When you think of beer in Milton, it wouldn't be remiss of you to think of the iconic Castlemaine Brewery, which has been wafting the smell of yeast and hops over the residents of Paddington, Red Hill and Rosalie since 1878. And while this brewing behemoth can crank out XXXX tinnies by the truckload, there's going to be something a whole lot craftier taking place just around the corner.
Opening on Milton's Railway Terrace (right near craft beer specialists Scratch Bar and perpendicular to Park Road) is Aether Brewing. This beer-lover's paradise is a passion project five years in the making from two ex-engineers, Dave Ward and Jimmy Young. "We were sitting down over a beer and came up with the idea to start a brewery and bar. Five years later, here we are," they offer. The gents say that their journey from engineers to full-time brewers and bar owners has been really rewarding — though not without its challenges. "Everything was a pretty big learning curve, but we got here," Jimmy declared. And when you've got a venue this impressive to show for it, a couple of hiccups is a small price to pay.
Working in collaboration with Salvador Farrajota and Joshua Abel from Brissie design studio The Artificial, Aether Brewing is a venue to dazzle. A spacious, airy, ground floor bar is flanked on one side by a formidable row of stainless steel brewing tanks, and on the other side by a long bar. Brewing capacity is 5 hec — which translates in layman's to 500 litres of beer. Everything is brewed on site in six fermenters, with three bright beer tanks in-house as well.
If choice is something you crave, you'll be in your element. The bar downstairs will play serve 12 beers at one time — nine of the Aether Brewing variety, plus three guest taps. When you head up the staircase to the first floor you can enjoy the second bar/function area, complete with custom furniture, or perhaps relax into the night over a leisurely meal in the sit-down dining area/bar.
Day-to-day operation of the venue will be in the capable hands of their team of twelve, with the two lads taking on key roles as well. "Dave has been brewing with his dad ever since he was a kid," Jimmy says. So while Dave manages beer production Jimmy will be running the venue as manager.
Find Aether Brewing on Railway Terrace, Milton, from November 25. For more information, visit their Facebook page.