have long marched hand and hand with human history. Whenever impressive or outrageous feats take place, there’s likely to be people eager to offer their own hot take on what exactly went down.

And, as social media has made ever greater inroads into our everyday lives, conspiracies have managed to spread even further. Today, there’s no shortage of dark corners of the internet where groups form around discussion of pizza-based murder cults, fluoride, chem trails and the reptilian origin of many of the world’s leaders.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some forces conspiring for good; well, good beer anyway. That’s the case with CoConspirators Brewing Company, a plot dreamed up by two couples: Maggie and Deon Smit and Tim Martin and Jacqui Sacco.

Long before any of them considered brewing professionally, paramedics Maggie and Deon brewed fanatically – at home as part of the Melbourne homebrew club Merri Mashers. It was there they met future accomplices Tim and Jacqui and, despite all sharing a love of beer, in the early days the conversations were centred more around recipe development and hopping regimes than any thought of going pro.

That was until Deon and Maggie won a Merri Mashers competition and were invited to brew their IPA at Kooinda Brewery and Tim got the chance to brew one of his beers at the Clifton Hill Brewpub. Standing in bars and watching strangers buy the beers they’d made seemed enough to softly plant the seeds that a future in the professional beer world might not be a bad idea. Separately, and quietly, the two couples started having what must have been incredibly similar conversations about whether it was time to turn their love of brewing into something more serious.

As fate would have it, all four ended up realising they shared a similar goal and a scheme was hatched; if they were going to jump, they should all jump together. Decision made, in late 2016 the first CoConspirators kegs started rolling through the bar doors of Melbourne and it wasn’t long before bottles and cans started appearing too, each adorned by the artwork of Melbourne graphic designer, Clint Weaver, itself based around the brewing company’s clandestine theme.

Each release is brought to life as an underworld figure, from the Bookie Pale Ale, to New England IPA, The Matriarch, with those characters' tales found on the side of the cans. The core range is one that focuses mostly on hop forward styles, but the brewing operation’s regular limited releases have shown an affinity for yeast driven beers, sours and barrel ageing as well.

As a gypsy operation, Maggie, Deon, Tim and Jacqui have a number of other regular accomplices in the shape of the Victorian breweries that offer them space to keep the beer flowing. That said, the idea of setting up a home of their own has featured heavily in their plotting since the first CoConspirators beer was in tanks; watch this space...

Regardless of where they end up putting down roots, CoConspirators’ raison d'être remains much as it was when they started: four people – two couples – conspiring to make good beer. No further conspiracies required here, thanks very much.

Will Ziebell

Name
CoConspirators Brewing
Address

PO BOX 5085
Moreland West
VIC 3055

Phone
0401 577 357
Website

CoConspirators Brewing Regulars

CoConspirators The BeanCounter

Tapped June 1st, 2018
When launching their brewing company, the four friends behind CoConspirators made it clear they didn’t just want to conspire with one another to make beer, but others as well. For The Beancounter porter, their chosen coconspirators were Brunswick based speciality coffee roasters Padre Coffee, who provided a speciality coffee blend “Hey Buddy” for use in the beer. The resulting beer is one with prominent roasted notes, albeit kept in check by hints of vanilla sweetness. The coffee side of things… Read more
Style
Coffee Porter
ABV
5.0%

CoConspirators Brewing The Matriarch

It's fair to say the rise of the New England IPA style has been little short of meteoric. Yet, of the very many variants that have been sent into the world by Aussie brewers, there's not too many that have become staples for said brewers. Thankfully, for lovers of hazy juice bombs, CoConspirators is one of the few that keeps on brewing theirs; better still, she's one of the best around. Indeed, The Matriarch, for it is she that is the foursome's NEIPA, has enjoyed its own meteoric rise, pushing the… Read more
Style
NEIPA
ABV
6.5%
Bitterness
48 IBU

