Hops, Malt, Yeast & Pure Mountain Water

If our name doesn’t give it away, we’re obsessed with water. Looking at it. Relaxing by it. And most of all, making beer with it. While we originated in Fremantle, we were drawn to the Yarra Valley by the purity of the mountain spring water. Nature does the hard work; we simply add hops, malt and yeast. Unfiltered. Unpasteurised. Stop by sometime. We’ll show you how shepherding four simple ingredients towards harmony and balance, creates beautiful beer.

Beautiful beer stars here

A taste of what we're up to

Australia’s original craft brewery

We’ve always strived for natural harmony and freedom. In the 80’s, this made us outlaws; brandishing our weapons of flavour and freshness. Turns out we weren’t the only ones craving an escape from the ordinary - people embraced this new frontier of beer.

Today, we’re still on the frontier. Both in the brewery and in exploring how to achieve 100% sustainability in everything we do.

100% Natural Ingredients

Our Approach

Beer is around 95% water - hence the fixation. Ours is sourced directly from the hills of the upper Yarra Valley, Gilderoy Springs. Pure. Soft. Unadulterated. With our other raw ingredients, we use organic wherever we can. Then we get out of the way as much as possible and wait (and wait, and wait) while the natural flavours develop. Traditional brewing techniques take time. Slow beer makes for balanced beer. 

Our story

What’s in a date? Everything. We started in the 80’s, on a mission to shake up the conformity of Australian beer. With a passion for flavour we introduced the country to craft, opening up a world of amazing styles.

1983

Phil turns a broken back into a lucky break. While convalescing he convinces his hang gliding mates, Garry Gosatti and John Tollis, to join him in starting a brewery. 

Quality over quantity. They convince Perth entrepreneur Peter Briggs to abandon plans to start a brewery to rival Swan and stump up the dollars for their dream instead. Matilda Bay (originally known as Brewtech) is born - the first new blood in Australian brewing for almost a century.

1984

Building begins on a state of the art boutique brewery in Nedlands, a suburb of Perth. Having quality custom kit from Burton upon Trent in England allows Phil to recreate classic beers that have all but passed into brewing history.

First hiccup. The big brewers control the market; no one will stock their beer. The solution? They open their own pub and microbrewery, converting the rundown Freemasons Hotel in Fremantle into the Sail & Anchor, reinventing pub culture in the process.

The microbrews start flowing. First up Anchor Ale, a dark traditional English ale. A Mild Ale, Bitter Ale, Stout and Porter soon follow. The infamous Dogbolter makes it into the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s strongest ale, with one batch coming in at a terrifying 12.5% volume.

1985

The brewery in Nedlands comes on stream and is considered “probably the most sophisticated microbrewery in the world”. Along with ales and pilsners, they create a second pub – The Brewery Ale House, in Nedlands. 

WA develops a thirst for flavour. Within a year, sales rocket from $3,000 per week to $50,000 per week.

1986

Another year, another pub. This time the Queens Hotel in Mt Lawley. It goes on to win an Institute of Architects Award in WA in 1988.

1987

Cup runneth over. The America’s Cup Challenge comes to Freo and the Sail & Anchor is the place to be. The Nedlands brewery is at capacity and plans to redevelop the historic Swan & Emu Brewery site on Mounts Bay Road are NIMBYed. The search for a new brewery site is on. 

Summer time. Bavaria becomes the country on everyone’s lips with the release of Summer Weizen (German for wheat) – the first Bavarian-style wheat beer in Australia. Incredibly popular but unpronounceable, it’s renamed Redback by the end of the year.

Good dog. Dogbolter is re-released with a little less bite. This dark lager develops cult status among the swelling tribe of beer enthusiasts.

1988

Fully invested in expansion. Matilda Bay becomes a public company and purchases the Port Melbourne Brewing Co. to brew Redback and Matilda Bay beers for the east coast. Carlton United purchases 20% of Matilda Bay Brewing. Redback is launched in cans.

