Wrong Side Brewing

When the history of Australian craft beer comes to be written, there will be a part dedicated to a spot on the edge of a lake in Victoria. It was there, in a venue overlooking the sprawling lawns against which Lake Eildon lapped (at least when it was full), that Jamieson Brewery launched in 2000, going on to release beers such as The Beast, one of the country's first IPAs.

While Jamieson is no more, a new chapter in the site's brewing history opened in late 2016. That was when Paul and Deb Hann, expat Brits who had moved to this corner of the Victorian High Country from Queensland with their four kids and dogs in tow, opened the doors to Wrong Side Brewing.

Five years after arriving in Victoria, and with railway engineer Paul in the mood for a career change, they decided to embark on a new adventure and put Paul's brewing talents – and the two years he'd spent studying brewing technology – to good use. They pulled up in their fleet of vehicles – camouflaged truck, 4X4 and vintage motorbike – and set about producing beer on site for the first time in almost two years.

That wasn't all they did, however. The venue was given an overhaul: the bar and kitchen were gutted and rebuilt; kegs were repurposed as sinks; hop cone lampshades were fitted throughout; a kids play area and jumping pillow were installed; and they built a new deck upon which guests can soak up views of the tree-covered hills that surround the brewery.

As important as the physical changes was the new ethos the Hanns brought with them. The kitchen offering was streamlined to pizzas, nachos and soups and the focus turned keenly onto the beers. There's now 18 taps to fill with regulars, seasonals and single keg trial batches, with customers invited to offer feedback to see which will get longer runs.

The name Wrong Side is a reference to Paul's time in the rail industry, with wrong side a term used to describe a dangerous situation that could cause trains to crash, as well as to the brewery's location on the wrong side of the river.

"I spent 20 years engineering out wrong side situations," he says, "so I thought it would be good to tie the new business to my past."

But, equally, it applies to his approach to brewing and recipe development. In a marketplace in which hops dominate and, on the fringes, there much buzz around barrels and bugs, Paul instead brings a passion for malt and traditional European beer styles to bear at Wrong Side, a throwback to the beers he grew up with in the UK. Sure, there's a pale ale and the odd IPA, but he prefers to start with malt and build from there, creating a core range of black lager, raspberry pale ale ("Our only legacy beer") and a pilsner.

And then there's the regular flow of seasonals and one-off releases: a series of saisons, all manner of Bavarian inspired wheat beers, dark ales, English ales and Belgian influenced beers – not to mention a rauchbier for which the smoked malt was created with a local farmer or the Black Imperial Double Hopped Smoked Rye IPA brewed for Beer InCider in 2017 and which disappeared fast.

While the brewery's end-of-the-road, Wrong Side location and Paul's determination to follow his own path could be seen as hurdles – "It’s sometimes challenging to push a black lager into a world of NEIPAs," he admits – they've quickly established fan bases in Melbourne and Brisbane, with cold storage and reps in both cities.

And, as with many of their High Country brewery peers, they've designed their home to be family as well as beer tourist friendly. In doing so, they've breathed fresh life into this copper clad slice of Australian craft beer history – a brewery that's helped launch Temple and La Sirène along the way – as it closes in on two decades of beers.

Name
Wrong Side Brewing
Address

5953 Eildon-Jamieson Rd
Jamieson
VIC 3723

Phone
(03) 5777 0678
Website
Hours

Fri to Sun: 11.30am to 10pm

Tours

By appointment

Current Crafty Cabal offers

Free Tasting Paddles At Wrong Side Brewing

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Wrong Side Brewing Regulars

Wrong Side Raspberry Pale Ale

The one beer style retained from the Jamieson lineup of yore is this Raspberry Pale Ale, a beer that become something of a cult classic and remains a popular choice to this day. At its core, it's a light pale ale, one in which the impact of the fresh raspberries sourced just a couple of kilometres away can hog the limelight. Thus, you're met with a huge, fruity bouquet – one for which the faint pink hue doesn't fully prepare you – created by adding the berries at the end of primary ferment. Adding… Read more
Style
Raspberry Pale Ale
ABV
4.5%

