NEWCASTLE'S newest brewery poured its first drinks to the public on Friday as the city's craft beer scene continues to thrive.
Method Brewing opened at Islington, joining the likes of FogHorn, Modus Operandi, Styx and Rogue Scholar in independently producing beer in Newcastle's inner suburbs.
"Once people realise there's more than just one brewery to come in and sample, I think more people will come," Method Brewing co-owner Gavin McKenzie says.
"People will do a little afternoon where they visit four or five breweries and jump on the train and go back to the Central Coast, or stay the night. Once it's up and running, it'll be a great little scene here."
Method is the brainchild of three friends - McKenzie, Matt Blofield and Sean Costigan. Each bring their own individual experience to the partnership.
Costigan is a former head brewer at Murray's, Blofield is a carpenter by trade and worked as assistant brewer at Hope Estate, while McKenzie is a long-time home-brewer and is studying brewing through the Federation University.
It was in February 2021 during a Superbowl party at the Wickham Park Hotel that McKenzie first spotted the vacant site, which once housed a home brew shop.
Once the brewery received DA approval, work commenced in November. The whole space was gutted and the trio - with help from friends and family - completed the majority of the fit-out over seven months.
Method is licensed for 90 people and has an industrial vibe. The interior centrepiece is the colourful abstract mural, created by Newcastle contemporary artist Bridie Watt.
McKenzie says visits to Marrickville breweries like Batch influenced their gritty vision for Method.
"We wanted it to be industrial-looking," he says. "There was no plan to line the ceiling. We want people to feel like they're in a brewery.
"It's gonna be noisy at times and there's compressors that kick on. But it's a brewery first and foremost and a venue secondary."
Initially Method have three beers on tap, a bohemian ale (5%), a pale ale (4.6%) and new world IPA (6.3%). The pale ale and IPA are also canned and available for takeaway. There's also a range of Glandore Estate Wines on offer.
"We hope to settle into a core range, some solid staple beers that people wanna come back for and have again and again," McKenzie says.
"We'll be doing special releases. We have 12 taps we can eventually fill up, so there will be lots of seasonal beers, nice big stouts in winter, sours in summer, whatever we feel like."
A rotating roster of food trucks will feed punters and Method is talking with nearby Newy Fried Chicken about a collaboration.
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