Russell ‘Rusty’ Gee is a man with a plan, and in a factory in Sandgate, with a few friends on board, he is turning that plan into reality.
The idea of building a microbrewery came to Rusty in 2016 when he was travelling down the west coast of the United States with his family, and he noticed the proliferation of them in that region. “The whole microbrewery scene there was huge, and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface in Australia,” Rusty says.
He floated the idea with some friends, and by now the establishment of ‘Rusty’s Brewing Company’ is well under way.
“Production-wise we’ll be ready by around October or November. We’ll be having some samplers before then of course!” Rusty says.
Rusty’s Brewing Company will eventually produce a variety of brews to accommodate every tastebud.
“Initially, we’ll be focussing on ales, and we believe there’s an emerging market in stouts and porters, so we will be looking at that too.”
Rusty and his team bring a range of experience to the table; he started his career in the electrical engineering department at the Fourex factory in Milton before moving into the business of building food manufacturing production systems, and his colleagues’ expertise range from marketing to microbiology.
Their plan is to start off producing a volume of 1600 litres per week, with the hope to almost double production by the end of the first year.
“Once we get things to that stage the sky’s the limit really, but it’s not just the brewery that we are building. It’s the brewery-building business as well,” Rusty says.
The unique aspect of the plan that Rusty and his team are executing is that the Sandgate brewery will effectively be a prototype.
“ We’re looking at the potential for the [microbrewery] industry in Australia, and we’re saying we can produce fifty microbreweries in the next five years.”
In a national marketplace controlled by a tiny number of huge corporate entities, a blossoming in the number of small local breweries can only mean good things for Australians who enjoy a cold beer!
Cheers to that!