Collingwood can lay claim to being one the country’s best locales when it comes to getting your hands on craft beer. It lies in the middle of a clutch of suburbs well served by quality bars and bottleshops and, increasingly, breweries.
Next year will see even more breweries and brewpubs open in this pocket of Melbourne. They'll join The Mill, the brewery that was occupying founder Mirek Aldridge’s thoughts long before the craft beer scene exploded into life.
After a decade spent homebrewing and working out what shape his brewery would take, early in the 2017 he opened The Mill Brewery in an old mechanics space just off Smith Street.
The Mill Brewery
Why do you brew?
To provide tasty beers for others to enjoy. The idea of brewing beers is very humbling, and something I’m lucky to be doing.
What beers have you released to date?
Jack D-Licious Golden Ale, Mostly American Pale Ale, Tropicool Pale Ale, The Dark Lord Black IPA, The Great Russian Imperial Stout (Standard + Barrel Aged), Vanilla Porter, Oktobellfest Marzen, Imperial Guard IIPA, Pineapple Haze IPA, Export Stout (Tallboy & Moose Collab), Triple IPA (The Winston Collab).
Of those, what’s your personal favourite?
What’s the inspiration behind the brewery name?
The Mill Brewery was named after the grain mill – specifically my old hand-cranked corona grain mill – an integral piece of equipment for all breweries. The malted barley needs to be crushed with a grain mill before mashing to allow the grain starches to be converted into fermentable sugars. It seemed like an appropriate name, and I was very surprised to find it not being taken already!
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
Sitting at Little Creatures brewery in Fremantle, I think in 2007, sipping on their Pale Ale. My brother and I were enjoying the atmosphere and discussing how awesome it would be to one day open a brewery of our own.
If your brewery was a band, who would it be?
What would your desert island beer be?
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
I hope to see our current location thriving and still providing an awesome place for people to come and continue enjoying delicious craft beer, with a production facility opened slightly further out of Melbourne.
What beers are in your fridge right now?
Where can people find your beers?
At the brewery, and a few local craft beer bars occasionally for special releases.
The Mill is at 40 Sackville Street, Collingwood.
You can check out past Who Brews features here. And if you run, or know of, a brewery we should be featuring here, get in touch.