Melbourne’s southeast just keeps getting craftier, with The Zythologist planning to open a brewery near Oakleigh train station by the end of the year.
The brewing company officially launched in 2021, but their story starts back in 2018 when three science students – Shiv Tandon, Gina Pacheco Arredondo and Daniel Rojas Sanchez – started BrewLab at Monash University. Shiv says finding a home for their brewery had long been a dream for the three founders, and although it involved a substantial search, they always wanted to be close to where their story began.
“Being born at Monash, we wanted it to be that area because a lot of our home crowd is in that vicinity,” he says.
Although the new brewery will be close to Oakleigh station, technically it’s in the suburb of Hughesdale, and is not only close to public transport but also the area’s main commercial hub.
“It is a suburb with a going-out culture already where there’s a strip of bars and restaurants nearby,” Shiv says.
The Zythologist will also be a mere single train stop away from the KAIJU! Cantina, while Two Rupees is found nearby in Clayton too. The brewhouse they're installing is a three-vessel, ten-hectolitre system, while the taproom will have space for close to 100 people, and includes a courtyard ready to welcome food trucks.
“It’s an empty warehouse shell at the minute, so we have full creative freedom with it,” Shiv says. “Plus, if we need to expand, there’s plenty of space.”
Unsurprisingly, given the three founders are engineering graduates and their tagline is “brewed by science”, a science theme will run throughout the venue too.
“We do want to incorporate the science element without it being in your face, so in a more subtle way,” Shiv says.
The connection to where their journey began will remain too: they plan to operate an open door policy for Monash Uni students and those in the wider university community who are keen to come in and learn how beer is made; that invite will extend to anyone studying brewing through Kangan TAFE, where Shiv has been teaching.
“We still keep in touch with BrewLab for any project we can involve them with,” Shiv says.
Beyond using their venue as a way to educate beer drinkers about the science behind what they drink, The Zythologist's beers will continue to be closely intertwined with science. Their Elemental core range draws on the periodic table, while their limited releases draw on scientific concepts too. Their very first can release was a whisky pastry imperial stout brewed with Burnley Brewing called Gravity; that was followed by an alcohol-free pale called Citronium.
“So, we went from Omega to Alpha,” is how Daniel describes the progression.
But while they're informed by science and highly analytical in their approach, the fact they started brewing on a single-keg-sized Braumeister in a university faculty building means fans can expect plenty of creativity in future offerings. That said, you can never quite separate creativity from analytical science when it comes to brewing.
“It has always been all about exploration and learning," Daniel says. "We had so much flexibility and just did beer after beer across so many different styles, and it allowed us and the other students to learn more and more."
As they prepare to open their home, The Zythologist are hiring a sales rep.