Lambton has officially landed itself a brewery
The family-friendly suburb of Lambton is the next to land itself a brewery with local brewer Lachlan MacBean and his business, Grainfed Brewing Company, officially opening its doors on Friday 23 June.
We caught up with Lachlan in August last year, not long after he got his hands on the keys to the Lambton warehouse, and today, ten months later, the venue stands before us in all of its glory.
What started as a passion project almost ten years ago, has seen this locally-born business come into its own and morph into a top-tier offering for the Newcastle craft beer scene.
Originally working as a horticulturist and arborist, it was twenty-odd years ago that Lachlan decided to change careers and step into the homebrewing world, well before the Aussie craft beer scene had truly started taking off.
“I started home-brewing whilst I was at University in Wagga, and it just took off. I went to a beer dinner in Bowral for Malt Shovel, and I spoke to the brewer there and just asked how he got into the industry.
“I went home that night and enrolled at Ballarat University. They actually sponsored the Australian Beer Awards and they used to do a trade show the day after the beer awards. The first half of the day was a trade show, then they let the public in at 1pm.
“I went around to every stall and said hi, this is me and this is what I’m doing and I’m looking for a job. The guys from Blue Tongue said yep, here’s my card, we could probably do with a bloke like you. I sent my resume across and two weeks later I met with them for dinner and halfway through that, I had the job.”
In 2004 Lachlan moved his family to Newcastle where his career in the beer world really started to take shape. Five years on, Lachlan had said goodbye to Bluetongue Brewery and hello to full-time dad to three kids under eight.
“Then I heard that Corey who was at The Albion was doing a Craft Beer Week, so I reached out and said I wanted to get involved. At the end of the conversation, I just asked if he had a few hours he needed to be filled of a night just so I could talk to adults again!”
Working behind the bar and watching the beer lovers come through the doors in droves, craft beer coming in from around the country, but seemingly hardly anyone within the Hunter region creating craft beer themselves, it seemed to Lachy the perfect opportunity to start a brewing company had landed right in front of him.
From there, Grainfed Brewing quickly made a name for itself across the Newcastle beer community and has grown into one of the most well-respected local brewing brands in recent years. So, seeing the brand finally open its own brewery has got many locals excited.
The unassuming façade invites you down a slim hallway that opens into the spacious brewery. Little knick knacks give off old-school Australiana vibes throughout including some Smiths Chips paraphernalia – left behind by the previous tenants – plus recycled and repurposed chairs and tables.
“I’ve tried to recycle a lot of the stuff that we’ve got throughout the venue. The old keg system up on the wall is from the old Belmont Sports Club. I went down before they closed, and this was just on the floor in the cool room. They were going to throw it out, so I took it with me.”
It’s only been a few weeks since they flung open the doors, but the venue has already garnered support and excitement from locals.
“Doing the first brew in here I just had to keep reminding myself that this was all mine, not someone else’s. It’s been almost 20 years in the making to get the business here.
“One of the main reasons we've built the brewery is that we think that small breweries are now taking the place of the local community hall, we believe that beer, more than any other beverage helps to create connection and build community.”