1989

Copper load of this. A beautiful French brewhouse crafted from copper (Brasserie De Clerk in Hazebrouck), is transported to North Fremantle to convert an old Ford factory into a striking new brewery. The proud copper chimneys are perfectly positioned to reflect the sun setting over the Indian Ocean.

1990

Waltzing Matilda. Australian brewing giant Fosters Group purchases Matilda Bay Brewing. The hotel line-up expands to 39 (including the Redback Hotel in North Melbourne). The beer line-up expands to include Bohemian Pilsner.

1992

Coast to coast. Matilda Bay becomes a national brand.

1993

Mid-strength goes full steam. Matilda Bay Bitter launched – a full flavoured mid-strength beer that takes WA by storm.

Redback strikes. Awarded Grand Champion Beer at the Australian International Beer Awards.

1996

Launch Beez Neez – a honey-infused wheat beer. 

New dog, new tricks. Red Dog is launched.

1998

Launch Alpha Pale Ale and Premium Lager, a premium mid-strength beer.

2003

A winning year. Brad Rogers joins as Head Brewer and Jamie Cook as General Manger. The awards soon follow.

Premium Lager wins Champion Reduced Alcohol Beer at the Australian International Beer Awards, while Alpha Pale Ale wins more awards than any other beer.

2004

Alpha Pale Ale wins Grand Champion Beer at the Australian Good Taste Beer Awards.

2005

Refocus on small batch brewing with the opening of Matilda Bay Garage Brewery in Dandenong, Victoria.

Bohemian Pilsner wins Champion Lager Trophy at the Australian Beer Awards.

2007

Barking Duck wins Bronze at the World Beer Cup in USA.

2008

Another winning year under new Head Brewer Scott Vincent.

Win Champion Brewery at the Australasian International Beer Awards.

Redback wins Best Australian Ale and Australian Wheat at the Australian Hotel Beer Awards.

Redback wins Champion Wheat Beer at the Australian International Beer Awards.

Alpha Pale Ale wins Best Australian Ale at the Australian Hotel Beer Awards.

Alpha Pale Ale wins Champion Beer at the Royal Beer Competition.

2008

Launch Fat Yak, an American-style Pale Ale.

2009

Launch Longshot, a coffee-infused dark ale.

2010

Launch Big Helga, an Oktoberfest-style lager.

Alpha Pale Ale wins Champion Draught Beer at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show.

2011

Alpha Pale Ale wins Champion Bottled Beer at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show.

Launch first ever cider, ‘Dirty Granny’. Wins Best Australian Cider at the Australian Cider Awards.

Move from Dandenong to a new home in the former Cadbury Chocolate factory in Port Melbourne.

2012

Launch IGP (Itchy Green Pants) a cloudy Australian Pale Ale and Minimum Chips Handcut Golden Lager.

2013

Alpha Pale Ale wins Champion Australian Beer at the Australasian International beer Awards.

2014

Launch Ruby Tuesday.

2015

The brewery closes and Matilda Bay takes a breather.

2019

We get the band back together. Founder Phil Sexton returns and starts planning a new brewery in the Yarra Valley to take advantage of the region’s pure mountain water.

2020

Back to the future. Matilda Bay Brewery opens in the Yarra Valley. Launch Original Ale, a classic European-style Golden Ale and re-release Matilda Bay’s greatest hits - Redback, Dogbolter and Alpha Pale Ale.

1982

Phil Sexton completes a Master of Science at Birmingham University’s British School of Malting and Brewing.

Inspired by English ales and the small brewery scene, he’s convinced lager-loving Aussies will jump at the opportunity to experience a new world of flavour.

Where to Find Us

336 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville VIC 3777

Due to Covid 19 restrictions we are currently open for takeaway only, Thursday - Sunday from 12pm - 8pm.

Keep an eye on our social channels for the latest news on when the brewery will reopen for dining.

 

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