Life & Style

The long-time beer enthusiast behind Lambton’s community brewery

It’s that time again where we’ll be taking you behind the scenes with our favourite local business owners and creatives to find out where they go to eat, what playlist they’re listening to, where they take their out-of-town friends, and ultimately, what makes them tick.

For our 13th instalment of SPILL, we’re catching up with the long-time beer enthusiast behind Lambton’s community brewery, Lachlan MacBean of Grainfed Brewery.

spill lachlan macbean grainfed brewery lambton newcastle nsw
Lachlan MacBean

Firstly, what and where would people across Newcastle recognise you from?

Maybe my Grainfed delivery van or from our brewery and tap room in Lambton.

Where are you from?

Born in Sydney, left in 1999, lived in a few regional NSW towns, and moved to Newcastle 20 years ago.

What made you decide to make Newcastle home?

I used to come here for work and a then a few weddings and loved the feel and pace of life here. Then the planets aligned and I landed a job with Bluetongue Brewery in 2004 and we moved our family here.

Do you consider yourself more of an early bird or a night owl?

Both – which can be problematic.

What’s your morning ritual?

I get up at 6.30am and go for a swim at Bar Beach with my wife Jeanette and a crew there, followed by coffee at the Van at Bar Beach, then I head straight to the brewery.

Where’s your late-night hangout spot?

Before I opened the brewery, The Blind Monk. I do love The Falcon as well.

What’s your coffee order?

Double shot flat white.

Speaking of coffee, which local venue knows your order off by heart?

The Van at Bar Beach.

Tell me about your biggest career highlight…

There’s a few: launching Grainfed with Sneaky One in 2012, judging at the World Beer Cup (the world’s biggest beer competition) four times, and building then opening the doors at Grainfed Brewery in June 2023.

In your spare time, what are your THREE top favourite things to do in Newcastle?

  1. Surf at one our amazing beaches
  2. Have dinner with family and friends
  3. Sunday swim and a beer over the ocean at Cooks Hill Surf Club

If you wanted to dazzle your out-of-town friends and family, where would you take them?

Drive down to the harbour, around the beaches from Nobbys to the north end of Burwood Beach; have a swim at the Bogey Hole; head over to Lambton for a brewery tour and beers at Grainfed Brewery; dinner at Lock's Paddock; then, after dinner, cocktails at the Falcon then The Grand Hotel.

Beer? Wine? Cocktail? Mocktail? What is your tipple of choice and where do you frequently visit? 

I wouldn’t trust me if I didn’t say beer. Beer: pilsener. Wine: riesling (the drier the better). Cocktail: dirty martini. And The Blind Monk is my local.

On the daily, what’s guaranteed to make you smile?

Dogs and babies.

What do you NEVER leave the house without?   


We’re all about keeping it local here at HUNTERhunter – tell me THREE of your favourite local businesses that you live and breathe by and why you couldn’t live without them…

Grain Store – Great venue, awesome beers, wine and spirits. Friendly staff and the biggest supporter of independent beer in NSW and possibly Australia.

Sprocket Roasters – Another great Lambton business, they have been at the forefront of local coffee roasting for a long time now.

Popolo – Best ice cream in Newy – I love ice cream. 

What are you reading / watching / listening to now?

Reading – The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes

Watching – Loudermilk 

Listening – The Lumineers

If you’re needing a short break away from Newcastle, where do you go and why?

Pacific Palms – it’s paradise that you don’t have to fly to.

What’s your go-to playlist?

Ball Park Music Radio. I’m an album guy though; Only by the Night by Kings of Leon, Life in Slow Motion by David Gray, Ways & Means by Paul Kelly, and Being There by Wilco. 

What would you like to see more of in Newcastle?

More local venues supporting local producers.

Lucky last – who would you recommend we interview next for SPILL?

Ross Civarella from Sprocket Roasters.