Saturday, 6 June 2020


2019: The Year of Local

  • Brewery Type: Physical
  • Region: High Country
  • Tasting Room: 15 Myrtle Street, Myrtleford
  • Food: American BBQ
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
  • Website
Old Factory Brewing Co was launched by brothers Ben & Tim McKechnie in early 2019. As the name suggests the brewery is located within Myrtleford's old butter factory, which had housed Myrtleford Butter until 2015 when they moved to Moyhu & became King Valley Dairy. The brothers took over the building not long after and started on a four year journey that ended up with their brewery & barbeque restaurant opening last year.

The journey wasn't simple. Their first venture at the site, a restaurant where the menu changed daily utilising only local produce, didn't work out. The duo had to pivot from their initial idea,  and thought about what they could use from their geographical location to their advantage.

Old Factory is located about 10 minutes from HPA's Rostrevor Hop Garden, soon to be the biggest hop garden in the Southern Hemisphere. Combining this with the brilliant water in the Northeast, the duo thought they should open a brewery. But every brewery, particularly regional ones, need food.

Conveniently, Ben is a chef by trade & after catering gig he did up at Falls Creek gave them the perfect idea for food to pair with their beers; American BBQ. The duo set about constructing their first smoker and opened to the public as The Old Factory in January 2018. The brewing side of things took a little longer with beers following in 2019.

The venue looks wonderful from the outside. On the inside it's kept a bit of the charm of an older building in Victoria's Northeast. There are a number of pub bistro tables of various sizes scattered throughout, as well as a couple of high tables in front of the pressed metal fronted bar. You can't see the brewery from main seating area as it's tucked away in a room out the back, although the smoker almost makes up for that. There are plans afoot to open a decking area with a bar out the back, which is something I can see working.

Rarely do I wax lyrical about the food at a brewery, but the brisket I had at The Old Factory when I visited was superb! It's worth travelling to Myrtleford to try their BBQ even if you don't like beer (although considering you're reading this, that would seem unlikely). On the day I visited I was confronted with a choice between; Red IPA, Amber Ale, Pale Ale & Lager. Since I visited they've been expanding on the beer front rapidly with a wet hop IPA amongst the new additions.

I settled in with their  Big Red IPA, as I was always likely to when confronted with those 4 options. This is one of the better Red IPA's around! There's a big caramel & biscuity malt body accompanying a big hop bill providing plenty of bitterness alongside resinous & citrus flavours. If this is indicative of the rest of their offerings it won't be long before people know about them!

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

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