CBCo Port Melbourne

The Colonial Brewing story – or CBCo as the brewery is known following a name change in September 2022 – is one that can be neatly viewed in two parts – parts that are equally neatly centred on each coast of Australia. Part one began in the West, way back in 2004 when "craft beer" wasn't even a phrase used by those brewing it, while part two has at its heart this brewery and venue in Port Melbourne.

Starting at the beginning, it was in 2004 that Colonial opened their sleek brewpub in the heart of the Margaret River region. Many have since joined them in the region in which Bootleg first led the way, yet few come close to that brewpub's ambitious scope.

If you're someone who appreciates good beer, you'll likely have called in when touring the region. Yet, aside from tucking into their typically traditionally minded ales at the Margaret River base, you'd have struggled to find their beers anywhere else unless you stumbled across one of a dozen or so venues in Melbourne, Perth or, most recently, Sydney with their beers on tap.

At least, that is, until we hit part two...

This part of the story began in earnest in 2016 after the brewing company took over what had previously been Matilda Bay's brewery in Port Melbourne, walking into a ready made brewery that would allow them to instantly increase production capacity significantly while also having a base to get beer fresher to the East Coast.

The brewery had already installed a canning line at its Margaret River home and started sending Draught (formerly Kolsch) and Small Ale into the world; with this second facility up and running, Colonial tap heads began appearing with greater frequency across the East Coast too. Since taking over the eye-catching old warehouse, new tanks have been added alongside a much larger and faster canning line meaning, well, meaning more of everything beer wise.

They were able to launch their new core range, adding IPA and Pale Ale – both in tinnies with the 360 degree lid they first introduced with Small Ale – and cold pressed Apple Cider Bertie, named with a nod to the Bertie Beetle lollies once made under the same roof. Augmenting the lineup are regular one-offs – often festival or brewery exclusives or collabs with the likes of Padre Coffee and Starward Whisky, the annual Inquests (always 10 percent-plus and dark) and One Keg Wonders that allow the brewers to let their imaginations run wild.

The brewery in Port Melbourne initially came in three parts: a space filled with old sofas sat underneath classic photos of AC/DC, 70s boozers and holidaymakers at the beach; one filled with benches and tables alongside a cinema screen of sorts; and the area around the bar looking into the working brewery. Over time, however, as demand for their beers has grown, the hospo side of the venue has retreated into a corner near the front of the building as ever-larger tanks, a bigger packaging line, and as of 2022 a 50 hectolitre, German-built and fully automated brewhouse.

With more capacity being added in WA too, what started as a Margaret River brewpub has grown into one of the country's largest independent operators and show no signs of slowing.

Some photos copyright Simon Shiff

Name
CBCo Port Melbourne
Address

89 Bertie Street
Port Melbourne
VIC 3207

Phone
(03) 8644 4044
Open Hours

Thursday: midday to 7pm
Fri & Sat: midday to 11pm
Sunday: midday to 6pm


This is a directory listing. To find out more, head here

CBCo Port Melbourne Regulars

Colonial Brewing South West Sour Watermelon Raspberry

Published August 10, 2021
The peach-hued South West Sour has become a major beer for Colonial Brewing, having first been brewed as a seasonal at their smaller Margaret River brewery and since joining the ranks of the brewery’s core range. Ahead of summer 2021, that beer’s been given a buddy in South West Sour Watermelon Raspberry, which takes that original beer’s tart base and brings in watermelon juice and pureed raspberry. It pours a similar light gold to its sibling but there’s a touch of pink in its colour that… Read more
Style
Fruited Sour
ABV
4.0%
Bitterness
6 IBU

Colonial Brewing Co South West Sour

Published February 12, 2018
Colonial’s seasonal release program gives the brewers a chance to play around with local and fresh ingredients plus whatever happens to be on trend. In South West Sour’s case, the Indian summer gave the Margaret River team a chance to cast a gaze over the refreshing Berliner weisse style. The intent was to create one that celebrates a style for season rather than being clinically true to style. In this sense the 4.6 percent ABV and Bertie Cider like can sit well within the Colonial range and… Read more
Style
Hoppy Sour
ABV
4.6%