Wrong Side Black Lager

Where most breweries opt for a hoppy pale ale as their main core beer, Wrong Side decided to back another horse and put their faith in this Black Lager. And why not when your driving passion is for malt led and traditional European beers. Despite its deep brown hue, don't go in expecting to be met with roasted characters; here the specialty malts that deliver the colour deliver flavours and aromas that don't veer too far past those of an amber or Vienna lager. Sure, there's a hint of roast, perhaps… Read more
Style
Dark Lager
ABV
4.8%

Wrong Side Pilsner

One of two lagers among Wrong Side's core range of three is this Czech inspired pilsner, based almost entirely upon a base of German pilsner malt and predominantly the most classic of Czech pilsner hop varieties, Saaz. As is often best with such beers, they've kept things pretty much straight down the line, with a mix of floral, spicy and lightly citrusy hops and soft, bready malts. Over time, Paul Hann has gradually ratcheted up the hops and the bitterness too.… Read more
Style
Czech Pilsner
ABV
5.2%

Wrong Side Brewing Specials

Wrong Side Vanilla Porter

Tapped September 10th, 2018
Wrong Side co-owner and head brewer Paul Hann has been given an artistic reworking for the label of his Vanilla Porter. He appears in top hat and monocle, while sporting a quite outrageous moustache, not to mention a look that makes the overall impression one that flits between dapper and deviant. The beer, on the other hand, is definitely in the dapper camp. It's reassuring, if not a little odd, to find vanilla back where you might traditionally expect to find it, rather than the milkshake IPAs… Read more
Style
Vanilla Porter
ABV
4.3%

Wrong Side Doppelbock

Tapped September 10th, 2018
The creature glaring out from the label may look rather fierce, but the beer Baron von Goatenstein decorates is of a far sweeter nature; it's a strong, copper-coloured lager inspired by the Doppelbocks of Germany. For the most part, this is a beer that's all about showcasing specialty malts. Caramel underpins things, but within the mouth-filling viscous liquid there's elements of treacle, dried fruit, honey and some fruity cake spices too.… Read more
Style
Doppelbock
ABV
6.6%

Wrong Side Brewing Mexican Cerveza

Tapped September 10th, 2018
For their take on a Mexican lager, the Wrong Side Brewing team invited one of the brewery dogs to get involved, with "Brew Doggie Dog" charged with posing in a sombrero for the label and delivering the beer's description in Spanish for good measure. Originally tapped at their Jamieson brewery in summer, it's since been added to the lengthening lineup of bottled releases. While the concept comes from a place far away from Paul Hann's traditional European inspirations, it's another beer in… Read more
Style
Mexican Lager
ABV
4.9%

Wrong Side Summer Saison

The two saisons on Wrong Side's annual brewing schedule couldn't be much further removed from each other, with the dark, spicy and herbal Winter on one side and this, the Summer Saison, a far lighter and livelier affair. It leads off with lime-citrus aromas and some soft spices alongside a pale malt sweetness. There's more citrus to taste, not to mention coriander before things wrap up with a dry, peppery finish.… Read more
Style
Saison
ABV
6.4%

Wrong Side Winter Saison

Take a look at the parameters for the saison style in any judging guidelines and you'll note that it's a beer that can be taken in many a direction. That's something they've been keen to do at Wrong Side, with this, their winter version a dark and curious affair a long way from those that likely come to mind when you hear the word "saison". Sure, there some of the chocolate characters you might expect of a beer of this colour – a touch of roast too – but the combination of saison yeast,… Read more
Style
Dark Saison
ABV
6.7%

Wrong Side Valravn Extra Stout

As a brewer, Paul Hann is unashamedly a malt-lovin' man and few of his beers allow him to go as hog wild as Valravn, Wrong Side's extra stout. It's brewed with more than half a dozen different grains and, in keeping with the foreboding, king's heart-eating raven on its label, lands around the 6.66 percent ABV mark. The result is a beer that looks great in the glass: a very dark brown with a full tan head that's soft on the palate. Alongside the dominant dry cocoa and chocolate characters, you'll… Read more
Style
Extra Stout
ABV
6.6%
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