Friday, 5 June 2020

BREWICOLO BREWING COMPANY

2019: The Year of Local

STATS
  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: Bellarine Peninsula
  • Tasting Room: 32 Marine Parade, Ocean Grove
  • Food: Food Truck
  • Price: Average
  • Websitehttps://www.brewicolo.com/
Tucked away in an industrial street, off another industrial street, off Grubb Road; the main road into Ocean Grove, you come across a modern warehouse with a green palm tree motif splashed across it. Inside that warehouse you will find Brewicolo, owned by husband & wife team Chilla Tuicolo & Ocean Grove local Kay Godfrey.

Their story is similar to many that we've heard through this series & countless others that have yet to be told. Chilla loved brewing & wanted to open his own brewery. He had been homebrewing for years in his garage & got plenty of praise from his mates. Which is where the dream dies for many. He dipped his toe into the water selling beer to a couple of local venues, still from the garage. Praise was still forthcoming & it was time to make a decision.

Kay felt her home town of Ocean Grove was screaming out for a venue like a brewery & with Chilla always wanting to open a brewery they decided to give it a crack. It was finished in late 2018, just in time for the summer tourist rush! It's very much a family operation, with Kay's parents manning the Brewibites food truck while we were there. This flows through to the layout of the space, which is very kid friendly - they couple play into this by having a number of games on hands for the kids to play with.

Chilla is of Fijian heritage. His surname lends its name, in part, to the brewery after his friend coined the moniker "Brewicolo" during a brewing session. The Fijian culture is evident throughout the brewery. For the most part the language names the beers, whilst there are palm trees & tropical patterns adorning most surfaces.

The brewery is bigger than I would've thought, operating on a 1000L brewhouse that's on full display. This is in part because both Chilla works full-time for the army in addition to his role at the brewery, whilst Kay juggles the business side of the operation & looking after the couples young children. Being something of a holiday town, the seating is mostly outdoors - albeit it undercover - just something to keep in mind if the weather isn't ideal.

On the whole their beers favoured the maltier side of things, with a number of lagers in the repertoire. The pick of the beers available on the day we visited was their Smoke Cloud Lager. It was a really well constructed beer, with good malt presence. The smoke flavour came across as ham, but wasn't overpowering. There are so few Australian brewers producing smoked beers, let alone smoked lagers & even more rarely doing them well! I'll definitely be following Brewicolo's progress over the next few years.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

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