It all started with the hunt for a good craft pilsner.
Mike Beresford Jones has always been a lager man first and foremost. So, when the craft beer movement in Australia took off, Mike was disappointed lagers were largely ignored. He was always on the lookout for quality lagers – and was convinced that there must be others looking for them, too.
When Mike took up homebrewing to meet his own need, he quickly found the other dads he’d met through his kids’ sport were more than happy to join him in his garage bar. It was here a group of beer-loving dads drinking Mike’s pilsner and looking out over the ocean became the founding members of 7th Day Brewery, with Mike as the head brewer.
From there it all snowballed. A successful crowdfunding campaign in 2015 led to the first commercial batch of Pilsner being gypsy-brewed in 2016 and a second in 2017. With proof of concept under their collective belt, the founders took the next step and opened a brewery in Brookvale, added an XPA, pale ale and red IPA to join the flagship Pilsner. And, despite Mike’s monomaniacal relationship with lagers – “If left to my own devices, I’d make the whole thing lagers here!” – he brews a spread of styles as small batches as well.
As well as bringing their beer to Brookvale, the 7th Day team have done their best to bring some of the other beloved elements of the garage bar to the brewery’s taproom. They work hard at creating a welcoming atmosphere, even including a play area at the front for kids.
They have an open transparency with the brewing side of things, too: “I hate that British brewpub thing where everything’s dusty and dark… here it’s big and open, and you can see everything happening.”
And they brought that classic dad philosophy of making do with what you’ve got – almost everything in the taproom is made from upcycled materials, from the bar made of timber steps to the living wall made from pallets. There’s even a designer resin chandelier that was used once to film a commercial and then discarded
Now you can find out more about 7th Day from Mike and the crew in this instalment of our Who Brews…? series.
7TH DAY BREWERY
WHO ARE YOU?
We are a bunch of mates who are all linked through our kids' sport really. A couple of us were homebrewers and the others just started hanging around for the beer!
WHERE DO YOU BREW?
7th Day Brewery and Taproom in Brookvale.
WHY DO YOU BREW?
God, what a question! I just LOVE beer. Love everything about it and how it brings people together. How it starts conversations, how it drives ideas and emotions.
Sometimes I sit outside the taproom and look in, just enjoying all the laughter and joy making beer creates. I used to be a cinematographer but now I just can't imagine doing anything else.
WAS THERE A BEER OR A MOMENT THAT SET YOU ON THE PATH TO BECOMING A BREWER?
Yes. A bunch of us were chatting on the beach. This would be back in 2015 or so, and we were moaning about how you couldn't buy a craft pilsner. I decided to crowd fund a batch and gypsy brew it. That sort of got the ball rolling and it’s gone on rolling from there.
WHAT’S THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE BREWERY NAME?
Haha. We get asked that all the time. It a gentle satirical take on the day of rest. On the 7th day, God rested and looked back at what he had created. We like to say beer is our religion.
WHAT BEER IN YOUR LINEUP BEST REPRESENTS YOU AND WHY?
It would have to be our Pilsner. Thats where it all started and it is still our best seller in the taproom.
IF ANYONE DROPS IN ON BREW DAY, WHAT ARE THEY MOST LIKELY TO HEAR BLASTING FROM THE SPEAKERS?
If I’m there, definitely Led Zeppelin. Greatest band ever, or as my staff like to say: “SO last century.”
WHAT BEERS ARE IN YOUR FRIDGE RIGHT NOW?
I’ve got my XPA and Pilsner on tap at home as well as a bunch of others breweries’ cans. I’m loving the XPAs.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DESERT ISLAND BEER?
Stuck on an island with beer. Heaven! It would have to be a Pilsner.
WHICH LOCAL BEERS HAVE BLOWN YOUR MIND IN RECENT TIMES?
4 Pines Schwarzbier. It’s like liquid heaven. Chris Wilcock is fast becoming one of the world’s leading brewers.
IS THERE A PARTICULAR STYLE, INGREDIENT, OR TREND IN BEER THAT YOU’D LIKE TO EXPLORE FURTHER?
Look, I’m a big fan of lagers, and I think traditionally it’s had a bad rap in the craft world. I’d love to get deeper into that world and try and bring back a proper appreciation of how great good lager is.
WHAT BEERS HAVE YOU RELEASED TO DATE?
Pilsner, American Pale, XPA, Red IPA in can and heaps of others in the taproom. I like to keep changing them up all the time.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOUR BEERS?
Fresh on tap at the brewery in Brookvale is the way to get all our beers. Super fresh straight from the tap, with wood-fired pizza. We are also the exclusive craft beer at the Q Station in Manly.
For now we are keeping the bottleshop option deliberately small. We believe in local and fresh. Our core range of cans are available in Curl Curl Local Liquor as well as Bayfields and Camperdown Cellars cellars in Mosman.
Note: During the 2020 COVID lockdown, 7th Day Brewery is open for takeaway only, with an extended range of cans available for pickup. You can also buy 7th Day beers online here and have them delivered.
WHERE DO YOU HOPE YOUR BREWERY WILL BE TEN YEARS FROM NOW?
Still making great beer for our local community, wherever that is.
Other entries in our Who Brews...? series can be found here.