Using the only decent Christmas present his mum ever gave him – a home brew kit in 2008 – Dan Dainton started his brewing saga punching out some pretty horrible tasting home-brews from his shed in Brunswick West.

In fact the first beer was so bad that it was called the Flithy Lager or “Flager”. The beers eventually started getting better as Dan was fired by his uncle from his sales job and started working in a home-brew shop. The mission was clear: learn how to make the best beer possible. With help from the guys at the shop and teachings from the Federation Uni brewing course the beers started to go from fairly offensive to the tongue to quite drinkable.

See, we weren’t kidding, it is a long story.

Read on

Meet The Family

Dan Dainton of Dainton Beer profile photo

Dan Dainton
Co-Founder, Madman

Kev Dainton of Dainton Beer profile photo

Kev Dainton
Co-Founder

Will Smith of Dainton Beer profile photo

Will Smith
General Manager

Cam Turner of Dainton Beer profile photo

Cam Turner
Head Brewer

Jules Ewert of Dainton Beer profile photo

Jules Ewert
Bar Legend

Taylor Allan of Dainton Beer profile photo

Taylor Allan
Brewer

Pete Lowndes of Dainton Beer profile photo

Pete Lowndes
All-Round Brewing Legend

Team photos by Paul Griggs.

The story continues

In 2011 Dan won champion Australia Pilsner for a German style pils in the Amateur awards. That year he also started working as a professional brewer at James Squire at the Portland Hotel on Russell Street in Melbourne’s CBD. During his stint there he won two silver medals at the Australian International Beer awards for his first couple of brews. With Dan, the brewhouse also saw perhaps the first Black Rye IPA to come out on the market. This brew  was deemed as “too hoppy” by a legendary brewer from Squires… However this only made Dan more determined to make even hoppier beers and start to think about doing his own thing!

In 2012 Dan moved over to Holgate Brewhouse and had a cracking old time stirring up Paul about stealing his recipes (Dan still might brew a chocolate porter) Not long into the stint at Holgate Dan’s old man Kev had the great idea that they should start their own brewery with Dan at the helm. As a result, in 2013 the first batch of Red Rye Rye was brewed by Dan at a local gypsy friendly brewery. The beer, a hop forward American Amber Ale, was released in kegs and 500ml bottles. The Red Eye Rye is still rated as Australia’s best Amber ale (and number 13 in the world) according to Ratebeer.com. In 2018 it won gold at the Independent Australian Beer awards and it also won Champion Australian Amber/Dark Ale. A nice little nod to a beer that started the whole thing 5 years before.

After the success of the Red Eye Rye, Dan and Kev needed to look for other places to brew as the gypsy brewery had filled up fast and there was no longer room. They also needed to figure out where to build their own brewery! For the next two years Dan brewed at 7 different breweries to keep the brand going and in 2015 construction of the 3000L brewhouse began in Carrum Downs.

The brewery bar has continued to grow in popularity as a friendly spot for locals and tourists alike. The beers have gone from being interesting craft beers to some rather crazy experimental ones with all kinds of fruit, spices and anything the brewers can think to throw in. In 2018 Dan and the gang made 131 different beers for a World Record tap-takeover at the Prince Alfred Hotel in Queensland. Somehow all the beers arrived and were tapped and poured! In 2016 the first beers were made on location and the bar opened on a balmy July night with 6 beers on tap.

Right now at the brewery bar there is an ever changing list of beers on tap and available for take-away. This includes the overall Champion Australian Craft Beer for 2017 and our gold medal winning GABS Hottest 100 beer: (the Cherrywood Smoked Baltic Rye Porter,) and the Blood Orange New England Rye IPA respectively.

Dan and Kev Dainton with their award-winning Cherrywood Smoked Rye Baltic Porter

Now, more than ever, you can see the brewery chugging away in the background as the brewers madly scurry around trying to figure out how to brew the latest crazy concoction or just add a ton of hops into a NEIPA or even – yes we dared – make a lager. A good clean one. Yep. We’re that crazy. In fact we just love making great beer and having a lot of choice in what to drink. That is what keeps us going – freedom of choice, and always striving to make tastier and yummier beers for us (okay and we’ll share them too!).

And what of Dan and Kev – the men behind the name, the beers and the madness? Well Kev has gone fishin’ and Dan still has a hand in the zaniness of the beers (even if his hand has one finger missing).