Camperdown's catacombs got a major dose of cool when the Wayward Brewing Company opened their public brewery last September.
Walk into one of the many white-walled warehouses down the hidden Gehrig Lane and you'll find yourself in a mysterious cave with serious mood lighting and rooms that seem to stretch on indefinitely. Wayward is not your standard brewery and better resembles the buildings roots, a wine cellar since the early 1900s. The Wayward team have maintained the waxed and wine-spattered walls, which are softly illuminated, making the place feel more underground speakeasy than craft beer haven.
This covert laneway location was purposefully chosen as it perfectly complements the meaning behind Wayward: "to be lost on purpose". Owner Peter Philip and Head Brewer Shaun Blissett worked tirelessly to make sure the brewery epitomises this quote at every turn. The gloriously mounted motorcycle and 'carpe bierum' artwork don't hurt this image, either.
This traveller's mentality isn't just present in the brewery's decor though — it's been built into Wayward's beers too. Across the board, the award-winning beer is full-flavoured but approachable, and always inventive; the Wayward crew are "not afraid to go off the beaten track" when it comes to their brews. And there's certainly nothing standard about the Wayward core four: the Charmer Indian Red Ale, Keller Instinct Bavarian Lager, a Raconteur Bière de Garde and the FUSAMI Victory India Pale Lager. The imaginative range doesn't stop there, either — Philip and Blissett are turning out even wackier brews, like the Sourpuss, a raspberry Berliner Weisse that is hot pink in colour and tart as can be.
The rooms themselves are furnished with repurposed material, from the vintage, '70s-style couches and tables to the theatre seating and keg lamps hanging from the ceiling. Each upcycled item comes with a story, much like the building itself. If the dimly lit interior has you fooled though, the open brew room will remind you what you're really here for. The bright, Wayward yellow floors and modern equipment is quite the contrast to the cool atmosphere of the cellar door.
The Wayward crew love to throw a good party too, from themed holiday events to brewhouse yoga and their first inaugural laneway festival. Along with works by a local artist and three rotating guest taps for local brewers, this is a community hangout through and through. So go ahead and carpe bierum.