The diversity in the backgrounds of those getting involved in the craft beer industry in Australia is a sure sign of its growing popularity and reach. Collaborations have seen everyone from chefs to rock stars to radio stations try their hand at making beer. But there are others taking their involvement much further.

Among them is the driving force behind Brewmanity, a man best known previously for his exploits on the footy field. David "Neita" Neitz is the longest-serving captain in Melbourne FC's history but these days – having realised he wanted more from life after a career chasing a pigskin ball around an oval than the comparatively mundane corporate pathway that was staring at him – is working full time developing his beer dream.

There will be those who respond with cynicism to such a turn of affairs: someone with a level of fame from one area of public life moving into another where there's little obvious connection between the two. Yet it doesn't take much scratching of the surface to realise that Neita is committed.

Our first meeting was at Colonial Brewing's Port Melbourne home on the day that marked the beginning of the next phase for Brewmanity – the first batch of Social Beast was being canned. And it was a while before we could sit down for a chat as he was busy working the packaging line, stacking pallet after pallet of beer until the line was empty.

The connecting force between those two worlds, he says, is to be drawn to things he has a passion for and, with Brewmanity, that goes beyond making and selling beer. The premise is that good deeds and good times will flow from producing good beer with a percentage of all beer sales and 100 percent of profits from Brewmanity events going towards the fight against Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

At time of writing in May 2017, Brewmanity beers had hit taps in more than 100 venues around Melbourne and, taken together with funds raised at several beer inspired events, Neita and the Brewmanity team had already helped to raise more than $100,000 for MND in support of his mate and former coach Neale Daniher.

The wider Brewmanity team includes Melbourne teammate Paul Hopgood, who has been involved since the earliest discussions, while Mick Jontef, one of the most senior figures in the brewing team at CUB for decades, has left the big boys to oversee all areas of beer development from the outset. More recently, another former CUB man, Jamie Fox has brought his marketing nous to the table.

A Brewmanity brewery is the next part of the dream but, while that chapter is still to be written, the focus is on good beer, good deeds and good times – even if some of those good times involve a weekend spent sticking barcodes on 2,000 six-pack lids, one of the less glamorous joys of starting a brewing company Neita has discovered.

But what of the beer? The lead product, as of 2017, is Social Beast, a sessionable pale ale dry hopped with Vic Secret to give it a tropical kick. The "Beast" is the name former Melbourne coach Neale Daniher has given to MND; the "Social" is self-explanatory and in keeping with the charitable events with which Brewmanity launched.

For Good Beer Week and GABS 2017 they spread their wings rather further, creating two versions of an Eisbock. Dr Freezemeister is a 9 percent ABV straight take on the style with caramel and banana flavours, while their GABS specialty beer, Whiskey on Eisbock, used the Dr Freezemeister as its base and was then aged in a Starward whisky barrel.

Looking ahead, given there's a David Neitz Terrace bar at the MCG, you'd think he might be able to help get craft beer into Melbourne's sporting citadel – not that he fancies his chances of breaking CUB's grip on the taps just yet. But, as with Balter and their famous surfing founders and brewing partner Colonial, who struck up a partnership with Essendon and have Tom Bellchamber as an ambassador, Brewmanity should help entice more drinkers to try something new.

"The idea was always to give something back," says Neita, "through something that we love."

Making beer to help fight MND seems as good a way as any.


Brewing at Colonial Port Melbourne
89 Bertie St
Port Melbourne 3207

(03) 9525 6143

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Brewmanity Regulars

Brewmanity Mouth Of The South Draught

Published September 16, 2021
Just a couple of months on from locking in their brewpub home in South Melbourne, Brewmanity have decided to create a tribute to that home with Mouth of the South. Designed as a classic Australian draught, the beer’s a straightforward and arguably no-nonsense one but it launched with a campaign featuring no shortage of nonsense, thanks largely to the inclusion of some of the biggest celebrities south of the Yarra. The beer itself is designed with all Australian ingredients and aims to pay tribute… Read more
Australian Draught

