Malt Shed

When the Malt Shed opened in Wangaratta midway through 2017, brewing’s arrival in the rural city represented something of a return to form. During the 1880s, when the population of Wangaratta was roughly 20 times smaller than it is today, the regional centre had not one but two breweries making beer for locals, while many others were to come and go over the years.

From the beginning of the 20th century, however, the local brewing industry receded until Wangaratta found itself without a beer to call its own. And that’s how it remained until Grant Jones, Andrew Bett and Mathew Saunders swung open the doors of the Malt Shed, ensuring the people of Wang again had a brewery in town.

The spark that would lead to the Malt Shed dates back rather further - to 2014 - when Grant, a perennial homebrewer, convinced his two future business partners the time was right for their hometown to have its own brewery. And, as they set about finding a home for their nascent idea, they dipped their toes into the local market with Malt Shed beers gypsy brewed at Zierholz in Canberra.

Eventually, they found what they were looking for in an old farm supply store turned Italian restaurant. The industrial shed provides quite the space for their endeavour, with its barn-like tin roof and open fireplaces creating an ambience that’s part country pub, part town hall. Outside, the bar’s extensive beer garden, the Malt Shed Yard, that backs onto One Mile Creek makes for a spot where views of the surrounding bush can be enjoyed with fresh beer and food in hand.

From the earliest days, when Malt Shed was just an idea bouncing between mates, the plan was always for the “P” in brewpub to be one that was metaphorically capitalised and underlined. As such, their home serves up a menu that focuses on quality pub fare for mains, augmented by a plethora of sharing options that ensures drinkers won’t be short of pairing options for their beers.

As for the brewing side of the operation, the brewhouse that sits at the front of the shed allows Grant to create a constantly changing lineup of specialties, from New England IPAs to passionfruit pale ales. Meanwhile, the core packaged range is gypsy brewed at Social Bandit in Mansfield, although, with Malt Shed having taken over the space next door, the plan is to bring all brewing in house in the near future.

Given the name, it should come as little surprise Malt Shed’s core beers tend to focus on beer’s backbone, with the likes of a dark mild and amber bringing to mind versions of such beers shipped from Europe. For those hoping to explore the brewery’s tagline of “Adventures in Malt” further, the list of boilermakers are a great place to start. And, soon enough, the fruits of a burgeoning barrel program focused on ageing beer in local Corowa Whisky barrels will start appearing too.

It’s a barrel program that speaks to the focus Grant, Andrew and Mathew place on their own region, one that’s becoming an ever more popular drawcard for tourists seeking good beer. Sitting at the gateway to the High Country, Malt Shed is a welcome addition to the region’s Brewery Trail, which has grown to cover much of Victoria’s north and only seems to be getting bigger.

Although such a trail offers clear benefits for the local tourism industry and brings in greater numbers of thirsty travellers eager to sample local flavours, it’s the locals of Wang – bereft of a local brewery for so long – who have the most to gain from the Malt Shed.

Will Ziebell

Name
Malt Shed
Address

8-10 Tone Road
Wangaratta
VIC 3677

Phone
(03) 5723 5444
Open Hours

Wed to Sun

Tours

Tours on request

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

Malt Shed Regulars

Malt Shed Wang Bitter

When you become the first brewery in a regional town in decades, there’s always work to be done to reintroduce the area’s residents to local beer. For the owners of Malt Shed, like many other breweries across the country, making sure you have a beer with an unashamedly local name can help. Bitter is a beer style that can mean many things for many brewers and, for most Australian beer drinkers, it’s traditionally associated with macro lagers. Yet Wang Bitter is a traditional ale that harks back… Read more
Style
Australian Ale
ABV
4.5%

Malt Shed Pale

Such is the variety of pale ales out there, there’s plenty of different interpretations of just how pale one should be, although the general trend with each passing year seems to be that they're getting paler and paler. For Malt Shed’s pale ale, however, the brewery with the tagline “Adventures in Malt” has unsurprisingly plumped for one that's at the darker end of the spectrum. The borderline amber body provides a level of sweetness that’s balanced by the beer’s substantial bitterness.… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
ABV
5.0%

Malt Shed Amber Ale

When you give your brewery the name Malt Shed and place beneath it a tagline that says Adventures in Malt, there’s going to be reasonable expectations around the beers you’ll end up brewing. Hops do play an important part in plenty of Malt Shed beers but, for many of the brewery’s releases, it’s the malt that takes centre stage. Among them is the Amber, which uses no less than six different varieties of malt to create a combination of caramel, nutty and roasted flavours. In terms of style,… Read more
Style
Amber Ale
ABV
4.4%

Malt Shed Red Wang

The most unapologetic hop bomb in the Malt Shed core range also happens to be one where malts play an important part in the beer: a red IPA. On the hop front, Australian hop varieties Ella and Galaxy provide a punchy fruit bowl medley where grapefruit and pine rise from the glass. Those flavours are backed by a sweet malt body of toffee and caramel. Will Ziebell… Read more
Style
Red IPA
ABV
7.0%

Malt Shed Dark Mild

During Good Beer Week 2016, a long-time homebrewer with grand designs to start his own brewery (and his father-in-law) entered a beer into a homebrew competition run by Beer DeLuxe. The beer was based on a traditional English mild and packed plenty of flavour despite sitting below 3 percent ABV. The brewer was Grant Jones, who had spent years working on developing a low ABV, full flavoured beer with which he was happy. The homebrew judges were happy too, awarding Grant the top prize and sending him… Read more
Style
English Mild
ABV
2.7%

Malt Shed Little Wang

The terms mid-strength may have once been anathema to craftier beer drinkers but now breweries of all shapes and sizes are attempting to showcase how much flavour can be packed into beers that remain in the nimble ABV category. For regional breweries, the need for lighter beers is particularly essential, given the distance drinkers are often willing to travel to try a beer from the source. As a brewery keen to attract visitors to the High Country and its surrounds, Malt Shed has two such beers that… Read more
Style
Session Pale
ABV
3.4%

Malt Shed Lager Del Rio

Translating as lager "by the river”, Lager Del Rio is Malt Shed’s tribute to the Ovens and the King rivers that meet at Wangaratta. Those two rivers have long been central to the people of Wangaratta; they ensured white Australians settled where they did more than a century ago and, for tens of thousands of years before white people arrived, the local indigenous population made full use of the bounty offered by the twin water sources. Even the name Wangaratta comes from the language of the… Read more
Style
Mexican Lager
ABV
4.7%

Malt Shed Specials

Malt Shed Hazy Wang

Dubbed a North East (Victorian) Pale Ale by the Wangaratta brewery, Hazy Wang is Malt Shed’s entry into the ever-growing haze craze. Making use of hops grown nearby, it’s a tropical affair with plenty of citrus and passionfruit to the fore. Though it has the soft mouthfeel and prickly component of many such beers, it’s got quite the bitterness too. Will Ziebell… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA
ABV
5.5%
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