CoConspirators Brewing The Butcher

As the name and artwork colourfully allude, The Butcher is beer that’s as red as they come, and one that goes to work pitting aromatic American hops against a complex mix of specialty malts. On the hop front, those fruit flavours that cut through are mango, peach and apricot, all mixed in with some resinous piney characteristics. Those are then sliced against a backbone of hearty toasted malt and toffee flavours, with raisin like qualities to be discovered too. Unsurprisingly for a red ale, there’s… Read more
Style
Red IPA
ABV
6.0%
Bitterness
63 IBU

CoConspirators Brewing The Bookie

Judging from scores of movies and television shows, when it comes to bookies, the one place you really don’t want to be is in their debt. Fortunately, when it comes to beer, while this particular Bookie is perfectly willing to take your hard earned, your thumbs are more likely to stay in place and you'll get something in return. In exchange for your cash, The Bookie delivers fruity, hop forward flavours in spades, with passionfruit, citrus and stone fruit jumping from your glass (or can) courtesy… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
ABV
4.6%
Bitterness
40 IBU

CoConspirators Brewing Specials

CoConspirators The Henchman

Tapped November 14th, 2018
When the two couples behind CoConspirators first launched their gypsy brewing operation, they did so with a West Coast IPA known as The Henchman. That was back in 2016, at a time when the haze craze hadn’t fully draped its foggy murk over Australia’s craft beer scene and finding an IPA packed with bitterness wasn’t quite the challenge it is today. For those who like their IPAs big and bitter, the decision by the CoConspirators to bring The Henchman back into their core range of cans in 2018… Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
ABV
6.8%
Stockists

And other good beer outlets in Victoria

CoConspirators The Undertaker

Tapped October 9th, 2018
CoConspirators Brewing’s latest colourful – or, perhaps more accurately, rather drably dressed – offering has been brought to life as The Undertaker. It's a rye IPA featuring a mix of Simcoe, Idaho 7 and New Zealand’s Kohatu, a fact you might be able to ascertain if you get your hands on a can and manage to crack the code on the beer’s side. Alternatively, you could stare at it blankly for a minute and then ask CoConspirators’ graphic designer what it all means, as this beer writer did. The… Read more
Style
Rye IPA
ABV
6.0%
Stockists

And select good beer outlets in VIC

CoConspirators The Imperial Henchman

Tapped July 18th, 2018
Back when the gypsy brewers at CoConspirators launched in 2016, they did so with a big West Coast IPA called The Henchman. Though they’ve since riffed aplenty on the the IPA theme, most notably with their popular NEIPA The Matriarch, they’ve never returned to the West Coast influences of those earliest days. That’s until they decided The Henchman was due to return, albeit in imperial form. The Imperial Henchman is a classic big 'n' bitter beer that packs a tropical punch (or should that be… Read more
Style
West Coast Imperial IPA
ABV
8.3%
Bitterness
90 IBU
Stockists

And on tap at select Melbourne bars

CoConspirators Brewing The Wheelman Blueberry Gose

Tapped March 29th, 2018
Brewers' notes: You have heard the saying, “drive it like you stole it” but, to be honest… The Wheelman probably had. He wasn’t in it for the money; he loved the thrill, the rush and the adrenaline. Having been in the game this long there wasn’t much sweetness left, just an acid tongue and a salty demeanour. It jumps out of the glass with tangy, dry and tart flavours melding in your mouth, leaving you craving the next sip… Read more
Style
Blueberry Gose
ABV
4.4%
Bitterness
5 IBU

CoConspirators Brewing The Wheelman Raspberry Gose

Tapped December 12th, 2017
Brewers' notes: You have heard the saying, “drive it like you stole it” but, to be honest… The Wheelman probably had. He wasn’t in it for the money; he loved the thrill, the rush and the adrenaline. Having been in the game this long there wasn’t much sweetness left, just an acid tongue and a salty demeanour. It jumps out of the glass with tangy, dry and tart flavours melding in your mouth, leaving you craving the next sip.… Read more
Style
Raspberry Gose
ABV
4.2%
Bitterness
4 IBU
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