Colonial Brewing Co Small Ale

Published April 7, 2015
In 2014, Colonial Brewing decided to pop beer inside a can in the shape of their Kolsch rebranded as the somewhat logic-bending Draught Ale. A fine drop it is too, one that deserves to find a home in Eskies across the country whenever the warm weather hits. They followed it up with a second canned beer. But this one comes with a twist. Or is that a spin? Or a 360 degree turn? You see, not content with merely popping their Small Ale (a 3.5 percent ABV citrus hopped mid-strength that takes its name… Read more
Style
Midstrength
ABV
3.5%

Colonial Brewing Co Pale Ale

Head back in time and the Pale Ale you'd have found pouring at Colonials' WA home was one that confounded trends within the state, whereby brewers favoured Little Creatures inspired American pale ales. Theirs was inspired by traditional German altbiers – earthier and more malt driven. These days, there's a new Pale Ale in town and it's one that's become part of the brewery's canned core range. The contemporary Pale Ale features a mix of Aussie and American hops, although in a combination that's… Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
ABV
4.4%

Colonial Brewing Co Draught

Colonial's flagship started out with the name Kolsch as it took its inspiration from the German beers from the Cologne region. Long before many other craft breweries looked to add an approachable beery beer to their lineup, this was that sort of beer, the kind anyone from a mainstream lager drinker to a beer geek wanting something refreshing to quaff could agree upon. It went on to become the first Colonial beer to be canned too, transitioning from Kolsch to Draught as it did so. The beer inside… Read more
Style
Kolsch
ABV
4.8%

Colonial Brewing Co IPA

There are breweries out there well known for releasing a broad range of IPAs. Yet, over the years, Colonial Brewing Co has released a cavalcade of its own, many under the IPA on Tour banner. Yet they've tended to be draught only, snuck into a few venues without much fanfare. One variant has stuck around, however: an all Australian one that became part of their regular canned lineup when they fired up the canning line in Port Melbourne. All Australian means all Aussie hops atop an Australian malt… Read more
Style
Australian IPA
ABV
6.5%

Colonial Brewing Co Bertie Cider

Brewer's notes: Bertie. Weird name for a cider, right? But when you're walking in the footsteps of an Australian icon, you've got to embrace it. The home of our cold press cider is in Bertie Street Melbourne, in the very same building that once produced that staple of showbags across Australia, the Bertie Beetle chocolate treat. Those are some tiny shoes to fill. But our Bertie does it with ease. It's why we use only Victorian apples, which are hand-picked and cold-pressed to create a crisp, delicious… Read more
Style
Apple Cider
ABV
4.6%

CBCo Port Melbourne Specials

Colonial Brewing Co Inquest 2022

Published July 19, 2022
Colonial’s annual double digit ABV, midwinter explorations could retrospectively be seen as a sort of globally-inspired dark beer passport, charting both the imperial strength and empire-like reach of the substantial stout. What began with a straight-ahead English style imperial stout has morphed in subsequent years, turning up as both Belgian and heavily Centennial hop-imbued American versions over time. Inquest 2022's entry looks to the north of the beer's origins, turning up as the Scottish… Read more
Style
Peated Imperial Stout
ABV
10.5%
Stockists

Available in limited release from Colonial’s Margaret River and Port Melbourne breweries

And stockists nationally

Colonial Brewing Barrel Projects: Rubus

Published December 1, 2021
Colonial Brewing didn’t just spend much of 2021 expanding their stainless but have also been dedicating considerable time to their Barrel Projects series, which kicked off in March 2021 with Brown; before the year finishes, that's been joined by Rubus. Starting life as a golden ale, Rubus then met with a mix of bacteria and wild yeast and spent some 30 months ageing in chardonnay barrels before being finished for a further four months on 300 grams per litre of raspberries and blackberries. It means… Read more
Style
Barrel-Aged Sour
ABV
6.0%

Colonial Brewing Inquest 2021

Published July 14, 2021
In these uncertain times, it’s good to have a beer release you can set your watch to. Colonial’s Inquest has become a release along those lines, with the American Imperial Stout being brewed for in winter every year since 2017 and at the time, it was the biggest beer in Australia released in cans. It's been joined by many other big tins since and though the recipe and approach changes each year, it does remain a highly awaited release from the brewery which is based in both WA and Victoria. This… Read more
Style
American Imperial Stout
ABV
10.0%
Bitterness
780 IBU
Stockists

National stockists are available here.

