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Australia's smallest brewery gears up for big trade
by Richard Cornish, 5 Nov 2021, The Age
In a tiny former bank in the village of Dean, north of Ballarat, Damien Norman has opened Australia's smallest commercial brewery.
With travel between Melbourne and regional Victoria permitted again, Norman has been working furiously over the past month to make up for lost trade. However, with the total capacity of each brew batch at Bankhouse Brewery just 44 litres (about five cases of beer), production is a slow and steady process.
"It's a hobby that got out of hand," says Norman, who brews and sells his beer in a weatherboard structure built as the English, Scottish & Australian Bank in the late 1880s.
"We were closed for most of COVID, but now the word is getting out. People have heard about this mad bloke making tiny batches of beer in a 130-year-old bank and they're keen to visit."
After leaving his career in electrical wholesale, Norman started brewing to keep himself occupied. "My wife threw me and the brewing kits out of the house and into the shed," he says. "But it snows here in winter so I moved into the old bank because it has an open fireplace."
Norman renovated the dilapidated 20-square-metre building, turning the safe room into the fermenting room and putting a fridge where the teller once stood. It opened for trade in January, but current COVID restrictions mean only two customers can fit in the brewery at a time.
continues at: Australia's smallest brewery gears up for big trade