Chris Farmer had been making his own beer for several years when he and a mate had the discussion that every home brewer eventually has: “What if we put some money together and gave this an actual crack.”
Two years later, Chris’s Seaford-based Mr.Banks Brewing Co. has just produced and distributed its first batch, opting for cans and kegs rather than glass.
Why? For a start it’s better for the beer, says Chris, because no light or oxygen – “The two killers of beer”- can enter a can. Canned beer also has a better shelf life, chills more quickly, is easier to ship … “and we think cans are way cooler”.
Chris, 30, was working 60 hours a week in a job he “didn't have the slightest interest in” when he decided to have “an actual crack” at brewing.
“I had a partner early on but things changed. Now I do pretty much the lot. My wife, Penny, is an accountant so she helps out on the tax side and on brewing/packaging days, and my old man helps out when and where he can, which is great. So at the moment it’s a family thing.
“We've had a lot of help along the way, especially from other local breweries who were happy to share information and insights. All in all I would say we are joining what would have to be the most supportive and helpful community - the craft beer family - and we couldn't be more excited about it.
“Everyone seems to be enjoying our first beer (Pier Side Pale Ale) and hopefully we can continue in that stead, focusing on our own backyard and then slowly venturing towards the city to get our beer in people’s hands.”
That should be easier when a canning machine arrives from Canada this month. The initial batch of beer was distributed in kegs, but by early to mid-August Chris hopes to have the first cans on the shelves.
“I love a lot of styles of beer so when I found a beer I liked, I would try to make one my way with my own twist. I use friends and family to test different batches on to get second and third opinions, but in the end, unless I like it, it’s not going to be brewed again.
“In saying that we do still have to make beers others are going to enjoy. If we don’t we won’t be around very long.”
The brewery’s name, by the way, comes from Chris’s dog, Banks, who was named after a character in the film The Mighty Ducks. “We really like the name Banks, so we decided to throw a ‘Mr’ on the front to give it a little more personality.”
To try a Pier Side, visit Chris’s website and go to the Find Beer section.
MR.BANKS BREWING CO.
A: 12 Hi-Tech Place, Seaford 3198
M: 0423 653 041
E: [email protected]