“The homebrewing in lockdown kept us sane.”
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Scott Wyatt returned from a holiday in New Zealand and Tim French returned from a UK trip with his girlfriend. Like many people, they didn’t have jobs to go to. Like many people, they found ways to pass the time during this depressing period. And, like many people, they got to a point where they wanted to do something more than just sit on the couch and drink beer.
So when they reached the point where even Call of Duty wasn’t enough, they turned to a homebrew kit that Tim had sitting in the corner. Right from the first (terrible) brew, Scott and Tim were driven to make better beer.
They started pumping out brew after brew. They kept evolving their recipes. They upgraded their equipment. And while lockdown had made them feel lost at sea, they found that brewing was an anchor for them.
“We sort of had our own little schedule of work,” Tim says. “Working on the beer in the mornings and chilling out in the arvos. Gave us a bit of structure when there wasn’t much else going on.”
Their moods began to lift. At some point, the boys realised the beer they were making was standing up well against the commercially brewed beers they had in the fridge, and they made the decision to work towards releasing their own brew commercially. The Boys Brewing was born.
Scott and Tim had loved beer for some time already – they’d first met and become friends at a beer festival, after all. But this was the point at which a passion became an obsession.
“All of our messages were talking about beer,” Scott says. “We’d go out to dinner with the girlfriends and get in trouble for talking about beer. We even got to the point where we got a time-out: ‘Can we go for a week without talking about beer?’
“I think we got to two days, then a sneaky message came through.”
As you might imagine, ever-changing COVID restrictions in Melbourne through 2020 and 2021 made things difficult for the pair. During some parts of lockdown, they were allowed to visit each other’s houses; during others, everything had to be done via Zoom. At one point, when Tim’s partner had to work interstate, the boys became each other’s "bubble" and were more or less living together for five months.
“We didn’t break any rules,” Tim says. "We just did what we could with what the rules allowed… Once we got the ABN registered to Scott’s address, I could legally say I was going to work.”
Despite the difficulties of 2020 and 2021 – which included low moods and trying to brew together over webcam – Scott and Tim finally reached their first commercial brew day, and in December 2021 they released a hazy pale ale called Sunset Daze.
Fittingly, one of their first distributors was Craft Beer Coopery, a beer subscription service that focuses on helping men have real conversations to address mental health.
“Trev understood our story,” Scott says. “That sent home that what we were doing was quite meaningful, I guess. We weren’t just brewing beer because we could brew beer.
“Makes the last two years not a waste.”
With the second batch of Sunset Daze out in the wild and a couple more brews in the pipeline for 2022, Scott and Tim told us a little more of their story for our Who Brews…? series.
The Boys Brewing
Who are you?
Tim: Originally from the Sutherland Shire in Sydney but moved to Melbourne six years ago and immediately fell in love with the craft beer scene. Spending most of my career this far in the hotel/hospitality industry, I don't take myself too seriously and am always down to catch up with a mate over a beer. Being in the UK when the pandemic hit, my partner and I decided to come home as the future was unknown at the time.
Scott: Originally from Dunedin, New Zealand, and moved to Melbourne seven years ago to follow my degree in hospitality and hotel management. Working as a concierge I knew all the best bars and breweries. It became a hobby rather than a job to recommend the latest and greatest places in the city.
Now day-to-day in commercial facilities management, having a side hustle of a brewery is something I have become very passionate about. Tim and I met through a friend at a beer festival of all things, and then working together at the same hotel our friendship grew to drinking a lot of beer, talking a lot of rubbish, and not taking life too seriously.
Where do you brew?
We are currently gypsy brewing out of Killer Sprocket brewery in Bayswater North, with assistance from Five’ 3” Brewing.
Why do you brew?
It was a dream that we made a reality. The thought of brewing your own beer is amazing as I am sure any home brewer will agree, but to have your own beer in a can and have a complete strangers try, love it and then write a review would have to be one of the best parts of owning a brewing company.
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
Tim returning from the UK at the start of the pandemic to hospitality shut, and Scott having a job pull out at the same time, we both found ourselves with no jobs and a lot of time on our hands. One of many days hanging out to keep sane and the Coopers brewery kit that Tim had sitting in the corner for five years came out.
After some terrible beer kits we decided to spend some money and get some serious equipment. After some more terrible beers and a lot of brews we started to get the flavours we were after, and The Boys Brewing vision started to come alive.
This started as a real way to get away from the difficult times around us: COVID was leaving, we still didn’t have jobs and it was depressing. This whole journey was a saviour for us both. It was a really hard time for a lot of people and we wanted to break that trend and make something great out of it.
What's the inspiration behind the brewery name?
Not hard to figure, but it’s the boys and we are brewing.
What beer in your lineup best represents you and why?
Only having one beer in our lineup so far, Sunset Daze is a good representation of us: easy-going blokes always up for a beer or a chat. Sunset Daze is a crowd-pleaser, being super smooth with a balanced malt backbone with a tropical finish. A great entry beer to the craft world for anyone.
If anyone drops in on brew days, what are they most like to hear blasting from the speakers?
If either Scott or Timmy’s playlist, it will be bound to have a bit of pop/dance remix of the latest tunes or some good old classic 70s.
If you could have any person in the world join you on a brew day, who would it be, and why?
Tim: Bit left field, but Shaquille O'Neal as he would have some stories and also he now DJs occasionally so that would come in handy.
Scott: It would have to be the great James Speights, creator of the beer I started on and still love to this day.
What beers are in your fridge right now?
Tim: 3 Ravens Cola Creamsicle, Dainton Jungle Juice, Banks Brewing West Coast IPA.
Scott: Hawkers Rover, Monteith’s American IPA, and Dainton Overdrive West Coast IPA.
What would you choose for your desert island beer?
Tim: 3 Ravens Cola Creamsicle.
[Later, Scott said: “Tim’s the kind of guy on a night out, we’ll have a few drinks then he’ll come over with a pint of Peanut Butter Cup, smash that at ten o’clock at night, and he’ll be like, ‘That was a great decision.’ But I feel like he’d regret that decision on a desert island…’]
Scott: Hawkers Rover.
Which local beers have blown your mind in recent times?
We both really love the beers Dainton beer are creating, from their core range IPAs to their limited release beers that are coming out.
Is there a particular style, ingredient, or trend in beer you'd like to explore further?
Our beers will be mainly hop driven ales, but we will be exploring into the stout and sour scene at some stage.
What beers have you released to date?
It is only Sunset Daze Hazy Pale Ale so far but we are planning on releasing our second beer in late April and then continue to have somewhat of a core range by the end of the year.
Where can people find your beers?
Our beer is available at certain retailers across Melbourne and on tap at a few pubs/bars, all of which is detailed on our website. You can also order online from onlycraftbeer.com.au for delivery Australia wide!
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
We hope to have our own brewpub in Melbourne and will look to expand to the New Zealand market to follow some of Scott's roots home. Most importantly still providing people with beers they love.