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Modus Operandi: Brewery Back Home
For six months Grant and Jaz Wearin lived the beer lover’s dream. Travelling around the West Coast of the USA visiting every brewery they could. But it wasn’t a holiday. Well, it was – but it wasn’’t just a holiday. The Aussie couple had a loose idea to open up a brewery of their own back home, so this was effectively R&D.
Grant said the idea had always been simmering away. But, then when they were in the States they thought: This can definitely be done. From the day they got back, which was January, he worked pretty much full time on it. His wife’s still at work – and here they are 18 months later.
“Here” is Mona Vale, in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, where the Modus Operandi brewery opened at the end of July. It’s not an area known for beer. Comparatively, when you pull up to the gates and see tables full of happy drinkers it’s clear. Certainly, there’s as much thirst for it here as anywhere else.
He’s made his presence felt immediately. Where many new breweries in Australia are the project of a homebrewer-turned-pro. Invariably involve a bit of a settling in period as they come to terms with the larger equipment. DJ’s experience has meant Modus Operandi has hit the ground running. Indeed, it takes a certain level of gumption to open a brewery with seven beers, including two saisons. The rest of the initial range is made up of a cream ale, pale ale, two IPAs and a porter. As Grant suggests, it’s a deliberately expansive selection designed to make a bit of a statement.
In the meantime, there are several new beers to focus on. A couple of old Lark Distillery barrels sit atop the chiller. Notably, one filled with porter and the other likely to house the red IPA. There are some white wine barrels on the way in anticipation of a sour beer program. Specifically, a Double IPA in the pipeline, a light summer IPA to come with the changing seasons and a Black Coffee Lager ready to go. Significantly, the latter is a collaboration done with their the business next door. The Coffee Brothers, who brewed and added the coffee to the tank while it was still warm.
Getting their neighbours involved is reflective of what Modus Operandi is already achieving in their new home. Namely, getting more people interested in beer.
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