Wollongong is a city surrounded by ample opportunities to get stuck into all manner of great pastimes. World-class mountain biking, hiking and surfing are all found within close proximity of the coastal city. And, increasingly, the old industrial hub has become a hotbed for excellent, locally-produced coffee, spirits and beer – as well as spaces in which to enjoy all such pleasures.
With the arrival of Seeker Brewing, you have a venue looking to encapsulate all of those good times: it’s dedicated to anyone seeking a life full of adventure and good times, particularly if those adventures include enjoying craft beer in good company.
Had you ventured to its location in the industrial area of Unanderra, in Wollongong’s south, prior to 2022, you’d still have found a brewery, but it would have been Bulli, which was launched by Michael Peliquin back in 2017. Meanwhile, Grassy Knoll – named after an iconic spot in Bondi – was the brewing company launched by musician Jeff Argent in 2019 that produced beers at breweries across New South Wales.
Following a move to Wollongong, Jeff started brewing his beers at Bulli, and was later approached by Michael to see if he’d like to take over the space and buy the brewery from him. Along with some friends and family, Jeff did just that, and with the new opportunity came the idea to start fresh with a brand new brewing company and name to encapsulate the local scene of which he was now part.
Having embraced Wollongong and the lifestyle it offers, Jeff, his twin brother Curtis and their cousin Ben Boorer wasted no time connecting with the beachside city and its surrounds. Many of Seeker’s beers are named after local landmarks while collaborations with local businesses are a common part of Seeker’s mission.
What’s more, true to their ethos of being a brand suited to anyone seeking out life’s adventures, they were quick to wade into the world of alcohol-free beers too, creating Maxi Small Beer – an impressively full-flavoured red ale with little in the way of alcohol. As well as focusing on lower ABV offerings, they do love IPAs, so you’re always likely to find something hazy and something West Coast pouring and in their takeaway fridge too.
The beers take shape on a 15-hectolitre system and are, of course, best enjoyed in their taproom. Venture in and you’ll quickly forget you’re in an industrial estate, as Seeker’s venue is as much cruisey games room as brewery bar.
As well as the 14 taps, there’s a 5m rose gum long slab bar designed to encourage guests to pull up a pew for a drink and a chat, plus a pool table, basketball hoop and a TV often tuned to sports. If you’re peckish, the Seeker Hut serves up Neapolitan-inspired woodfired pizzas, which will always feature at least one chef’s choice "secret ingredient pizza”.
Then there’s the regular gigs. As we mentioned above, Jeff is a musician best known for forming the rhythm section of indie band PIRRA alongside twin brother Curtis. It means live music is as much a part of the brewery’s story as the surfing lifestyle that infuses much of its spirit, meaning local musicians always have a place to play in Wollongong.
Add in collaborations with local institutions like local mountain bike clothing store, Huck the World, and the Rad Bar crew and it’s clear you’ve got a brewery that walks the walk. And, for that matter, one to which it’s worth making the trek, whether you head there via foot, bike, surfboard or Kombi van.