Wollongong seems to be going through a brewery boom.
For the longest time it was just the Illawarra Brewing Company. And then late last year Five Barrel Brewing opened its doors.
Come December, there will be a third brewery in the city – Bulli Brewing.
Bulli brewer Michael Peloquin has spent the last two years looking to get the brewery up and running and is targeting an opening date of the end of this year.
The story I like to tell is that he tried to brew beer that his two sons wouldn’t drink. But he was unsuccessful.- Michael Peloquin
Despite the name, it’ll actually be based in Unanderra, at Industrial Road. Mr Peloquin was close to finding a business property in Bulli and registered the name Bulli Brewery – but the deal fell through.
Besides, he said, Bulli is easier for visitors to pronounce than Unanderra.
The plan is to let the punters see the beer being made while they drink it.
“We’ll have a tasting room – I want a set up where people can actually see the brewery equipment and feel they’re in more of an industrial setting as opposed to just a lounge room,” Mr Peloquin said.
“So you’ll be able to see all the equipment and if we happen to be washing kegs or whatever, you’ll see that going on at the time.
“We’re also putting in a shipping container very similar to what they have at Sifters. It’ll be a coffee, tea, light snacks.
“There’s nothing down there servicing the area so that’ll bring people to the brewery and hopefully they come back later for a beer.”
Mr Peloquin has been a homebrewer for about 20 years and said he picked it up from his father.
“He’s been homebrewing since he was quite a young chap,” Mr Peloquin said.
“The story I like to tell is that he tried to brew beer that his two sons wouldn’t drink. But he was unsuccessful; the darker and more bitter he made it the more we’d grin and bear it and get stuck into it when he wasn’t around.”
Mr Peloquin is making the move from the world of finance to brewer – at the moment he still puts on a suit three days a week and works on the business for the other four.
“I don’t need it to make money from day one,” he said.
“I want it to be a small business that over time grows to the point where maybe I stop my other job.”