On the first day, Mike Beresford Jones took up homebrewing because there was a dearth of locally made craft lagers. He began developing a recipe for a quality pilsner, and a handful of local dads who met through their children’s sport would join him each week to drink it in his garage at Curl Curl, looking out over the ocean. Together, they decided to see if there were others out there who’d enjoy a new locally made pilsner as well; so it was that, in 2015, 7th Day Brewing was born.
On the second day (that is, a few years after those first days in the garage brewery), this group of Northern Beaches dads opened a brewery and taproom in Brookvale. The stainless steel brewing tanks are visible from the entrance – and everywhere else in the place. There’s an array of beer taps topped with locally made wooden surfboards as tap handles. Reclaimed items and materials fill the venue: an orange chandelier made of resin, salvaged from the set of a commercial shoot; giant wooden spools ringed with bar stools; even the bar top is made of upcycled timber steps. An area at the front includes lounges and a play area for kids, so that parents can meet at the venue; “I was a stay at home dad and I had nothing like that,” Mike says. This is clearly a place imagined by a group of dads who love beer, love surfing, and love their kids.
But, on the third day, they showed that 7th Day was a brewery with the whole community in mind. Ever since their very first commercial batch of Pilsner was made possible by a crowdfunding campaign, the team has had the attitude that, “we’re part of the community, and the community’s part of us.” It’s not just that they’re welcoming to everyone, which is made clear by their family-friendly live music sessions, their weekly Student Nights, and their pet-friendly attitude. They also sponsor local sport teams, support local artists, and collaborate with local businesses. And their mantra of “Drink Good Do Good” goes beyond the local area: it captures everything from their ongoing partnership with charitable organisation Waves For Water, right down to the green wall they have in the brewery to offset carbon emissions from the brewhouse. Even as they look to continue to increase in capacity, the team is constantly on the lookout for ways to reduce their footprint on the planet.
On the fourth day, they proved beyond a shadow of a doubt their brewing expertise isn’t limited to their foundational Pilsner; as much as Mike loves lagers, he brews beers in a broad range of styles and flavours. Most are designed with the area’s tradie and surfie culture in mind, with a view to being approachable, sessionable, and good for socialising; the XPA, the Pale Ale and the midstrength Plan-B are always crowdpleasers. But there are a few beers that aim for bigger flavours, including the juicy Mango NEIPA, which has won a clutch of fans among the patrons. (It’s worth noting that all of the beers mentioned above pulled medals at the 2020 Indies Awards, too.) Though they’ve come a long way since their inception, 7th Day are still bringing people together over beer, whether that looks like a session with mates at the taproom, sinking tinnies at the beach, or even pulling pints at home from one of KegSwappa’s 20 litre kegs.
On the fifth day, they made sure people had pizza to go with their beer. The Brookvale taproom is right next door to Sale Pepe, so authentic woodfired pizza is always close at hand. Order Sale Pepe’s pizzas from 7th Day; order 7th Day beers from Sale Pepe. What more could a person want from life?
On the sixth day, the team made sure they were accommodating for non-beer-drinkers as well. As well as their Dry Cider and their Raspberry Sour Cider (which is like fairy floss in a can), they started making RIPL, a range of hard seltzers. RIPL’s flavours are inspired by some of the countries where Waves For Water does its humanitarian work, and 10c from each can sold goes to the charitable organisation. This kind of giving back has been important to the 7th Day crew from the beginning.
On the seventh day, they rested from their labours, sat down, and cracked a beer.
“I work here all week,” Mike says, "then I end up in here all weekend!”
And then, of course, a new week begins…