Killer Sprocket

It might sound like the set up to a punchline but it’s no joke: a comedian and a doctor walk into a brewery and … actually, who are we kidding? There has indeed been plenty of good humour and laughs along the way as the Killer Sprocket story has taken shape.

The brewing company was launched by Sean and Andrea Ryan back in 2013, with the former a standup comedian who worked in business management and the latter the doctor. The name Killer Sprocket stems from a program Sean designed while working his day job, a program that became so popular he spent most of his time dismantling it.

While taking down one Killer Sprocket, however, Sean and Andrea were working on building another, after homebrewing had become an obsession for the former after moving out of home.

The fledgling brewing company launched with their Amber Ale, a malt driven beer that stood out from the crowd at a time when many of Australia’s new breweries were looking to make their name by adding another pale beer to a sea of them. That left-of-centre flagship release was soon followed by one that was completely off the ledger: a peated ale called Bandit that was partially inspired by German Rauchbiers but different enough to likely upset the entire city of Bamberg.

The obsession, for Sean in particular, was always around bringing malt to the fore in their brewing. The backbone of beer was his passion as a homebrewer and one he was determined to bring to beer drinkers. It makes sense, after all: if you’re going to build a brewery, make sure you’re focused on brewing the beers you love to drink.

Andrea, on the other hand, turned her hand to the Killer Sprocket beers that might be equally off-centre but typically a little less malt-focused, beers such as a the gin-leaning American pale ale Hey Juniper.

Largely, in the early years, brewing took place at Cavalier in Melbourne’s western suburb of Derrimut where Killer Sprocket had their own fermentation tank that allowed the couple to brew whenever they needed to. They weren’t the only people making use of the space either; over time the likes of Two Birds, KAIJU!, Exit, Dainton, BrewCult, Wolf of the Willows, Bad Shepherd and a whole host of others have brewed beer on the Cavalier kit.

It’s an impressive lineup of talent, most of whom moved on to build homes of their own. For Killer Sprocket, that process took rather longer to materialise; instead, they followed a rather nomadic path as they brewed across Victoria.

That’s not to say they weren’t working towards finding a home, something they finally achieved in 2020 at a spot in Bayswater North. Located in an industrial block amid jet ski and garden supply stores, it’s primarily a production facility but there is a taproom for locals or beer tourists keen to sample beers by the tanks in which they took shape.

Having opened during a global pandemic, the brewery’s early months have been a little odd, but judged by the eager embrace they’ve enjoyed from locals heading in after work or during afternoon walks around the adjacent park to grab takeaways, it’s clear the suburb was ripe for a brewery to call its own.

Once set up, Sean and Andrea wasted no time putting their two debut beers, Amber and Bandit, through the 10-hectolitre Brewtique system. More new and returning beers have followed and, in a nice touch, they’ve completed the circle – inviting people to use their kit in the way they started out using Cavalier’s.

A comedian and a doctor walk into a brewery and, seven years later, end up with one of their own isn’t much of a joke. But we’re pretty sure the Ryans and their Bayswater North regulars are happy with the punchline.

Will Ziebell

Name
Killer Sprocket
Address

7/375 Bayswater Rd
Bayswater North
VIC 3153

Phone
0434 154 557
Open Hours

Friday: 3pm to 6pm Saturday: 1pm to 6pm

Tours

By appointment


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

Killer Sprocket Regulars

Killer Sprocket Amber Ale

Amber Ale was the first release form Killer Sprocket and is the kind of beer it can be hard to really connect to the brewing scene into which it was launched in 2013. Sure, Mountain Goat's Hightail had been flying the flag for amber ales for more than a decade, but making a deeper, darker – so dark, it’s not too far from black – version of such a beer your debut was a bold move. It’s a beer that blends England’s classic East Kent Goldings hops with the more modern American classic varieties… Read more
Style
Amber Ale
ABV
4.8%

Killer Sprocket Bandit Peated Ale

Bandit was the second release from Killer Sprocket and one that showcased both Sean Ryan’s love for building beers around malt and his habit for starting with a traditional style then running off on his singular tangent. Tagged Peated Ale, it’s one that mixes peated malt with the lighter Vienna and Pilsner varieties to create a beer that’s smoky and rich while retaining a lighter edge. It could easily be called a Rauchbier meets pilsner or, alternatively, a smoky session ale. It pours slightly… Read more
Style
Peated Ale
ABV
4.8%

Killer Sprocket Specials

Killer Sprocket Shiny Coffee IPA

First brewed for GABS back in 2016, Shiny is a coffee IPA that became one of the first seasonal beers brewed at their Bayswater North home once the Ryans moved in and started production in 2020. It's a collaboration with Melbourne coffee roasters Tin Man and gets its name from the shiny appearance of the coffee beans. Those beans are specially roasted for cold brew coffee so, while there are hints of your morning espresso, mostly the beer allows redcurrant and a little honey to take centre stage.… Read more
Style
Coffee IPA
ABV
5.5%

Killer Sprocket Stout

Killer Sprocket’s Sean Ryan loves a beer that’s steered by malt, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that one of the first new brews once he and wife Andrea had commissioned their brewery would be a stout. But, just because Sean loves malt, it doesn’t mean his stout is a one-trick-pony. Here, he has looked to the States for inspiration, meaning the specialty malts come balanced by hearty doses of Cascade and Columbus. Pouring jet black and with a tan head, that hop duo contribute a resinous hit… Read more
Style
American Stout
ABV
5.8%
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