Colonial Brewing Hazy IPA

Published April 9, 2021
In a few short years, hazy IPAs have gone from being a rarity to a fixture in the Australian beer landscape, with some breweries devoting most of their brew schedule to them and others regularly rebrewing them or exploring different recipes. Colonial Brewing's Hazy IPA is one such beer that keeps coming back, first brewed at Colonial's Port Melbourne home in late 2019 (which is why it features Port Melbourne Football Club's home of The Borough on the can) then returning each year since with slight… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA
ABV
6.7%

Colonial Brewing Barrel Projects Brown

Published March 26, 2021
They've had a fair bit on at Colonial in recent years. As one of the bigger and faster-growing craft breweries in Australia, there have been major expansion projects at both sites in WA and Victoria, with a way still to go in Port Melbourne. But, in the background, they've been starting a barrel program – and taking their time over it. The first beer deemed worthy of release is Brown, a blend of a dark ale aged in chardonnay and pinot noir barrels for a couple of years before being blended with… Read more
Style
Barrel-Aged Sour Brown Ale
ABV
8.1%
Stockists

Find the beer here

Colonial Brewing Co Gone Green IIPA

Published February 15, 2021
To celebrate the installation of 100kW of solar power on the roof of their Port Melbourne brewery (which, having dropped in for the first time since lockdown 1.0 last week, is becoming exceedingly full of brewing and packaging gear that needs powering), Colonial challenged their team to an in-house brew-off. The winning beer would be scaled up and released in honour of going green. The beer that came out on top is appropriate for such a moment too: Gone Green has been given the heaviest hop dose… Read more
Style
DDH IIPA
ABV
8.2%
Bitterness
80 IBU
Stockists

Both Colonial breweries

And other retailers here

Colonial Brewing Market Sour Blood Orange & Saltbush

Published October 15, 2020
Colonial's Market Sour series is back for a second dance across the nation's palates. If you tried the first, you won't have forgotten it, given it packed the biggest cucumber aroma you'll have encountered in a beer. This time around, the weapons of choice are blood orange – added in puréed form – and native saltbush, although the specialty malts play as much of a role, helping create a beer that sits somewhere between rusty copper and amber – shall we just go with blood orange? It brings… Read more
Style
Fruit Sour
ABV
4.5%
Bitterness
9 IBU
Stockists

And other venues found here

Colonial Brewing Co TaylorMade Lager

Published September 2, 2020
They’ve previously made beers with football teams and here have teed up another sporting collaboration, this time donning their plus fours and caps for a stroll along the fairway with TaylorMade. It's a good time for golf in most parts of Australia too, given it's one of the more social-distance-enabling sports out there. As to the beer itself, the respective booze and equipment producers have their eyes set on easy-drinking refreshment with a 3.5 percent ABV lager. Those eyes are also trained… Read more
Style
Mid-Strength Lager
ABV
3.5%

Colonial Brewing Co Inquest 2018

Published August 1, 2018
When is an imperial porter not an imperial porter? When it’s a Frankenporter, at least according to Colonial's cross-continental brewing team, which took the opportunity during Good Beer Week to get together – a catch-up that proved a little Mary Shelley-esque. Building on Inquest 2017’s success, Colonial’s 14 brewers workshopped the concept for a beer that was rich, dark, strong and above 10 percent ABV. The result? A blend of three versions of imperial porter that were then blended with… Read more
Style
Imperial Porter
ABV
12.0%
Stockists

Bottle House

Wayward Brewery

And other good retailers nationwide

More stockists...

Colonial Brewing Co Robust Porter

Published May 9, 2018
Porter. Noun. A person employed to carry luggage and other loads, especially in a railway station, airport, hotel or market. This eponymous beer style evolved from the dockside strongmen’s favoured dark quencher in 1700s London, becoming, at one period during the following century, the most consumed beer style in the world. These days, with pale lagers holding that mantle by some considerable margin, this most malt focused of beers has become more of a respected classic, one pulled from the lesser… Read more
Style
Porter
ABV
6.0%
Stockists

Available nationally throughout winter 2018

Colonial Brewing Co Inquest

Published July 22, 2017
Judged by their core range, you could assume Colonial Brewing Co, the operation that started out in Margaret River more than a decade ago and now brews out of Port Melbourne too, is a brewery interested only in delivering tight, approachable beers and cider. Yet take a look through the catalogue of one-offs – usually tagged Project beers – and, as well as finding rather a lot named Gary, you'll see they're not afraid to throw off the shackles: truffle beers, a long lineup of globe-trotting IPAs… Read more
Style
Imperial Stout
ABV
11.7%
Stockists

And other venues found here