Brewmanity Tango & Splash Juicy Lager

Published April 23, 2018
If you ever spent a Friday night at home, back when you could count the number of Australian television stations on one hand, chances are at some point you caught at least some of Tango & Cash. The buddy cop movie saw Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell team up to defeat drug lords in a story that’s pretty much indistinguishable from countless other 1980s blockbusters. So what does that have to do with Brewmanity’s new beer, other than lending it the name Tango & Splash? Well, the best… Read more
Hoppy Lager

Brewmanity Social Beast

Published May 1, 2017
When the time came to put the first Brewmanity beer into cans, ensuring broad appeal would have been front and centre, what with the brewing company's focus on fundraising. Yet, thanks in particular to a sizeable amount of Vic Secret hops added late on in the brewing process, the Social Beast comes with a tropical hit upfront that will endear it to those with craftier tastes on the hunt for a session beer. The Australian pale ale comes with colourful artwork by Clinton Weaver, while its name comes… Read more
Australian Pale Ale

And select good beer outlets around Victoria

Brewmanity The Big Dance West Coast IPA

For their first foray into the world of IPA, Brewmanity opted to follow the path trodden by the American brewers that arguably did more than any other to bring the style to global prominence. Describing IPAs as "the grand final of craft beer styles", here they've combined hops from Australia and the States to create a West Coaster with some of the fruitier flourishes expected by drinkers in the 2020s. Pouring a borderline clear copper, there's much of a piney / earthy vibe underpinning… Read more
West Coast IPA

Brewmanity Specials

Brewmanity Slider Cold XPA

Published March 2, 2023
Whether by design or otherwise, there's much about the look of Brewmanity's first new release of 2023 that reminds me of the Big Freeze, a key fundraiser for FightMND, the charity fronted by Brewmanity co-founder David Neitz's former coach, Neale Daniher. The event takes place at the MCG each year – hardly the craftiest of venues, even if some of CUB/Asahi's acquired brands pour there now. So, in combination with the words "Extra Crisp" on the label, it could easily bring to mind the… Read more
Cold XPA

Brewmanity Coast To Coast Hazy IPA

Published August 3, 2022
After finding favour with The Big Dance West Coast IPA and introducing the beer to their core offering, Brewmanity returned to the well of IPAs for Coast To Coast. As the name suggests, it's a beer for which they've swapped West for East, lean and bitter for hazy and softly sweet. One of the first beers designed for the brewing company by Tim Miller, the head brewer who joined them from Little Creatures at the start of 2022, its solid yellow haze is crowned by a persistent white head that's reminiscent… Read more
Hazy IPA

Brewmanity Howdy Cloudy

Published December 9, 2020
It's been a while between new cans from Brewmanity, the brewing company raising awareness and funds for Fight MND through every beer and event. But the return lands very much in the midst of the action today, with Howdy Cloudy a 7 percent ABV hazy IPA. Brewed with Vic Secret, Huell Melon and HPA's newly-named Eclipse hops, it's orange in colour and hazy more than the cloudy of its name. Not only orange in appearance but noticeably orange-tinged in character too (well, HPA have promoted Eclipse as… Read more
Hazy IPA

Brewmanity Yuzu & Citrus Sour

Published October 25, 2019
I guess the joy of catching up with an AFL legend – one who has a bar named after him at the CUB fortress that is the MCG, no less – to take delivery of a new beer release should have subsided by now, especially as David Neitz has been in the game with Brewmanity for years. But, let's be honest, moments such as chatting to him about the recipe and brewing process for their Yuzu & Citrus Sour remains up there with the unlikeliest of the many unexpected delights that have come my way since… Read more
Yuzu & Citrus Berliner Weisse

Try it first at Brewmanity's Beer Market Pop-Up on Oct 26 and 27.

Then find it in independent retailers

Brewmanity & Colonial Brewing Dr Freezemeister

Published May 16, 2017
Brewmanity's Good Beer Week and GABS special releases for 2017 couldn't be much further removed from its Social Beast. For a start, Dr Freezemeister is twice the strength of their Australian pale ale. And, while Social Beast puts hops front and centre, this limited release draught beer is all about malt, booze and, well, ice. It's a take on the German Eisbock style created in collaboration with Colonial and inspired by Big Freeze events for which the base beer was partially frozen to increase its… Read more

GABS 2017

Then other venues in very limited amounts