BoJaK Brewing

In a world where multinationals seem to get larger and larger and bring evermore seemingly disparate businesses under the one banner, more people are paying increasing attention to how their dollars are spent and where they go. Similarly, in the world of beer, many local breweries are looking at how they can best distance themselves from some of the world’s largest.

For Dale and Sue Messina – the couple behind BoJaK Brewing – they decided to put their family-run credentials front and centre by naming their brewery after their two sons, Beau and Jack. Having spent years living and working around the suburb of Dandenong, the couple wanted to leave behind their careers – in construction and the police force respectively – and instead bring a brewpub to their neighbourhood.

When BoJaK Brewing opened in 2018, Dale and Sue brought a new kind of venue to the suburb and pushed Melbourne’s south-eastern craft beer corridor even further from the city’s centre. Though KAIJU! and Brick Lane had already set up operations in Dandenong, both were focused on production; BoJaK, on the other hand, train most of their focus on serving beers inside their own four walls.

The wood-panelled, open and spacious venue that’s nestled in an industrial park feels comfortable from the moment you walk in. The graffiti that runs along one wall doesn’t just make the space bright and lively but reemphasises the family aspect of BoJaK, with Beau and Jack frozen in time at the point the brewery opened.

Like many suburbs on the city’s fringe, when it comes to buying booze in Dandenong the options are big: big pubs and big bottleshops. Thus, the kind of venue in which it feels like everyone on one side of the bar knows the name of everyone on the other side is a novelty, as too is finding somewhere you can share a couple of tasting paddles alongside your pizza.

The entire menu, in fact, taking in the likes of nachos, loaded fries and charcuterie boards, is of the beer-friendly as well as sharing-friendly sort. The sizeable selection for “kidlets” is yet another reminder of how family-centric they want the venue to be.

Brewing on a 500-litre Braumeister system, Dale’s beers are exactly that you’d expect from a modern brewpub. The beer list is always changing but walk in and you’ll generally find a list that runs from the accessible Knock Off Draught (a Kolsch), to rich stouts, saisons and some particularly lovely hop forward beers. Almost all of their beer pours from one of the venue’s 12 taps, with a number also released in cans since midway through 2019.

A 15-minute walk from Dandenong train station and the suburb’s vibrant and multicultural centre also makes the brewery a breeze to get to for the people of postcode 3175. And, while the building itself is in an industrial unit, it’s surrounded by houses (and the expansive Greaves Reserve), so it’s little wonder locals were quick to claim it as their own.

Ultimately, that’s what being a family-run brewery is about for Dale and Sue: a watering hole for locals. And that's what they've created at BoJaK: a brewpub that's all about community – a celebration of being surrounded by your neighbourhood. That, and tasty beer too, of course.

Will Ziebell

Name
BoJaK Brewing
Address

5 Bennet Street
Dandenong
VIC 3175

Phone
0421 050 283
Open Hours

Thursday: 3pm to late
Friday 1pm to late
Saturday: midday to late
Sunday: midday to 6pm

Tours

Outside opening hours with prior warning!

Current Crafty Cabal offers

Free Tasting Paddle at BoJaK Brewing

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BoJaK Brewing Regulars

BoJaK Brewing Daylight Savings Summer Ale

Not every state in Australia may be privilege to it, but in Victoria daylight savings is a much welcome sign of things to come. The springtime clock change means warmer weather is almost here and the end of the workday no longer equals the end of daylight. BoJaK’s summer ale recognises this and, while the brewery would be unlikely to say it’s not a beer you can enjoy on a rainy night, its particularly refreshing nature does seem to be brewed with afternoons in a park in mind. With a light straw… Read more
Style
Summer Ale
ABV
4.6%

BoJaK Brewing Trump Card American Pale Ale

Trump Card is BoJaK Brewing’s take on the classic American pale ale that’s launched so many drinkers down the path of more flavoursome beer. And, while it might share a similar orange hue to the individual with whom it shares a name, it contains none of his brashness or aggression. Instead it’s a beer where peach, melon and pine combine together in a harmonious manner, and where those hop flavours are balanced against a slightly sweet malt backbone and followed by a nicely bitter finish.… Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
ABV
5.8%

BoJaK Brewing Outback Aussie IPA

If the name wasn’t enough to tip you off, the design on Outback’s cans should confirm this is a beer filled with Australian hops. The pale blue, yellow and orange come together to recreate a sunset over the desert as well as creating a contrast that gives the tinnie a chance of standing out in busy bottleshop fridges. The beer’s origin is some distance from Australia’s outback though, what with it being a West Coast IPA in style. Those Aussie hops give it a mix of citrus, passionfruit and… Read more
Style
Australian IPA
ABV
6.2%

BoJaK Brewing Calypso Hazy IPA

Hazy IPAs have made such a mark on the craft beer world that when you walk into a brewpub you can be pretty certain some version of the style is likely to be pouring. That's the case if you walk into BoJaK – or a bottleshop that stocks their range – and the version you’ll find is likely to be their core range offering Calypso. If you’re a fan of juicier hops, you’ll find what you’re looking for too. As the Calypso name and can art hint, it’s the mango flavour that’s most apparent,… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA
ABV
6.4%

BoJaK Brewing 3175 Pilsner

BoJaK’s owners Sue and Dale Messina are quick to point out their love for their brewery’s Dandenong home, with each can released by the brewery designed to, in some way, tell the story of how their venue is a local for locals. Perhaps the beer that best gets that message across is 3175, a pilsner that’s named after their postcode. The beer is also one that could easily attract plenty of locals to BoJaK’s beers: it's a German-style pilsner that’s not too far removed from mainstream lagers.… Read more
Style
Pilsner
ABV
4.7%

BoJaK Brewing Specials

BoJaK Brewing Royal Gatekeeper

Tapped September 1st, 2019
When you base a beer on the best of England’s porters, you may as well give it a regal name. So that's what BoJaK did for this seasonal released amid Melbourne's cooler months. That said, while Royal Gatekeeper may sound regal, largely it’s a rather more straightforward and simple beer. It pours black with a chocolate and rum 'n' raisin like sweetness that plays against roasted coffee flavours. With a dry finish, the beer sits in easy-drinking territory too.… Read more
Style
Porter
ABV
5.0%
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